If you’re looking for the best places to travel in the winter, take a look at our picks!
One of the amazing perks of traveling for work is that you can choose where to spend the winter months.
Just think about it: if you love snowboarding, why not go to Colorado so you can hit the slopes on your days off?
Or maybe your idea of winter fun involves playing beach volleyball with a group of friends every afternoon—in which case Florida would be a great idea.
Or perhaps all you want to do is be with your family for the holidays, so you’d prefer to look for a position in or close to your hometown.
But there’s one more factor to consider before choosing your winter destination, and that’s where your career can benefit from you spending the winter months.
November, December, January, and February are great months for winter tourism.
That means people flock to specific cities and areas—and that in turn often results in an increased demand for travel nurses making them best places to spend winter months.
SEE ALSO: Why the Average Travel Nurse Salary Will Surprise You (In a Good Way)
For example, warm regions like Arizona, Florida, and New Mexico are popular among snowbirds—seniors fleeing the cold weather—and see an increased demand for healthcare professionals. At the same time, winter sport retreats experience a seasonal spike in sports injuries.
Best Places to Travel in the Winter
It’s completely possible to combine your personal travel preferences with a good career move. Here are our top seven best places to travel in the winter while simultaneously advancing professionally:
If You’re a City Slicker, Culture Buff, or Foodie
Cities always offer a wide variety of opportunities for nurses, but during the winter, you have the added benefit of holiday events, winter shopping, and even festivals.
Our top picks are:
1. New York City, New York
The Big Apple is home to a large number of renowned hospitals, including:
- New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
- NYU Langone Medical Center
- Mount Sinai
In terms of things to do in the winter, you have your choice of:
- Broadway shows ranging from the old favorite Cats to John Waters’ Hairspray,
- shopping opportunities for every budget,
- watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve,
- and festivals like the NYC Restaurant Week from January 18th to February 5th.
But there’s so much more to discover, from opera to ballet and from museums to skating in the park—you’ll probably want to come back for more next winter!
2. Chicago, Illinois
The Windy City has some of the best hospitals in the U.S., including:
It also gets really, really cold during the winter, so you should be prepared for Nordic temperatures.
You’ll see a lot of patients suffering from conditions that can be aggravated by cold such as respiratory, circulation, metabolism, and joint problems, as well as injuries due to winter weather.
SEE ALSO: 10 Excellent Pros (and Cons) of Travel Nursing Careers
But despite the cold, you can have a lot of fun here.
There are restaurants dishing out delicacies from practically every cuisine and micro-breweries where you can sample craft beers.
There’s the well-loved Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.
And for an unforgettable experience, take part in the Polar Plunge, an annual event to raise funds for the Special Olympics by plunging into the icy water off North Avenue Beach.
If You’re an Outdoor Enthusiast and Love the Sun
If you’ve had enough of snow and cold weather, why not seek out the beaches of Florida, the golf courses of Arizona, or the national parks of California?
3. Tampa, Florida
While Miami is a hotspot of fun and action, if you’re looking for a more laid-back beach experience, go to Tampa.
Tampa’s General Hospital provides top-notch services in multiple adult specialties—plus, there are many smaller hospitals in the area.
However, with a large number of seniors who live in Florida, it’s important to be aware of the many interesting opportunities for patients who need palliative or hospice care. In fact, a number of studies are being performed as joint initiatives by researchers and providers on how to improve palliative and hospice services to enhance patients’ quality of life.
SEE ALSO: 9 Things You Need for a Complete Travel Nurse Packing List
When you’re not working, you can enjoy the miles and miles of beautiful beaches around Tampa.
Whether you just want to relax in the sun, try your hand at kitesurfing, or go paddleboarding among the manatees, there’s so much to do that you’ll never, ever get bored!
Florida is definitely one of THE best places to travel in the winter!
Find travel nursing jobs in Florida
Find travel allied health jobs in Florida
4. Phoenix, Arizona
When we say, “Phoenix,” you say, “Mayo Clinic!”
Working at Mayo Clinic is, of course, an outstanding opportunity for any health professional. Since this facility is nationally ranked in a total of 10 adult specialties, there’s a good chance you can find a job in a specialty that interests you.
However, there are also other great hospitals here, including the Banner University Medical Center Phoenix and the nationally acclaimed Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
SEE ALSO: Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go
And what better to do in your free time than to tee off on every single golf course in the area?
The Phoenix area is home to some of the best golf courses in the nation, and the mild weather makes it a perfect outdoor activity to forget about work, stretch your legs, and improve your handicap.
If you feel like pitting your skills against other enthusiasts, enter the 2017 Tempe Amateur, which takes place in January in Tempe, about 12 miles outside of Phoenix!
Find travel nursing jobs in Arizona
5. San Diego, California
Granted, California features some of the most interesting cities and a large number of stunning national parks that are enjoyable year-round.
However, if you’re looking for the best place to spend the winter, then we recommend going to San Diego, once voted the city with the best quality of life!
It’s home to:
- UC San Diego Medical Center-UC San Diego Health
- Naval Medical Center San Diego
- VA San Diego Hospital
Less than two hours’ drive away in Joshua Tree (“J-Tree”) National Park. It’s a stunning landscape of stark boulders, thousands of Joshua trees, and desert flora and fauna. You can take a break from everything and hike, climb, and mountain bike to your heart’s content.
For an educational experience, sign up for a tour to learn about the area’s history.
And if you want a truly breathtaking experience, go camping. You’ll see some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world and if the night sky is clear, the millions of stars seem to be so close you could reach out and touch them.
Find travel nursing jobs in California
Find travel allied health jobs in California
If You’re a Winter Sport Enthusiast
Not everyone looks to warm weather as one of the best places to travel in the winter. For those of you obsessed with snowy, white powder, how about:
Let’s face it: if you’re into winter sports, then you’ve got to spend a winter in Denver or one of Colorado’s world-class ski resorts like Telluride, Aspen, or Vail.
However, it’s probably easiest to get a job in Denver—unless you get very lucky and/or have a nursing specialty like sports medicine or ER experience.
Denver’s top hospital is Porter Adventist Hospital.
However, the top-ranked hospital in the state is University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, located about 10 miles from downtown Denver.
When you’re not working, you can enjoy skiing or snowboarding at one of the many ski resorts.
But it’s not just about sports here.
There are numerous festivals ranging from the 12 days of Aspen festival to the spectacular Breckenridge ULLR Fest, which honors Norse mythology.
SEE ALSO: Travel Nursing for New Grads: 5 Reasons to Just Go For It
There are tree lighting events, ice festivals, snow sculpting competitions, sports competitions, and much, much more. In short, get ready for an unforgettable winter experience!
If There’s No Place Like Home
If you love traveling, but during holidays you just want to be surrounded by your loved ones, then there’s nothing stopping you from working in your hometown area for a couple of months.
7. Your Home Town
Make sure to discuss your wishes with your recruiter in a timely manner so he or she can help you find the right position.
Of course, it’s very helpful if you still have connections in healthcare facilities back home, since referrals are always an excellent way of finding a job!
Just be sure to make living arrangements ahead of time. Especially if you’ve rented out your home, you’ll need to find a place where you can stay for three or four months.
Once you’ve got it all worked out, allow yourself to relax and enjoy yourself!
Deciding where to spend the winter months can be invigorating—especially when you realize how many interesting options you have.
Just remember to plan ahead and prepare carefully so that when you arrive at your winter destination, you’re ready to immerse yourself in your new environment and make the most of this exciting opportunity!
What’s one of the best places to travel in the winter months when on assignment?
Share with us in the comments below!