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Planning a winter getaway: Chasing the sun, exploring the Rockies or enjoying Calgary

WATCH: As we head into the coldest three months of the year, many of us are thinking of a getaway. For some, that means a trip to some place warm, but for others, a winter destination tops the list. As Tiffany Lizée reports, Calgarians have plenty of choices close at hand.

As Albertans head into the coldest three months of the year, many minds are likely turning to thoughts of a winter getaway.

For some, that means a trip to somewhere hot and sunny, but for others, a winter destination tops the list.

With Black Friday around the corner, experts say now is the time to book.

WATCH BELOW: Tamara Elliott with Globeguide.ca joins Global News Calgary with some tips on how to save money on a winter getaway.

Winter travel deals from YYC
Winter travel deals from YYC

READ MORE: Here’s the best time to book your holiday travel

As for which dates to choose, travel expert Tamara Elliott said the second and third weeks of January may be the best time to get away.

“That’s typically when a lot of people have gone back to the office or school after the holiday break so if you’re looking to book an all-inclusive vacation down south, the resorts there are looking to fill rooms so there can be really steep discounts,” said Elliott.

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If you don’t mind the cold but are still looking to get out of the city, Elliott suggests the Rockies as a quick and easy weekend escape.

Winter travel deals from YYC
Winter travel deals from YYC

READ MORE: Hating winter is a national pastime — here’s how to embrace it

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Baker Creek, Alta. on Monday December 1, 2014. Heavy snowfall, warm temperatures and high winds have led to an extreme avalanche risk in Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper national parks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Baker Creek, Alta. on Monday December 1, 2014. Heavy snowfall, warm temperatures and high winds have led to an extreme avalanche risk in Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper national parks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

“I always love heading to the Kootenay Rockies in B.C. It’s only about three to four hours from Calgary, depending on where you’re going. That area includes places like Golden, Revelstoke, Fernie – lots of great skiing – they’re really cute towns to check out and some great food scenes.”

But for those who want to stay close to home, Calgary was just ranked sixth on Big 7 travel’s “The 25 Best Cities For Winter Getaways,” behind hot spots like Croatia, China, Ireland, Puerto Rico and Tahiti.

Calgary, Alta. ranked 6 on Big Seven Travel’s “The 25 Best Cities For Winter Getaways” list released in November 2019.
Calgary, Alta. ranked 6 on Big Seven Travel’s “The 25 Best Cities For Winter Getaways” list released in November 2019. bigseventravel.com

Jeff Hessle from Tourism Calgary said he believes there are a number of reasons Calgary has been recognized as a top winter destination, starting with the city being an exciting urban destination that’s got a lot of product in the winter.

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“I think secondly, our proximity to the mountains makes us a wonderful urban mountain getaway. I think that’s a great selling point that we have for Calgary,” said Hessle.

Big 7 Travel said on its website that booking a hotel in Calgary in December is 36 per cent cheaper than normal and the city is a great starting point for other winter adventures in areas like Banff National Park.

READ MORE: Flocks of ‘snowbirds’ escape Canada each winter. Here’s how to join them

So whether you’re staying in the city, heading to the Rockies or chasing the heat, experts say start planning now.

New technology helps make travel easier
New technology helps make travel easier