For many travelers they think in terms of summer destinations and then, only after it gets cold in their own area, they think of winter destinations. It’s natural to break things down in that way, but it’s also ignoring big parts of the world that are actually perfect for the in-between seasons.
At the moment you can get some fantastic airfares to Asia, and better yet, once you get there things tend to be extremely cheap compared to anywhere you might go in North America or Asia.
Destination: Asia in fall
Right now the cheapest flights between the US and Asia are from Los Angeles to Seoul for $750 round-trip and from Los Angeles to Tokyo for $790 round-trip. Those are long flights that usually cost more than $1000 in total so you can see that deals are to be had at the moment.
It’s really not worth worrying about the length of the flights, however. All of these long-haul transpacific flights use widebody jets where even coach seats are fairly big and comfortable, and they are always overnight, so as long as you can get a couple of hours or more of sleep you’ll be in Asia before you know it.
While Tokyo is far from cheap once you get there, there are great deals to many places that are. For $820 round-trip you can fly from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Beijing. In each of those places it’s possible to get hotel rooms for $20 that are as nice as what you’d pay $80 for in the United States.
If you are looking for someplace that is going to be hot in December or January then you should look to Southeast Asia, which is in the tropics and has hot days all year long. You can fly round-trip from LA to Bangkok for $960 or to Ho Chi Minh City for only $920. The good news about those destinations is that not only are those fares lower than normal for this time of yera, but they are extremely cheap once you get there, much more so than those mentioned above.
In fact, if you fly to Bangkok you can easily find hotel rooms for around $10 per night, and excellent meals served streetside for about $1 each. If you take a train up to Chiang Mai or any other city in Thailand except for the Phuket area then things get even cheaper.
The idea is to spend just a bit more on the flight by going somewhere that is very cheap and wonderful once you arrive, and then spend at least 2 weeks living like a king on a tiny budget. In the long run you’ll end up spending far less than you would on a trip to, say, Madrid, and it will all be more exotic and interesting at the same time.