The Best Winter Vacation Strategies

After most of us just enjoyed a four-day weekend (or turned it into an even longer break — lucky you), it’s time to go back to work and … talk about winter vacation strategies! In the wintertime, do you prefer to escape the cold and snow by going somewhere warm with beautiful beaches, or are you into winter sports and like to travel somewhere with wintry weather for skiing, etc.? Maybe you live somewhere that doesn’t even get a real winter and so you seek that out — snow crunching under your feet, a crackling fireplace, a cup of hot chocolate, and so on? (To that, I say … no thank you! OK, except for the hot chocolate.) Another aspect of winter vacation strategies: savings! According to a recent NYT article, the cheapest days to depart are 12/26 or 12/29 — and I have at least one friend who uses those savings to go on major, multi-week vacations around now. (Here’s another article on strategies for saving money on winter vacations from Forbes.)

If you need some vacation inspiration, earlier this year U.S. News & World Report published “The World’s 30 Best Places to Visit in 2017–18,” which were chosen from “reader votes and expert analysis.” Their suggested warm, beachy places include Santorini, Greece; St. Lucia; Honolulu; the Great Barrier Reef; Sydney, Australia; British Virgin Islands; Tahiti; Phuket, Thailand; and Bali, while the recommended cold, wintry spots include Banff, Alberta; Vancouver; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Breckenridge, Colorado; and Park City, Utah.

Are any of those places on your bucket list? If you’ve traveled to any of them, what tips and advice would you pass on to other Corporette readers? If you’re vacationing somewhere else this winter, where are you going?

Picture via Stencil.

(Psst: In the past we’ve talked about how to plan a vacation, tips for traveling solo, tips for taking vacation without losing your mindstaycationsoffice etiquette around holidays and vacations, and four types of vacation packages for busy women.)

What are some of your winter vacation strategies? Do you like to go to warm-weather locations or cold-weather spots? Do you tend to frequently go on the same sort of trip, or do you change it up each year? Have you found any great deals on winter vacations?

We rounded up some great winter vacation strategies for working women, including how to save money by choosing the best departure date, how to choose a vacation spot, and where to go.


  1. I’m pregnant (10w) and just had my first ever abnormal pap. I’ll have a colposcopy at my next check up in a few weeks. It was a low grade abnormality, but given that I’m pregnant, I’m a little more distressed about this than I’d otherwise be.

    Anyone have experience with this to share?

    Also, I understand that HPV can be dormant for a long time, but my husband and I have been monogamous (as far as I’m aware) for close to 15 years, so I’m also a little puzzled. Should I be suspicious at all?

    This is my second pregnancy, all was well with the first, but I’m irrationally concerned this is going to set off a cascade of bad news this time around.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m all about warm weather vacations. I don’t ski and I don’t particularly like snow, so I have zero desire to go to someplace like Jackson Hole or Montreal in the winter. We are Jewish so we have flexibility to go on vacation around the Christmas holiday, but although airfare is usually great (especially if you fly on Christmas itself) we’ve found that’s usually offset by very increased hotel rates, especially in Hawaii and the Caribbean. We don’t do a winter vacation every year, but when we do we typically go the first week of December, which is still considered low season for hotel rates, but has the benefits of a winter escape from our cold climate. I’m heavily pregnant now, so no winter vacation this year, but we are hoping to go to the Caribbean (probably Grand Cayman) next winter with an ~11 month old.

      • Anonymous :

        Oops, I’m sorry, I meant for my vacation comments to be a new thread not a reply to you! But hugs to you June, that must be scary. Fwiw, my doctor said your cervical cells change a lot during pregnancy so it’s a common time for an abnormal pap. I’ve also heard HPV can be dormant for much longer than 15 years so I wouldn’t be suspicious. I hope everything goes well at the colposcopy.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve had low grade abnormality (ascus) and it went away with time. Do you have HPV? You can have these abnormalities without it.

      • Shopaholic :

        This was my scenario. It was fine. I have to go to a follow up colposcopy in a year (well 9 months now) but they didn’t find any abnormal cells. Even if you do, it may not mean anything so don’t read too much into anything. I was really scared but ultimately it all ended up to be fine.

    • Anonymous :

      You shouldn’t be at all suspicious or worried.

      • Anonymous :

        Well I think it’s normal to be worried whenever you get an abnormal pap. But I agree she shouldn’t be worried about infidelity.

    • I’m sure pap smears have saved people’s lives diagnosing cancer, but I’ve always been very dissatisfied with the pap process and have had MULTIPLE abnormal ones, never any cancer or whatever. I’m not a kooky anti-vaxxer, but my experience with paps has been BS.

      a false positive/abnormal can be set off by so many things. getting a colposcopy is literally a pain in the vag!na and a time waster, for you to then get a negative “hey just kidding you’re all good”.

      don’t worry, stress less. paps are notoriously unreliable. and if it turns out you do have a health issue (NOT LIKELY!) you can blame me. the ranting, internet stranger.

    • Never been pregnant, but I’ve had a ton of abnormal paps and a ton of colposcopies. The colposcopies are uncomfortable and annoying and have never found anything wrong. It’s always been just, “well we’ll check again in 6 months” waiting for the abnormality to go away, which they usually do over the course of a couple of years.

      • Anonymous :

        Also haven’t been pregnant, but I had something similar happen. I got my first abnormal pap after being married for a year. It was also super weird because it seemed like the nurse had messed up the results: the test just came back as abnormal, not positive for HPV, and it took 6 weeks for the results to come back. I’ve had to do colposcopies every six months since then. Both so far have come back normal. I go for another one next week, and if it comes back normal, then I go back to just having to do an annual physical.

        I have read online (and confirmed with my doctor) that sometimes your pap can come back abnormal due to another bacterial infection or, really, due to stress. Stress messes with your hormones and can make weird things happen in your body. I was actually really stressed when I got the abnormal pap, so I have thought that likely had something to do with it. When I talked to my doctor about it, she recommended taking vitamin C and zinc to make sure whatever was going on didn’t come back. So you could try that and see if it helps!

    • I also had a low grade abnormal pap, but there was no HPV present. It’s one of those things where you just check on it once a year (or whenever your doctor says) and more than likely it’s fine. Definitely no need to be suspicious, abnormal paps just happen.

    • in case you are still
      reading. Where I live ( Europe) we do not get paps when we are pregnant Because women get so many false positive. good luck

      • If you are still reading, it may be worth asking if you wait until after pregnancy for the colposcopy/recap.

        I am surprised they would want to touch cervix during pregnancy.

  2. Can anyone recommend a great gym bag for a guy? My brother is a doctoral candidate in engineering who pretty much goes to the lab and the gym. I’d like to get him a nice gym bag for Christmas and would love suggestions!

    • Anonymous :

      Check lululemon and King Kong brand.

    • I use an Ogio backpack as my gymbag. I get dressed at the gym before work 3-4 times per week and a backpack with several pockets for my stuff makes transport and organization easy.

  3. Anon for this :

    Have any (non-family law) attorneys filed separation paperwork themselves? I have a couple of suggestions for family law attorneys but it seems insanely expensive for a non-contested separation ($500 an hour just for consultation!!).

    I’m a transactional attorney so I was hoping that there would be a simple option just to fill out the forms (there are so many forms in CA) and file them (no e-filing for individuals so I’d have to miss a day of work and navigate the in-person filing process at the court house) but since there isn’t I am wondering if I can sort through this on my own.

    • AlexisFaye :

      Twice. With the same guy. Don’t do that.

      A lot of courts have the forms online. Read the local rules. Read the family law rules. And no e-filing? WTF. File as your own attorney and use e-filing. That’s lame.

    • Senior Attorney :

      My husband is a family law attorney and he will do a free consultation. Email me at seniorattorney1 at gmail and I’ll give you his contact info. He’s in the Los Angeles area.

  4. I am pear shaped and keep finding that my tanks are riding up. Any recs for tanks that will stay put?

  5. We were given a gift for our wedding a few years ago that we are never going to use. Its never been our style but after moving are realizing its just taking up space. Its along the line of candle sticks, vase, tray etc. Its still being sold. Expensive item – think over 300 dollars.

    What do I do with it? Ebay? Furniture consignment stores? Craigslist?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Donate it and write off the donation.

      Or re-gift.

    • biglawanon :

      We got crystal candlesticks and a silver serving tray for our wedding. Never ever going to use either of those things. I sold both on eBay for about 75% of retail.

  6. Puddlejumper :

    Apparently the poster above and I both spent Thanksgiving weekend cleaning out our closets. Mine is a how to get rid of clothes question. I have UK brand clothing/shoes that I want to sell – think LK Bennett and stuff. I tried going to a consignment store here in Brooklyn but since they don’t recognize the brands they wouldn’t take the stuff. Can anyone suggest a consignment shop in NY/Brooklyn that I might have better luck at? Should I try Ebay even though I have never sold anything on it?

    • I would try Poshmark – I’ve done quite well on there, and there is demand for brands like that that are harder to get in the US/

      • Anonymous :

        +1 for Poshmark. I have had great luck selling things on that app.

      • Anony Mouse :

        +1 to Poshmark. I’ve sold clothes on both Poshmark and eBay, and generally find I make more on Poshmark. On eBay, I get a lot of lowball offers.

  7. I turned 30 and the area under my eyes is protesting. Its not dark circles, just alternates between super puffy and sunken in. What can I do about this? Is this a hydration problem?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      An eye cream with caffeine. I like Origins GinZing.

    • Rosa had this. In her case, her deratologist said it was related to her pregnancys–she had 3 kids by the time she was 30, and her skin under her eyes took the brunt of it. Grandma Leyeh said she had this soon after dad was born. I never had this issue, but I have not had a baby. Everyone knows you have had a baby when you have this he said. She had it treated with some cream that the dermatologist prescribed. Good luck to you!

  8. reduced hours :

    Any advice on preparing a request to move to a reduced hours expectation in law? I’d like to go to 80% or so (100% is just under 2,000/year). I’m fine with keeping the same availability and time in the office, but would really like to be out from under the constant pressure of trying to make hours which has been a struggle for the past few years. I’m worried about taking an additional pay hit since my compensation is already on the low side. Some of this is outside of my control- I’m in a smaller market office and our billable rates are lower than the firm’s offices in the larger markets. So from my view, it feels like I am being held to large market standards without the bigger pay, although from the firm’s view, I’m not making them as much money because my rate is lower. I like my firm, location and practice area, but as long as we are being honest, I’d be fine staying in a counsel role for a while. The partner life isn’t one that looks very appealing. Anyone have any suggestions on talking points or what you’d wish you’d known going into this?

    • So I did what you’re thinking of for the same reasons, and I would not recommend it. Once I went to 80%, I realized that I just really didn’t want to be at a firm & upped my job search (ended up in-house). All I did by going 80% was sacrifice a lot of money because I was scared of having an uncomfortable performance conversation about my hours. I wanted to pre-empt that, so I essentially did the hard work for the firm & there were still a lot of “what do you want your future to be here” conversations (because I didn’t have kids or a “reason” to go 80%, it was a “do you still want to go up” conversation & my firm didn’t do counsel roles back then). I should have just stayed at 100% while doing my job search.

      The TLDR is don’t take the pay cut, just look for another job.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. In addition, if you don’t have kids management will give you major side-eye for even asking about it and you may find yourself out of a job sooner rather than later.

    • reduced hours :

      Well, I’ve got a kid, I’ve been practicing for 10+ years and I’ve got small book of business. The counsel role resulted from a lateral move and has stuck. And maybe that’s the real problem- there’s not a lot of space at firms for people who don’t want that intense lifestyle.

    • biglawanon :

      This might be a know your firm thing. We have two full-time hours tracks. I recently learned that I am part of a small minority of associates at my firm are on the highest hours track, most are on the other full time hours track, and a surprising percentage are part time. A surprising number of partners are also part time. Do you have any sense on how common this is at your firm?

  9. cat socks :

    As part of a new project I’m working on, I need to go through a government background check. In looking through the paperwork, I need to provide the names of people that know me well who are not relatives. Will these people be contacted to provide a reference? Should I send an email to everyone I’m including to let them know I am listing them?

    • Puddlejumper :

      Not at all helpful to your question but I saw your username and thought you needed to look at these socks:

    • You should email them and let them know they will be contacted. Couple of year ago, there was a scam where someone pretended to be working for the govt doing background.

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely give your references a heads up. When I went through that process two of the people I listed were called and had to talk about how often they saw me, where I lived, etc. In my case one was a college classmate and one a grad school classmate, and they essentially confirmed that I was where I said I was during those years.

      One of them then proceeded to spend years whining about it and how I shouldn’t have used her… but she’s rather unique.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, contact them and ask if they would mind being a reference. I’ve never had anyone contact for public trust, but they will contact for clearances.

    • Anonymous :

      Depends on the job but they probably will call. When I served as a reference on similar things they generally asked if I knew where the person lived and worked during certain time periods, if I was ever at their home or work, and if they had a substance abuse problem. That kind of thing.

    • cat socks :

      Thanks for the feedback! I will make sure to contact my references in advance.

    • Anonymous :

      When a friend was applying for a govt job with security clearance, the background checker met with my husband (they used to be colleagues and are close friends) in person, and mostly asked to verify her CV and asked about her lifestyle (potential drug or money problems). He then pushed my husband to give him an additional contact, so background checker ended up meeting me(knowing I my acquaintance with her is less close), and asked the same questions. At the time I thought this was strange, but the hive said it happens.

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely give them a heads up – I’ve been a reference 3 times for various friends. Two of them only required phone calls to confirm that I had attended college with them and were friends, the last one was for a DoD position required me to have an interview with the background checker and I wasn’t expecting that…

    • Anonymous :

      Give a heads up. I’ve been a reference twice. Once was a short phone call asking if a college friend lived in the same dorm with me. The second was a series of 2 calls with a lot of questions. I probably spent 2 hours on the phone with the background checker. I appreciated the heads up because otherwise I would have been pretty caught off guard. The longer calls were questions about financial issues, substance use, international travel/allegiances…a lot of “nos”.

    • They will also ask them if you have ever done anything illegal, to their knowledge. For my high school best friend, for example, I had to be honest that I had seen her drink alcohol before she was 21. Then they asked follow-ups — Did she get irresponsibly or problematically drunk? Drive drunk? Do you her parents and friends know about her underage drinking? Could she be blackmailed with it? (No, No, Yes, No)

  10. Record Player? :

    Does anyone have recommendations for buying a record player (turntable?)? DH has inherited/been gifted a ton of records but has no way to play them. I’m not evenly remotely knowledgeable about this type of machine – help!

    Anyone seen cyber Monday deals?

    • Anony Mouse :

      Although Crosleys are popular now, I would advise against purchasing one. The sound is sub-par, and, more importantly, they will damage your records over time.

      The Reddit r/vinyl forum is a great place to start for details. On the subreddit homepage, find the New to Vinyl section in the right menu bar.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes to all of this.

        U-Turn makes great affordable turntables that won’t ruin your DH’s records. Stay away from Ion turntables and Audio-Technica LP60 tables; bad build quality.

  11. Any recommendations for a retinol night cream that is not too rich?

  12. Anonymous :

    Thoughts on Wen haircare? A bff has curly hair and raves about it. I tried it last week while staying with her, and I was disappointed. I have thin, wavy hair, and all it did was make my hair straight. She said I may have used too much creme that weighed my hair down. I will say my hair usually frizzes, and Wen prevented that.

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