- HIROSHI H/Shutterstock
Warm weather vacations will be extra-risky this year.
Zika has been found in mosquitoes in much of the American hemisphere south of Florida – and the entire Caribbean. That leaves few options for virus-free travels.
Though the Zika virus only seems to be especially dangerous to woman pregnant or about to become pregnant, there is still a chance of bringing the virus back with you and infecting others.
Here are 11 still (relatively) warm places to go this winter where you won’t have to worry about the virus.
According to the CDC, these regions have had no confirmed Zika-carrying mosquitoes (yet) so there’s no need to stress. After all, isn’t travel all about relaxing and not stressing out?
Average December high: 70 degrees
Bermuda is only semi-tropical, but it’s far enough away from the Caribbean, out in the middle of the Atlantic, to be safe from Zika. It’s warm enough to go to the beach on a sunny day, and has all the palm trees you could ask for.
San Diego average high in December: 64 degrees
Southern California boasts a mild climate all year, and that includes the winter months. San Diego and Los Angeles are huge metropolises with plenty to do and warm temps to boot.
Average temperature in December: 63 degrees
Zika hasn’t yet reached the Mediterranean – which is good for those who love their famous mild climate. Malta is an island smack in the middle of that sea, warmer than much of the region, with a booming tourist industry.
Average high in Honolulu in December:81 degrees
Hawaii is the obvious choice here. Its Pacific location means it’s far away from the centers of Zika. And, yet, it’s still incredibly warm even in December.
Hawaii should be on the top of everyone’s list looking for a stress- and Zika-free vacation.
- Flickr/Rob Oo
Average high in December: 79 degrees
Dubai is a fast-growing tourism destination that has one big thing going for it: it’s very warm. It’s located in the desert, after all.
It’s a good choice if you’re tired of the tropical vibe but aren’t willing to let go of 80-degree warmth.
- Brian Kinney/Shutterstock
Average high in Sydney in December: 77 degrees
Australia, unlike its northern neighbors, does not have any reported cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus.
And that’s great news, as you will still be able to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, explore the outback, and experience all the world-class cities Australia has to offer.
- Mansion Global
Average high in December in Cape Town: 76
Africa has largely been spared of Zika so far, which means that South Africa is a great place to go on vacation this winter.
Average high in December:62 degrees
Mallorca, Spain, isn’t the warmest destination on this list, but it’s still a great place to go during its off-season.
The white sand beaches and blue oceans don’t expire, after all.
- REUTERS/Andres Stapff
Average high in December: 80
Uruguay is another country where there’s no need to worry about the Zika virus. Only one travel-related case has been reported – ever. It gets cold enough that the mosquitoes are inactive in the winter months.
Uruguay is one of the most socially developed nations in South America, with a distinct local flavor unlike its neighbors. Oh, and of course it has plenty of beaches that are warm enough to experience in the winter months.
- Carlos yo/Wikimedia Commons
Average high in Santiago, Chile: 82 degrees
Chile has been spared of the Zika of its neighbors as it does not typically have the mosquito responsible for its spread.
That’s good news for visitors looking to explore South America without the worry.
Average high in December:62
Ok, so Austin doesn’t have that many beaches and it’s not exactly exotic.
It won’t scratch your tropical vacation itch, but if you’re looking for a cheaper replacement this year, Austin has plenty to do and a unique funky local culture everyone should experience at least once.