Breaking the habit of staying home this Christmas will reward you with a holiday you’ll never forget. Whether your winter getaway is filled with Christmas traditions and nippy air or makes a radical break by taking you to warmer climates, taking off this holiday is one experience you’re guaranteed to cherish.
With that goal in mind, blog 5 of our 12 Days of Christmas series rounds up diverse, exceptional holiday getaways to get you in the spirit of getting away.
As far as holiday getaways go, the appeal of warming up over the holidays is undeniable. If you’re based in the colder northern climates and are looking for alternatives, a beach getaway might just be what you’re looking for.
Leaving behind the cold, snow, hordes of shoppers, traffic and trading that for warm weather, playing in the sand and miles of secluded beaches is a no brainer. In fact, there’s a scientific reason you should be booking an oceanside escape. A Michigan State University study revealed that living in an area with lots of blue spaces, like a body of water, leads to lower levels of “psychological distress.”
Also, Christmas travel to the Caribbean lets you mix history with fun as you walk in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus, learn about pirates or discover Mayan wonders.
Savvy Traveler: Check out these affordable destinations for a warm and sunny Christmas.
Whether skiing, skating or caroling, nothing beats being in the mountains for Christmas. Most family resorts feature plenty of Christmas cheer – from racing against Santa and snowman making contests to ice carving demonstrations and holiday concerts.
Some resorts are known to also offer ways for families to re-create cherished holiday rituals while away from home. These resorts offer Christmas packages that include an artificial tree, lights, ornaments, tree skirt and even stockings and a basket of baked goods for Santa when he delivers presents.
Savvy Traveler: If you’re looking for ways to save and wouldn’t mind postponing your Christmas vacation, plan a ski trip for the second week of January (January 9-14, 2017). An analysis by Ski.com found that ski resorts are 45% cheaper during this time, are less crowded and they have majority of their terrain open.
For more ways to save, check out where you’ll find North America’s cheapest ski resorts this winter.
Holiday getaways at a cabin is essentially a Christmas vacation with home-like amenities. Cabin rentals provide the comforts of home and the closeness of family and friends, factors that play a big role in Christmas celebrations.
Unlike hotels which tend to be impersonal, cabins offer warm fireplaces, cozy family rooms for family celebrations, full kitchens to prepare home-cooked meals, gorgeous scenic views and they come fully decorated for Christmas. It’s a lot like spending Christmas in your own home, but without the stress of planning and getting your house ready for out of town guests.
Cabin rentals offer plenty of space to invite your extended relatives and even your two-legged family members.
Celebrating Christmas at sea means you get to avoid the associated cooking and cleaning. Instead, you’ll be drinking eggnog poolside, singing carols on the deck overlooking the sea and eating from a multi-course holiday menu prepared by professional chefs.
Cruising during the holidays is not your typical week-at-sea experience. Cruise lines go all out for the holidays – elaborate holiday meals, ships decked with seasonal decorations, occasional Santa appearances, New Year’s Eve midnight countdowns and more.
Savvy Traveler: If you want to lock in your preferred itinerary, ship, cabin and dining group, book early (nine to 12 months in advance). Also, think about whether you’d like to spend Christmas in port or at sea and consider sea-intensive or port-intensive itineraries- you don’t want to end up in a port of Christmas day when only the church is open.
If you’re fed up with the usual holiday getaways and Christmas rituals, perhaps a volunteer trip is what you need this holiday.
You can combine your love for travel and your desire to escape the holiday traditions by volunteering over the Christmas holiday. This is a great opportunity to do something rewarding and worthwhile and bring some festive cheer to deserving communities around the world.
Savvy Traveler: IVHQ, the world’s leading volunteer travel company, is offering Christmas volunteering opportunities with a focus on holiday-oriented projects and the chance to share in culturally-unique celebrations. Check them out here.
If you’re hosting Christmas this year and are wondering how to get annoying relatives to stay at a hotel, check back with us tomorrow for our 6th installment with great tips.