So, maybe you have time off this year for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Festivus, Lunar New Year, or for something else. Whatever you celebrate, take advantage of those off-days and travel solo or with the whole family. Taking a vacation in lieu of holiday celebration at home is becoming a statement in itself, and trendy Millennial-types have made the push for the ‘holidays and not things’ movement.
You’re bound to know someone in your personal circle who simply ditches the whole holiday ordeal and sets off on a jet plane somewhere, or opts for a staycation at a frozen lake nearby. Sound like a good deal? Join in on this travel trend this year for a totally different holiday experience. Get ready for Cabeau’s top holiday travel destination hotspots to help you enjoy the holiday feels without all the ‘things.’
1. New York City, USA
Want to celebrate the holidays like in the movies? Topping our list, New York City brings forth memories of Home Alone 2, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, and many other classics. Even just arriving at LaGuardia can bring a rush of excitement as you arrive into the big city. Disembark from your flight and get ready to embrace the magic of New York City.
If you can’t afford to actually stay at the iconic Plaza Hotel, reserve a table at the Champagne Bar or sip afternoon tea at the Palm Court to get a magical sense of being in the movies. Then, walk Central Park, ice skate at Wollman Rink, and see the Rockettes. Family tagging along? Take the kids to meet Santa in the iconic Macy’s flagship store. Looking to get away after the Christmas rush? You can always go to this holiday travel destination to ring in the New Year at the world-famous Times Square.
2. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona has a certain vibe that only gets better during peak season. In true European style, we think you’ll enjoy your holidays sipping espresso, sampling tapas, and trading your heaps of holiday cookies for a big plate of paella.
Barcelona has no shortage of cultural sites to keep a holiday traveler busy. Our top picks include the spectacular Sagrada Familia, the Picasso Museum, Parc Guell, and exploring the old city in Barcelona on foot. The amazing architecture created by Gaudi doesn’t hurt either.
There is a bit of a misconception that Spain ‘shuts down’ during the holidays, but like any metropolitan city, Barcelona will have plenty to do even on Christmas Day. Make sure you grab your best shoes and most breathable socks for the flight and all that walking!
3. Montreal, Canada
Perhaps you’re seeking a European feel without European price tags. Montreal is widely known as a holiday travel destination with something for everyone. It’s not hard to get in the holiday spirit as you sled down a sure-to-be snow-covered Mont Royale with the locals. Although Montreal is located in a French-speaking part of Canada, most locals in Montreal are quite fluent in both of Canada’s languages and they speak English flawlessly, making it simple to navigate the city.
Beyond winter activities like the popular “Light Festival” and “Igloofest”, Montreal is a culinary lovers dream. Plan an Old City food tour or sample some seasonal ales on a Montreal Craft Beer Tour. Shop local retailers for some truly European styles and then treat yourself at the end of the day at Bota Bota Spa. View the Old City as you lounge in the hot tub to beat the winter blues.
4. Guadalajara, Mexico
Instead of booking an all-inclusive resort trip in Mexico, try Guadalajara – home of the mariachi band! A little more authentic than many tourist resorts in Mexico, the capital of Jalisco is full of modern hotel accommodations and is easily accessible on foot. Stay in the heart of the city and take in some live music in the Plaza de Armas or sample some street food at the Mercado. Guadalajara is a great holiday travel destination for families too: tour Lake Chapala by boat, and take the kids to the city’s zoo and aquarium.
We strongly recommend packing Cabeau’s favorite cozy blanket and seeking out a hotel with a balcony so that you can enjoy the cooler evening weather with a view. Guadalajara has the added bonus of being in close proximity to several Tequila distilleries. You can easily find day tours from the city and sample some of the world’s best brands.
5. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
If you have more time over the holidays and are willing to venture further afield, the weather in Vietnam is close to perfect in December. You won’t get much of a “festive” holiday vibe here, as that is reserved for the Lunar New Year, but you will be met with kindness and open arms. Locals are helpful and the food is spectacular, making Ho Chi Minh City a holiday travel destination well worth the trek.
Visit historical museums and sites and learn more about the Vietnam War with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels or the War Remnants Museum. Take in French colonial architecture as you visit the Saigon Opera House or the Historic Central Post Office. The highlight of the city might well be the flower market – bursting with bright yellows and oranges every time of year. Get ready for your long-haul flight and pack a travel pillow for a bit of extra comfort on board.
Book your tickets and get ready for adventure! Before you leave, shop Cabeau online and pick up some comfy accessories for the long-haul flight. How about a little bundle for the ultimate journey? Shop for some of these unique comfort items that are sure to come in handy no matter which holiday travel destination you choose.