For travelers that aren’t visiting family at a set destination during the holidays, it is often difficult to pick a destination. The weather is a key consideration for many travelers, with many desperate for warmer beaches, and some content with snow and a nice fireplace. This article will offer some expert advice to help people pick the best destination for them, not just point out the trendiest or cheapest locales.
- choose a destination that fits your particular needs
- consider big cities
- think about Sin City
- look into visiting one of the nation’s National Parks
- consider what your kids will do
- ignore travel warning signs
- avoid certain destinations
- forget about alternative warm weather destinations
- ignore how long it takes to reach your destination
- pick a destination that simply costs too much money
Don’t just follow the crowds and head to warmer beaches if that is not really your style. If you embrace the cold, then consider a mountain retreat in Colorado or Montana. Cities such as Seattle and San Francisco are ideal for travelers coming from southern states that don’t want snow but still want to have warm meals, good coffee, and exciting cultural attractions. Your vacation time and resources are limited, so be sure you do what you want.
Cities such as New York and Chicago can be blistering cold during the holidays but that doesn't mean they aren't fun. Both can be magical during the winter, especially if there is snow on the ground. A warm and cozy Central Park carriage ride can be a great way to spend an afternoon. Such cities are often available at a significant discount during this time. Be flexible with your travel dates to find the best deals.
Las Vegas hotel rooms can be incredibly cheap during the holidays (except for New Year’s). Even five-star rooms can be had for around $100. Despite its reputation, it can get quite cold in Las Vegas during the winter, so do pack appropriately.
Parks such as Yellowstone can be unbearably crowded during the summer. If road conditions permit, the winter can be a great time to visit many national parks. Enjoy the solitude of nature and gain an appreciation for the parks without maneuvering around RV’s and impatient drivers.
Once you’re a parent, the focus of a vacation usually changes. Make sure your destination has enough attractions to interest the little ones. You might want to explore modern art museums all day, but you’ll be miserable if you don’t mix in some fun activities for the kids. Something physical is always good, as tired kids are easier to put to bed in unfamiliar surroundings.
Be proactive in your travel planning and avoid delays. Keep an eye on the weather and try to make flight plans before you leave. If a major snow storm is headed through Detroit, and you have a connection there, then it might be worth the change fees to alter your flight. Or you could even be one of the first to get a free change if the airline determines that delays are inevitable.
To avoid the crowds, consider destinations such as Washington D.C. During the summer months you have to rub elbows with many other people just to get into the Smithsonian or to get a good shot of the Washington Monument. Many of D.C.’s best attractions are indoors, so it doesn't really matter if you can’t wear t-shirts and shorts.
If your heart is set on sunnier skies, but you don’t want the crowds, then consider destinations that aren't at the top of everyone else’s list. Fort Myers, Newport Beach, Santa Barbara, and the Big Island of Hawaii are all top-notch destinations that offer abundant sunshine without hordes of people. Each destination is also big enough to offer accommodations for nearly any budget.
Think about how much time you have for the vacation and then judge if your destination is simply too far away. If you only have six days, then going all the way to Fiji is not likely your best choice. Very long flights and the International Data Line mean that by the time you adjust to the time, you’re boarding your return flight. If you only have three to four days, then look to closer destinations where you aren't eliminating two entire days just for travel.
Some locales such as London or Geneva can be very enjoyable during the holidays, but they are expensive. If your budget is mainly taken up by the flights and you can’t indulge yourself at your destination, then you should consider more reasonable trips.
Travel is a personal decision, and choosing the best holiday destination should be determined by what you want to do. Envision in your head the perfect vacation, keep in mind these expert tips, and book a destination to the perfect spot.