World Travel News – As travel becomes more popular, and the world continues to shrink, travel opportunities become cheaper, and more prevalent. Many people choose to spend their holidays abroad to see the world and leave their old traditional routines behind. Why not spend an otherwise cold and snowy Christmas on a beach of glistening white sand in 80 degree weather, or tasting an exotic dish during your holiday instead of the boring old turkey and mashed potatoes?
Many people have started taking off for exotic places instead of having the same boring holiday with aunts, uncles, and cousins who otherwise ruin your time off and are only invited because of an old fashioned sense of obligation? Well, if this intrigues you, you are not alone. Multitudes of people have discovered the joys of selfishness throughout the holiday season. This is why numerous world travel websites have sprung up all over the internet.
Some of the most popular destinations for the holidays are New York City. The tree at Rockefeller Center is almost certainly the world’s most famous Christmas tree and nothing beats carriage rides through Central Park. There are elaborate department store displays (such as the spectacle of Macy’s annual Santa land display) and furthermore, there is an opportunity to go ice skating in Central Park. There are unique discoveries of international gifts at multitudes of stores and don’t forget to experience the amazing toys of FAO Schwartz.
The Puerto Rican holiday gets going early in December, and continues well after the 25th to have a six week holiday celebration filled with food, family and parties. There is a delicious alcoholic beverage similar to eggnog called coquito, a rum and coconut-based drink. Stay in Old San Juan and make sure to enjoy the seasonal Puerto Rican holiday food, such as the meat and spice-filled pastries known as pasteles, or pernil, a seasoned, baked pork shoulder that’s on almost every table. Visit the surfer’s paradise of Rincon while you’re there.
Amsterdam, Nederlands is the country where Santa Claus himself was born. The Dutch Christmas celebration has Sinterklaas arriving on December 5 to bring all of the good children gifts and Christmas being celebrated on the 25th, a time reserved for family and close friends. The city will greet you with white lights everywhere you look and reflections from the city’s canals. Perhaps you will be lucky to see the temperature drop enough to turn the canals into a scenic sheet of ice.
Australia, Bondi Beach, just four miles outside of Sydney, is a famous beach lover’s destination which appears to be more like spring break than winter break. Every year on December 25th, the beach turns into one big Christmas party, with festive trees in the sand, surfers wearing Santa hats and suits, live music and more. For people who want to party at Christmas while getting your tan on, this is the beach to be at.
Orlando, FL Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins Nov. 8. The after-hours, extra-ticket event at Magic Kingdom features a special parade that includes a stimulation of all the senses. There are floats with the loved Disney characters in different scenes for your eyes to feast upon, sounds of songs of the seasons, and smells that go with each float to make your mouth water for gingerbread cookies fresh out of the oven. There is a spectacular fireworks display where Mickey himself appears in the sky, plus hot chocolate and fresh cookie stations set up around the park to have a quick snack and warm yourself up which is included in the ticket price and faux snow flurries on Main Street USA.
In Nuremberg, Germany Christmas is synonymous with Christkindlesmarkt, which means only one thing-holiday shopping. Germany’s mega-market is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, drawing two million visitors every year and occupying Nuremberg’s central square area for the entirety of the Advent season. With its rich history dating back to the Middle Ages, a visit to the Christkindlesmarkt is like stepping back in time. The smell of fresh gingerbread and fruitcake fills the air.
Aspen, Colorado Whoever coined the term “Winter Wonderland” was probably imagining something very much like Aspen, Colorado at Christmastime. Peacefully nestled amid a trio of snowy mountains, Aspen is the perfect spot for those who enjoy a traditional winter scene for the holidays. This snowy city hosts the 12 Days of Aspen, a holiday celebration from December 20th through New Year’s Eve, which includes a variety of activities such as restaurant deals to concerts and ice-staking. With its four world-class ski resorts, acres of white-powdered aspen trees and upscale shopping options, Aspen is a prime destination for lovers of a white Christmas.
Lapland in Finland is the ideal destination for the holiday traveler who wants to go back in time as when they were a child writing letters to Santa at the North Pole. Now you can visit Santa at home. Lapland is the closest you’re likely to get to the North Pole you imagined as a kid, and that makes it one of Finland’s busiest tourist destinations. Visitors of Lapland will want to get tickets to at least one of the theme parks: Santa Claus Village and Santa Park. These parks have a complete staff in elf costumes and offer reindeer sled rides. The real draw to these parks is Father Christmas himself, who will even meet privately with families who have made a reservation.
The possibilities for travelling during the holidays are endless. You just need to decide where you want to go soon as flight and hotel prices are increasing each day as they get booked and the holidays get closer.
By Stacey Dunahay