What better way to spend the holidays than lounging in your favourite hammock in a warm, exotic destination? While a vacation is a bit pricier than buying gifts, these sometimes once in a lifetime opportunities are worth it for the experience.
Not only do you get to enjoy a break from the brutal winter weather, but you also get to experience a new world and culture. And with your loved ones by your side, you can still celebrate the holidays with family, just in a nicer, warmer, and more exciting setting.
So if you’re looking for a new way to experience the holidays, take the leap and make memories to last a lifetime with a trip to a sunny destination.
Escape the sleet, snow, and winter blues with these incredible holiday destinations that won't break the bank and that have something to offer for any type of traveller.
Travelling with loved ones during the holidays will create experiences that are much more meaningful than any material gift. And the memories of this trip will last a lifetime.
So, if you want to find a meaningful gift for those you love this Christmas, suggest taking a trip together instead of buying gifts.
Imagine ringing in the New Year on a beach or mountain top? We always hype up New Year’s Eve and strive to make it an epic night to remember. But there’s no better way to make for a memorable celebration than by spending the night in a whole new world.
Starting the New Year with trying new experiences, doing something you’ve never done before—like climbing an active volcano or zip-lining in a Costa Rican forest—is a great way to set the tone for the upcoming year.
Keep an eye out for last-minute travel deals. If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you’re sure to find some sweet deals out there, especially during the holidays.
Believe it or not, most people travel home for the holidays, not to exotic locations. So you’ll likely find some travel fares that are budget-friendly this time of year.
Ever wonder how people celebrate the holidays elsewhere in the world? While not all cultures celebrate Christmas, many do. And many cultures have their own holidays during the winter.
So, travelling to some far-off destination will let you experience a new culture and join in on their festivities.
For example, Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines celebrate Nochebuena (Christmas Eve), which is the Spanish word for “the Good Night” with feasts, and often a pig roast.
If you’re no longer dreaming of a white Christmas, and you need a break from the long, frigid winter, consider travelling to one of these international hot spots with your hammock in tow for fun in the warm sun and memorable adventures.
Belize has a renowned party scene, making this a fun destination to ring in the New Year. When you’re not indulging in tropical cocktails, you can explore the ancient Mayan Ruins, visit the Great Blue Hole, and snorkel in the beautiful turquoise water.
Image source: Discover Puerto Rico
With beautiful beaches all over, Puerto Rico is a great sun destination for a couple or the whole family. While you’re there, you can admire the Spanish colonial architecture of Old San Juan and take a tour of the Bacardi Rum factory to see how rum is made and learn how to mix a Piña Colada the right way.
Image source: Viator
Whether you want a resort vacation, or you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, St. Lucia offers Caribbean vacations for every type of traveller. St. Lucia has festivals, outdoor adventures, stunning views, and relaxing beaches. This means you can do as much or as little as you want while vacationing there.
Image source: Cris Young, Shutterstock
This sunny winter destination is not on everyone’s radar as a top sun destination, so it probably won’t be overrun with tourists, and it’s a lot more affordable to stay—around $40 a night.
Some of the best scuba diving and surf breaks in the country can be found in Bocas del Toro, an archipelago of nine tropical islands on the Caribbean coast. And if you venture through old town Panama City, you can take in the Spanish colonial architecture and orange-tiled roofs.
Image source: BlueOrange Studio, Shutterstock
Fortunately, many islands in the Bahamas were spared from the destruction of Hurricane Dorian. And many hotels and resorts are donating a portion of their revenues to support relief and rebuilding efforts on the islands that were impacted by the hurricane.
So, if you want to make your vacation more meaningful by helping those in need this holiday season, consider staying at one of these resorts or hotels that are helping out.
And with 700 islands off the coast of Florida, there are many wonderful islands to choose from that have something for everyone.
Image source: Paradise Adventours
While a popular tourist destination for snowbirds, the Dominican Republic is one of the most affordable sun destinations. This Caribbean island is filled with resorts and beach towns. It also has beautiful mountains and a private nature reserve and jungle park with lagoons and waterfalls.
Image source: saiko3p, iStock
Travelling to Thailand is relatively affordable. You can get by on around $40 a day in Bangkok. But expect to pay more if you’re planning to stay at resort-style accommodations.
Traveller’s tip: One of the cheapest and scenic ways to get around is by water taxi.
While in Bangkok, check out the historical sites, such as Chinatown, the Grand Palace, and the beautiful temples. And if you’re up for a party of a lifetime, then attending one of the world-renowned Full Moon Parties is a must.
Image source: Robin Runck, Dreamstime
Cambodia is another affordable and warm destination that is rich in culture and history with many historical sites, ruins, and archeological exhibits. It also has a diverse landscape, with mountains, low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, and the Gulf of Thailand coastline for some beach action.
Turks & Caicos
This group of Caribbean islands has world-class beaches and top-notch warm weather in the winter. Along with taking in the warm sun and the views of the ocean from the comfort of the beach, you can hit up a golf club, snorkel around the breathtaking reefs, and enjoy many of the luxury amenities these islands have to offer.
Image source: Gonzalo Azumendi, Getty Images
December is the start of the dry season in Costa Rica, so you can enjoy the beautiful weather instead of being soaked by torrential downpours. There are many fun adventures to be had in the stunning landscapes of Costa Rica. And there is no shortage of celebrations with the many local festivals that take place from January to March.
Image source: Konstik, 123RF
The early winter months are an ideal time to travel to the Galapagos Islands. The days are warm and sunny, the lush greenery is in bloom, and the water is cool enough to enjoy snorkelling. It’s also breeding season, which means you can catch a glimpse of the many diverse species that inhabit the region.
The scenery and landscape are also breathtaking and hike-worthy, with volcanoes and waterfront views.
Image source: Sean Pavone, Shutterstock
If a beach destination is what you’re after, then Antigua might be the place for you. With as many beaches as there are days in the year, there are almost unlimited beach options to choose from.
And if you want to indulge for the sake of the holidays, check out the Curtain Bluff—one of the most beloved properties on the island that offers gourmet meals, drinks, and suites.
Image source: Yu Ka, Wallpapertip
This Indonesian island is known for its yoga and meditation retreats, along with its beaches, coral reefs, forested volcanic mountains, and rice paddies. Whether you want to go on a quiet meditation vacation or hit up one of the popular resort towns for a festive atmosphere, this beautiful island is a great escape for the holidays.
Image source: Blue Planet Studio, Shutterstock
Vietnam is a very affordable travel destination to escape the winter cold. Not only is the food amazing, but there is a rich history, stunning architecture, and natural beauty to admire. Visit the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, check out the floating markets on the Mekong Delta, or get lost in the breathtaking views of Ha Long Bay.
Scattered throughout the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are a group of remote, unspoiled Islands located off the coast of Africa that are the perfect destination for a luxurious winter escape.
Due to their warm, tropical climate that lasts all year long, they Seychelles have earned the nickname “the land of perpetual summer.”
However, the consistently warm climate isn’t the only draw to these idyllic islands. Not by a long shot.
Known as the go-to honeymoon destination for A-list celebrities, the Seychelles are famous for their numerous pristine, uncrowded beaches – which are often ranked among the most beautiful and private beaches in the world – surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters, lush greenery, and spectacular rock formations. It’s safe to say that these islands are the true definition of island paradise.
This holiday season, treat yourself to an experience of a lifetime with a visit to a warm, exotic destination. Celebrate the holidays in a different culture, ring in the New Year in a new setting, and make lasting memories with those you love.
Also, don’t forget to bring your hammock! With a hammock in tow, you can vacation the right way, hanging in the warm breeze and forgetting about the cold winter weather back home.