Not in the mood for festive baking, singing and general jolly-making? Don’t feel like spending your holiday lighting apple-spice candles and being social 24/7? Fear not—there are plenty of holiday-appropriate destinations where you can relax and not feel like a Scrooge.
Just grab your passport, your travel insurance and your toothbrush and be on your merry way! If you are:
Traveling With Small Children
Go to: Disneyland
Yes, the holiday season is one of the busiest times of year, but crowds aside, this is a great time to visit. Why, you ask? Because it's the only time when the 15 Minutes of Torture—err...I mean the It’s a Small World ride—plays something other than its famous theme song. To break up the monotony, the creepy dolls also sing Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls. Go now.
Go to: Necker Island
Owned by Virgin mogul Sir Richard Branson, Necker Island is 82 acres of paradise. For a mere US$53,000 to $54,000 a day (according to Wikipedia, anyway), you too can enjoy the island’s all-inclusive lifestyle, complete with flamingos, tortoises, pristine beaches, swimming pools, kayaking, kitesurfing, snorkelling, waterskiing and all the champagne you can drink— all the while being pampered by 60 staff members.
A Last Minute Traveler
Go to: Your Computer
If you’re not picky about where you spend your holiday, head online to find great last minute deals. Airlines always need to fill seats! And who knows, you just might find your new favourite vacation spot.
A Surfer (or Want to Learn how to Surf)
Go to: Christmas Island
Christmas Island is probably most famous for being the site of nuclear testing in the 1950s, but it’s also a great surf spot during the northern hemisphere’s winter months. Its remote Pacific location ensures it's never crowded, and if you're a newbie, you'll have no trouble finding someone to teach you. Plus it’s called Christmas Island, which makes it a great place to visit during, you know, Christmas.
Allergic to Heat
Go to: Lapland, Finland
In Lapland, located in the far, far, far north of Finland, it snows 175 days to 225 days a year. The official tourist bureau also says that temperatures can plunge to -50 degrees Celsius and that sun doesn’t rise in the winter because the area is so far north. The perpetual dusk gives off a calming, bluish glow that you can only find north of the Arctic Circle. Lapland isn’t for everyone, but if you want to get in the true holiday spirit it’s a great place to go!
Looking for the True Santa Experience
Go to: the North Pole (the real one, not the town in Alaska)
To get to the North Pole, you can either hop on an ice-breaker or travel by air, followed by some walking. You probably won’t find Santa, but it’ll be one heck of a trip.
In Need of Pampering
Go to: The Bora Bora Hilton
With prices starting at around $500 per night and topping out at just over $1000 (I checked their website), the Bora Bora Hilton isn’t a budget-friendly destination, especially when you factor in the issue of getting there. But where else will you get to stay in an over-water hut with a glass floor? And enjoy a hilltop spa with babysitting services and spectacular 360-degree views of a tropical paradise?
In Need of Pampering But Don't Want to go into Debt
Go to: The Dead Sea
If you don’t want to fork over cash for frou-frou spa treatments and exquisite tropical scenery, head to the Dead Sea. For zero dollars (excluding flight), you can go for a swim, slather yourself in mud and treat a rainbow of ailments. You can also take a photo of yourself floating and reading a newspaper, which, after mud slathering, appears to be the most popular tourist activity.