It can be too easy to think of winter vacation ideas as “anything to get away from the cold.” However, that could be a big mistake. Why? Because some of the best places to travel in December may be snowier and colder than in other areas. As a prime example, you might think of a journey to France or Switzerland as the best way to enjoy a glorious summer holiday. However, what about paying a visit to some of the world-class skiing areas that are found within these countries.
Consider that one of the best winter vacations is a ski vacation, and even better when it is in one of the luxury rentals found in Austria, France, or Switzerland. Places like Verbier, Chamonix, Courchevel, and Val D’Isere are at their very bests during the winter season, making them some of the very best vacation spots in December.
Naturally, a majority of winter vacation ideas are not in cold and snow-covered landscapes but tropical, warm, and sunny locals. These make for the ideal winter getaways and the best December vacations. Where should you turn if you are looking for some winter vacation ideas for the coming season?
Popular Spots for December Vacations
There are a few important factors to consider as you think about December vacations. They include:
- It is a traditional holiday season and so some locations may be much busier as schools and some businesses close, on the other hand, some areas may be less crowded because of the holidays
- It is not “peak” season, but “shoulder” season in some areas, meaning you will enjoy near-peak season conditions, but far fewer tourists and fellow travelers
- There can be some challenges due to weather, and so it is best to consider if your area may lead to delays or even canceled flights, and book accordingly
These details don’t narrow down the options or limit your winter vacation ideas. Instead, they make you a bit more aware of your risks of running into crowds or challenging travel times. The list above also lets you know that you might find some areas ideal for a winter vacation because of their “shoulder season” status.
For example, Costa Rica consistently ranks as one of the best places to vacation in December because that is the area’s shoulder season. The rainy season has usually come to an end, but none of the annual flood of travelers will have arrived. It is possible to find premium and luxurious villas, enjoy destinations almost entirely to yourself, and yet find every shop, restaurant or destination open for business.
Other Excellent Winter Vacation Ideas
One of the top winter vacation spots for decades has been Jamaica. Known for being reasonably priced to any budget, it is also a great spot for outdoor activities, reliable weather, and thinner crowds in December. It remains one of the best places to travel in winter long after the turn of the year, though, and when visiting and booking a private villa, it will make for a fantastic retreat from the winter weather.
The Riviera Maya or Mayan Riviera region of Mexico is another of the top places to go in winter. Offering up amazing weather, it is also a fascinating part of the country. You can spend time in the Playa del Carmen area where the beaches are some of the finest and the waters remarkably calm. Nearby is the island of Conzumel, and just south is the town of Tulum. This is often described as one of the best December vacation ideas for families, fans of luxury, and those who enjoy a unique array of activities. Why? It is home to authentic Mayan ruins sitting on dramatic cliffs above the white sands below. There are also cenotes in the region (amazing natural pools that were formed when caves collapsed), lots of excellent boutiques and shops, and natural beauty that includes jungle tours, sea turtle watching, and more.
The Dominican Republic is also appearing on any list of the best place for winter vacation, but many forget about the remarkable Punta Cana area. With some of the best beaches in the entire region, it is home to a large nature reserve, world-class golfing, excellent hiking, several museums, and lots of luxury rentals.
Lots of travelers in the U.S. point to domestic spots like sunny San Diego, California. Here visitors can enjoy time at SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo or savor the delights of year-round warm waters and ocean swimming. There are excellent beaches, lots of shopping, and winter is a perfect time to see whales beginning their migrations. Florida has a lot of destinations that attract winter travelers, including Orlando and its many amusement parks. Each of these regions is home to luxury villas that give a home-like setting to travelers – whether they are solo, couples, groups or families.
And while much of Europe has colder conditions for the winter months, some parts have warm and welcoming conditions almost all year long. Sardinia in Italy, many of the Greek Islands, and parts of southern France, Italy and Spain may also be great spots to get away from the cold and blustery winter season. While these areas will not yet be in their full spring or summer glory, a winter visit to Mallorca or Barcelona, or some time on one of the Greek isles is sure to be a welcome break.
The Caribbean Stands Apart
Of course, most experienced travelers know that the Caribbean is one of the best winter vacation spots. This is because their location gives them excellent weather almost all year round. The most turbulent weather peaks in November, and so a December or later winter visit is a great idea.
Whether it is one of the many luxurious rentals available on Anguilla, Antigua, the BVIs, Cayman Islands, Dominica, the DR, Nevis, St Lucia, or one of the excellent Turks and Caicos rentals or one of the Barbados luxury rentals, it is sure to please. With great locations, typically within the popular towns or just a short distance away, as well as world-class amenities, they are destinations in their own right.
Some of the very best of the villas in the Caribbean can also be chosen for winter holidays and will allow you to book with a full household staff. Perhaps this is the year your entire family will spend the New Year in a tropical setting? Maybe it is the year you will take that ski vacation in the Alps? The good news is that there are excellent vacation ideas and lots of spots to bring them to life. Plan now and enjoy an unforgettable getaway this winter.