Holiday Travel – Pros & Cons
By Anthony D. Adler
President & CEO – Member Travel
First there’s Thanksgiving, then Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years. If you have kids, Spring Break or Easter Vacation follows. To many people, these are the best times of the year for a resort or cruise vacation. To others, it is completely unthinkable to leave home over the holidays.
There is a certain comfort of being home with family on Thanksgiving, but we personally love to have traditional Thanksgiving dinners with our kids in untraditional places. Over the years, we have had amazing turkey at various hotels in Hawaii, Orlando and San Diego; on cruises to the Caribbean and Mexico; on the slopes of Whistler Mountain; and at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. One of the advantages — no choosing between my in-laws and my own extended family. By leaving town, we upset both sides of the family equally! Another advantage is that it is really nice to have someone else do all the cooking. Finally, we have enjoyed establishing our own tradition for Thanksgiving where we give thanks for all we have, but we try to do so in a different place each year. We also try to get an early start to our trips, departing on the Tuesday (or earlier) before Thanksgiving. The Wednesday traffic, even to the airport, can be just too aggravating!
Christmas, Hanukah, New Years and Easter frequently mean extra days off for employees. With the kids out of school, travel over this time period can be as easy for a family as traveling during the summer. Our clients book a fair amount of big family reunion trips over these holidays where people from various parts of the country get together at a single resort or on a ship. The downside to travel during the Christmas and New Years periods is that it is often more expensive due to the increased demand. Of course, we try to find our clients the best deals possible.
The spirit of the holidays can make travel even better. Everywhere my family has traveled over the holidays, people have been especially nice. Hotels have been extra accommodating. This sets the whole tone for the trip. When we went to Disney World during December a few years ago, we were welcomed by hotel clerks in holiday costumes. The decorations throughout the theme parks were incredible, and they were even roasting chestnuts in front of our hotel! Disney has a way of making everything magical. We’ve sent many happy vacationers to London over the holidays. While it can often be on the rainy side, we have had nothing but glowing reports from the Harrods shoppers. Getting rooms at the best hotels in Hawaii can be challenging, but we can usually make good things happen. Soaking up the sun in paradise can actually make for a very festive holiday!
Most cruise lines have cruises that are considered either Christmas or New Years cruises. Unpacking just once and seeing many places has a very strong appeal. Our most popular floating resorts during the holidays visit Mexico or the Caribbean. If you have some flexibility on when you travel, be aware that early December departures could save you a lot of money!
New Years in Las Vegas is over-the-top, as you would expect from Las Vegas. The city puts on an amazing fireworks show that is televised around the world. Be prepared for big crowds. If you are bothered by wall-to-wall people in various stages of intoxication, stay away from Vegas over New Years!
Here is a list of some of our favorite spots for the Holidays. We highly suggest you plan ahead, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas getaways.
The Best Holiday Vacations
- Disney World (great for families and Disney fanatics)
- A Princess, Oceania or Regent Seven Seas Cruise
- A week in London at either The Goring Hotel or The Dorchester.
- Hawaii. Spend a week on Maui or Kauai. We recommend the Grand Wailea, Four Seasons, and the Grand Hyatt Kauai.
- A romantic weekend in Monterey, California. Splurge and stay at The Inn at Spanish Bay.
- New Years in Las Vegas. (What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas!) Make sure you want to be around a lot of people before choosing this one.
- Several days at The One & Only Palmilla Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Be totally pampered in the spa!
Of course, those are just some of our choices. The more we travel, the bigger the list gets!
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