Festive Travel has become even more popular as the world returns to travel. With the holiday season upon us, many travelers will head home to celebrate with family. But some holiday destinations are magnificent enough to make you change your routine for one year and check off a bucket-list experience or two! So what is Festive Traveling? It's traveling to a new destination during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or the New Year's holiday.
So if you're looking for something new this holiday season, why not try it? Choose a tropical spot or a winter wonderland; there are endless possibilities for holiday travel. Our top three destinations are a step above the rest. Learn why New York, St. Lucia, and London should be at the top of your Christmas getaway list.
New York, New York
So Why is New York first? Their famous New York Thanksgiving Parade, of course! Even if you have visited New York before, many people have the parade at Thanksgiving on their bucket list. The parade is famous for playing on TV while mom, dad, or grandparents cook the Thanksgiving turkey or prepare for the family's traditional Thanksgiving meal. Kids watch the New York Parade on TV and smell the food bake while playing games and seeing relatives from out of town. But have you ever visited in person before? Why not experience it in person at least once in your lifetime? And Ohhh, let's not forget Black Friday Sales to follow in all the great shops in New York!
But if you'd prefer to stay home for Thanksgiving and watch football or relax on the couch, New York can wait until the next festive holiday New Year's Eve. You can plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip to count down the world's largest crystal ball drop at midnight!
Planning Tip: We suggest booking hotels and flights at least ten months in advance to get the best pricing.
Where to stay in New York City: InterContinental New York Barclay.
The Barclay is conveniently located directly above the railroad tracks, permitting the hotel the unique distinction of having its platform to the train in the basement. The hotel is ideal for the upscale rail traveler who occasionally arrives by private train car. In addition to its Midtown East location, the hotel made an immediate impact with tenants and critics alike for its characteristic atmosphere of comfort and elegant domesticity. Click here to learn more!
Soufrière, Saint Lucia
As Christmas approaches, with homes decorated with red flaming poinsettias, Christmas lights, and soft melodious sounds of Christmas carols, you may dream of a perfect Christmas vacation on a white sandy beach. What if you visit St. Lucia for the festive Christmas holiday with your family?
In St. Lucia, the only difference might be the Christmas music has a Caribbean sound of a steel drum band. The music on the island is never ending, with Christmas parties everywhere. St. Lucia has many Christmas traditions, but the three most common are St. Lucian Black Cake, the Sorrel drink, and Bamboo bursting.
St. Lucian Black Cake
Nothing speaks of Christmas to St. Lucia like a slice of black cake. It's a mixture of nuts, ginger, raisins, prunes, cherries, and a variety of either dried or fresh fruits soaked in wine and rum for many months. An annual competition is to select the most delicious St. Lucian Black Cake. Beware of the alcohol content!!
Do you have any sorrel? Is the first question locals ask as they travel "House to House" at Christmas? It's a tradition to visit the homes of family and friends throughout the festive season and share a glass with or without alcohol. The drink is made from the blooms of the sorrel plant and spiced up with cloves, nutmeg, and sugar to taste.
The cultural tradition handed down by our ancestors of bamboo bursting starts in late November. In the evenings, the exceptional sounds of "bamboo bursting" heralds the Christmas season. A hollowed-out bamboo stalk, some kerosene, and a zealous individual blowing through a hole in the bamboo create a loud cannon sound throughout the community.
Planning Tip: The St. Lucia Minibus System is perfect for visitors looking to navigate the island like a local (and enjoy a cruise with a view). Alternatively, car rentals are available, and taxis are plentiful on the island.
Where to stay in St. Lucia: Winner of the Travel + Leisure "World's Best Award" and ranked among the Caribbean's top resorts by Condé Nast Traveler, Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, has a lush rainforest setting, shimmering white sands, and emerald gardens, not to mention its views of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Pitons. The resort is spread across approximately 100 acres and exudes a timeless colonial charm, with four-poster beds, clawfoot baths, and butler service in its luxurious accommodations. The villas feature private patios and plunge pools. Water sports are plentiful, and the spa is otherworldly. The luxurious Sugar Beach Viceroy has a full lineup of festive activities for you during the holidays. Click here to learn more!
London, United Kingdom
There is something special about Europe all year, especially around the holidays. Christmas in London starts in November when the Christmas lights appear across the city. Most Christmas events even last until early January. From Christmas markets and shopping in London to ice-skating rinks, there are so many magical things to do in London at Christmas.
Planning Tip: The weather in fall and winter in London is hit or miss. It can be cold and windy one minute and sunny the next, so pack layers of clothing for both situations and take an umbrella.
Where to stay in London: The Lanesborough Hotel has a unique theme, from the gorgeous decorations to having an in-house shopper from Harvey Nichols or your room decorated for the holidays. Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park are steps from the hotel. The Lanesborough offers guests complimentary, around-the-clock butlers to attend to every need. The hotel celebrates modern British cuisine in a reimagined flagship restaurant & home to Executive Chef Shay Cooper. The chef focuses on seasonal produce from around the country. The Library Bar offers a vibrant ambiance and spectacular mixology. The Lanesborough Club & Spa is one of London's most exclusive private fitness and health clubs, offering hotel guests access to internationally recognized fitness, beauty, and wellness experts.
These are just but just a few options for different festive travel ideas. If you are thinking about holiday travel, click this link to get started.