Tired of the same old holiday routine at home? It might be time to take Christmas to a new destination this year!
The holidays are just around the corner, and there are plenty of new and undiscovered things to see around the world — no matter what you’re celebrating.
For the festive traveler, find the best places to spend Christmas in Europe with beautiful scenery and holiday activities. Or if you’re looking to escape the cold, go for a relaxing beach getaway in a new country.
A bit of a foodie? Skip the turkey dinner and indulge in unique and delicious international cuisine.
Shake up your festivities this holidays season with these 5 little-known holiday destinations.
What’s more enchanting than seeing the entire sky light up during the holiday season?
Iceland is known for its stunning scenery, relaxing atmosphere, and, of course, the world-famous northern lights. From late September to early March, you can enjoy seeing vibrant greens, blues, and purples light up the night sky at night.
If you’re looking for an upscale celebration, spend the night in The 5 Million Star Hotel — a bubble that allows you to see the whole sky right from your room!
You can also enjoy relaxing spa days in any of their many geothermal pools, like The Blue Lagoon, which offers luxury masks for your skin and a bar you can swim right up to.
Hikers will be quite spoiled in this country, as Iceland offers some of the most breathtaking trails, lava fields, and hidden ice caves in the world.
For American and English travelers, Iceland is ideal, as Icelanders speak plenty of English (as well as Dutch, French, and more) — and many are happy to give directions and recommendations.
To get to Iceland, you’ll need proof of a COVID-19 vaccine as well as a negative test result 72 hours before your arrival.
Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK
You likely wouldn’t think twice about this little archipelago off the northern tip of the UK for a holiday travel destination — but you should!
This hidden travel spot has over 100 scenic islands, only 15 of which are inhabited.
Shetland offers a surprisingly remote foodie paradise. Full of top-notch chefs and fresh seafood like haddock, mussels, crab, and more, you’ll never be disappointed by a holiday meal while you’re here.
They also have a wealth of cultural museums and historic sites where you can learn all about this island’s folk tales and history.
Go ahead and nerd out at the Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement with its hidden archeological site. For the avid conservationist, this is a special place to view animals in their element — whales and dolphins flood the sea and adorable puffins roam around near the coast.
Artists and crafters can enjoy The Shetland Christmas Craft Fair from October through December for art exhibitions and unique crafts that will make excellent gifts to take home for anyone on your holiday list.
Depending on which country you’re traveling from, you may need to self-isolate, submit a negative test, or show proof of vaccination.
The Canary Islands
If you’re looking for the best unknown Christmas vacation spots, you’ve hit the jackpot with this stunning array of volcanic isles off the coast of northwestern Africa.
Indulge in touristy Tenerife for a day, then escape to La Palma for a locals-only feel. There you’ll find meandering coasts and a charming town hall made of volcanic rock.
Even lesser known is the island El Hierro, which is the world’s first sustainable and self-sufficient island. Using their trade winds and waterfalls as the main source of energy, this tiny island reduces CO2 emissions while using 100% renewable energy.
If you’re traveling from outside Europe, you’ll need to fill out a form and have either proof of vaccination or a negative test result to visit.
The Amazon Rainforest, South America
Eco-conscious travelers will understand the allure of this beautiful holiday travel location. If you’re into responsible and sustainable travel (and why wouldn’t you be?), this is a great place to spend your holiday.
The almighty Amazon rainforest stretches across Brazil into Peru, Columbia, and other areas of South America. It remains the largest tropical rainforest in the world, and is home to over 10% of the world’s animal and plant species.
If you feel like splurging on accommodations, you can hop on the Aqua Nerva, a boat with luxurious cabins that will float you down the Amazon.
To make a difference on your Christmas trip, you can even volunteer with local nonprofits to protect the rainforest's natural beauty, exotic wildlife, and more.
Many of the countries in South America are open to travel with a negative test result required before getting on the plane.
The Berkshires, USA
Trade the Hamptons for this low-key alternative — just a 3-hour drive from New York and Boston.
It’s best to go in the autumn to get your fill of New England’s best fall foliage, or later in the winter when the town is lit up in Christmas lights.
While in town, take a trip to Herman Melville’s museum. Even if you’ve never read the famous novel Moby Dick, you’ll still learn loads at this cultural site.
The Berkshire Botanical Gardens can’t be missed on a holiday trip. You can tour the gardens and learn all about the many flowers and plant species in full bloom.
If you’re a dancer (or simply enjoy watching skilled dancers), make sure to stop at Jacob’s Pillow for their many dance festivals and interactive art programs.
If you’re an American or are visiting the U.S. already, be sure to bring your mask and follow local health guidelines at restaurants and venues while you’re there.
Travel Safe This Holiday Season
You don’t have time to worry about keeping your things secure when you’re exploring the world this holiday season.
Digging to the bottom of your bag to find your passport or snagging a zipper are a thing of the past. While you’re globe-trotting and adventure seeking, you need a bag that keeps up with you and keeps your things safe.
That’s why we make our women’s travel bags durable and sustainable so you can pack up and explore the world (while looking great in the process!)