Whether it’s time away for Christmas with the family or a New Year’s beach blow-out, ’tis the season to travel and be merry!
There’s a reason why the country-wide greeting – and national tagline – of Costa Rica is Pura Vida (pure life). Once you visit this incredible place that’s the perfect combination of adrenaline and natural beauty, the people, the attitude and the scenery will make you want to keep on coming back for more. With several different micro climates that extend from the Caribbean coastline all the way to the Pacific, there’s a wealth of areas worth visiting, each with something completely different to offer. There’s the country’s nine volcanoes and the jungly cloud forests, the popular surf towns of the Pacific coast and the laid-back beaches of the less touristy Caribbean coast, not to mention the countless waterfalls, lakes, rivers and hot springs, plus biking, hoseback riding, hiking, ziplining… need we say more? Although this small country can be driven from coast to coast in a day, it will take a lifetime to explore. So make the most of what’s left of 2016 and take the Tico plunge!
Where to stay in Costa Rica
Paris is a city that needs no introduction. With its picturesque streets and romantic bistros not to mention the Eiffel Tower, Luxembourg Gardens or the Louvre, the list of defining Parisian elements and landmarks goes on forever. That being said, take everything you think you love about this city and add an air of celebration in every arrondissement, gorgeous lights strung on every monument and lavish decorations on every street, a slight winter chill that only a glass of vin chaud will cure, plus all the delicious festive food and pastries you can imagine, and you’ve got yourself Christmas in Paris. An essential part of this time of year is also the famous Christmas markets which can be found all across the city including the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, La Défense, Montparnasse and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Made up of a series of wooden chalets that sell everything from food to decorations to gifts, it’s the perfect place to get in the festive spirit. If you’ve never spent the holidays in the City of Lights, you’ll discover that Paris is a place that does it right.
Where to stay in Paris
The medieval town of Kitzbühel in the heart of the Tyrol has the reputation of being the most beautiful ski town in all of Europe. With the town center protected by old city walls against the stunning backdrop of the Wilder Kaiser Mountains, these ancient streets are filled with high-end designer stores, renowned restaurants and ritzy cafes. Add the great slopes and Kitzbühel is the ideal December destination. Skiing has been a popular sport here since 1893 and this vast area has 209 km of trails and 52 lifts with three separate ski areas (the Hahnenkamm – home to the Streif downhill race, the Kitzbüheler Horn, and Bichlalm) to give holidaymakers plenty of choice. For snowboarders, the DC Snowpark at Resterhöhe has jumps that are constantly being upgraded and attracts top freestylers from all over Europe. Kitzbühel is also the king of après-ski in the region, with a fiery nightlife that will have you sleeping well into the day (or wishing you had). The Londoner offers a quintessential British pub experience – rowdy drinking and all, while the Highways Music Bar does themed events with live music (think: salsa night). And if you’re looking for where all the jetsetters like to sip bubbles and unwind, it’s probably in the VIP section of Club Take Five.
Where to stay in Kitzbühel
Thailand is one of the most spectacular countries in the world, no question. From the mountainous regions in the North, to the incredible beaches of the South, the landscapes, culture, food, and people all make traveling here an unforgettable (and totally worthwhile) experience. And December’s perfect, sunny, warm weather means there’s no better time to make the trek to this top Southeast Asian destination, especially just in time for the New Year. Ring in 2017 in the nation’s vibrant, buzzy capital city, Bangkok, and make your way from restaurant to bar, night market to street vendor via tuk-tuk (motorized rickshaw), the cheapest and most readily available mode of transportation, to experience the city’s sights, smells and colors. Or, for a more serene celebration, head to an island destination like Koh Samui or Phuket and enjoy dinner on the beach with your feet planted in the sand, a cheeky Chang beer in hand, and the freshest, best grilled seafood feast on your plate, as you watch the sunset over the calm turquoise waters. The start of 2017 never looked, felt or tasted so good.
Where to stay in Thailand