GETTING AWAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS? Celebrating on the Road by Virginia Haynes Montgomery

Celebrating on the Road

Folks who are not tied to family over the holidays may consider doing something different. For example, if you’re single, going to Africa can be a great adventure, even if you’re traveling solo. As a single parent, you could get way to an island for some bonding-time with your children in a sunny clime.   Or, it might be a romantic interlude with your significant other in a place like Paris.

Celebrating the holidays in style without your family may seem daunting. But think of the shopping crowds you won’t have to endure, the cooking elaborate meals, the endless parties. You can spend a stress-free holiday in a place you have always wanted to see. Or, return to a place you are particularly fond of. Keep your options open and have alternative plans. If a place you had decided upon doesn’t work out, go to your next desirable destination.

First thing is put your plan in action. When traveling, consider days around the holidays that most other people will not be traveling. As far as the airlines are concerned, if you fly on the holiday itself, your ticket will probably be less expensive and the plane will not be as full as it usually is. Leaving before everyone else and returning early works too. Don’t be afraid to think of different options.

Remember, it’s always nice to get or give a gift but the most wonderful thing you can give anybody – and that includes yourself – is a unique experience. Let’s examine a few different options for this year’s holiday getaway.

While many islands have been devastated from the hurricanes this fall, there are still islands that were not closed by the fall storms. One of these is Jamaica. A resort with a beach is hard to beat if you are from a northern clime. Jamaica has a wide range of options to fit all kinds of budgets and most will have some Christmas fun planned such as a decorated Christmas tree in the lobby or a visit from Santa Claus.

While many hotels and resorts are closed in Italy in winter, you can find a few open. And if they are, they will have something special planned for Christmas like a special Christmas feast. If you’re staying at a hotel or a villa, you can request a Christmas tree, all decorated, in your private space. Many hotels do not charge for this service. It provides a good Christmas atmosphere and you don’t have the chore or putting the tree up, decorating, or taking it down.

What could be more wonderful than spending the holidays in the City of Light? Paris is especially magical on New Year’s Eve. If your family is with you, consider renting a private room in your hotel or a restaurant for a small event. You don’t have to worry about disturbing other people as you blow your horns or make other noise to welcome in the New Year. That’s easy to do in Paris. The South of France is another wonderful option. Driving through the villages and towns takes you back in time and give you a warm, nostalgic feeling.

If you’re in a mood for something exotic, think about Zambia and its highlight – Victoria Falls. The town of Livingstone in this southern African nation has many hotels and lodges who will go all out for the holidays. Even if you are traveling solo, you will feel cared for. Game drives during the day where you will see exotic animals. There is much singing of carols and joyous celebrations in the evening. The meals will be lengthy and delicious with animated conversation and you will wonder why you did not come here before.

One of the best things about anywhere in South America is that even though it is a very long flight to get to your destination, you most likely will not have jet lag because we are all in the same, or close to the same, time zone. Buenos Aires is one of the great cities of the world with many parks and wide boulevards. The Recoleta Cemetery is a must see. It is like a beautiful park on its own with some very famous people buried there. Visit some incredible museums. Take some tango lessons and then watch a professional tango show. Visit an estancia for the day or for an overnight where you will experience some of Argentina’s rich history.


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