The holiday season is upon us, so many travelers will soon be taking to the roads and skies. According to new data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, nearly 47% of Americans will be traveling this holiday season.
Unfortunately, more demand equals higher prices and busier destinations. In fact, new Priceline data revealed that Thanksgiving and Christmas travel are on track to be the most expensive year to travel (inflation, jet fuel prices).
Domestic flight prices increased 35%, international flight prices increased 44%, and hotel prices increased 11%.
Don’t worry though.
If you’re strategic with your reservations, you might get some savings. For example, Priceline’s data also shows that the cheapest days for airfare in the next three months will be the first five days of December.
You can also find low-cost flights and discounts by traveling two to five days before or after each holiday. Plus, there are still plenty of less-requested destinations to visit if you want to warm up or get into the Christmas spirit around the world.
Of course, as COVID-19 and other respiratory infections like RSV are on the rise, it’s important to read the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and consider getting the new booster shot for added protection. .
So where should you go? Here are the eight best TPG places to visit in December.
While Dubrovnik is primarily known as a summer destination, the destination is ideal to visit in winter due to fewer tourists, mild climate, and local festivities.
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After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the 9th Dubrovnik Winter Festival returns with rich musical entertainment, foodie celebrations, children’s activities and more. During the festival, travelers can immerse themselves in rich cultural entertainment while enjoying almost exclusively the old town. Festive activities include live music, ice skating, art workshops, and reading traditional crafts made by local artisans.
TPG Tip: Stay at the Excelsior Hotel for approximately 13,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($198) per night. The iconic hotel overlooks the Adriatic and the old town and is just half a mile from the Christmas Market. It also offers special holiday offers for guests with reduced rates and charming Christmas decorations.
Related: The cheapest ways to get to Croatia using points and miles
In December, Belize boasts long sunny days, 80 degree temperatures, and lots of Christmas cheer.
Like many other destinations, the country gets into a warm Christmas spirit during December. The aroma of traditional Belizean black fruit cake fills the air, rum popo (a drink similar to eggnog) flows freely, and people generally seem more cheerful as they prepare for Christmas in Belize.
Festival traditions include the San Pedro Lighted Boat Parade, the Wanaragua Jankunu Festival, and the Deer Dance Festival. Also, the diving and snorkeling along the Belize Barrier Reef is epic since it is the dry season.
Access to Belize from major US cities via numerous airlines and non-stop flight options make it a hassle-free travel destination. It is also the only English-speaking country in the region where the US dollar is widely accepted at the favorable exchange rate of 2 Belize dollars to $1.
TPG Tip: Reserve a room at the stunning Alaia Belize Autograph Collection, where you can score an Ocean Vista Studio for as low as 47,000 Marriott Bonvoy points ($342) per night. Upgrade to a two-bedroom suite for just 91,000 points per night.
Related: 9 New Caribbean Resorts From Barbados to Belize You Must Visit
Zurich is the quintessential winter wonderland for vacations. The city is decked out in vintage decorations and lights, plus it has several traditional European Christmas markets, fondue chalets, as well as traditional events like the candlelight bath on the Bürkliplatz town square and the fairytale Märlitram tram.
A highlight is the Christkindlimarkt at Zurich’s main station, one of the largest covered Christmas markets in Europe, boasting 140 stalls. You also can’t miss the 32-foot-tall Christmas tree decorated with thousands of sparkling Swarovski crystals.
TPG Tip: This year, travelers can stay at the exclusive Hotel Noel, a pop-up experience running from November 24 to December 24. 26, 2022, with 10 rooms in 10 hotels individually designed by different artists, reflecting creative contemporary interpretations of the holiday season.
Participating hotels include Hyatt Place ($269 per night or 15,000 World of Hyatt points) and the modern B2 Boutique Hotel, with rooms transformed by artists selected for the broad spectrum and diversity of their work.
The Vegas, Nevada
While you may not get the desert heat that makes Las Vegas pool parties so popular, you can still enjoy temperatures in the pleasant 60s in December. Cooler temperatures allow you to enjoy all the activities the bustling city has to offer without the crowds or sweating.
The month also marks the iconic Las Vegas Bowl, which college football fans will probably love. All hotels get into the holiday spirit with over-the-top decorations like Bellagio’s massive Christmas-themed displays.
Also, according to new Priceline data, Las Vegas is the most affordable top domestic destination in December, both for round-trip airfare ($303.29) and average nightly room rate ($132.95).
TPG Tip: Stay the night at the all-suite Palace At The Venetian Resort Las Vegas for 24,000 IHG Rewards points per night or $119. The hotel has a spa, top-notch restaurants, a perfect location on The Strip, and huge rooms.
San Diego, California
San Diego is a perfect choice if you’re looking for somewhere warm and sunny, but want to avoid booking a trip to the busy Caribbean.
You can still enjoy beach days with temperatures nearing 70 degrees without dealing with the summer crowds. There are also fun Christmas festivities to get involved in. Enjoy the Snow N Glow Festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds from December 8 to January 1. January 1, 2023. Sip hot cocoa while enjoying the festive light displays, or rent a private party igloo for you and your loved ones.
TPG Tip: Guests staying at Andaz San Diego can enjoy dining at The Rooftop by STK and STK Steakhouse, as well as parties by the rooftop pool. Enjoy views of downtown while working out in the rooftop gym. That’s all from 15,000 World of Hyatt points or $465 per night.
Related: The 15 Best Things to Do in San Diego
Quebec City, Canada
Québec City in December is simply magical. During that time, the annual German Christmas Market (November 24 to December 23) features traditionally handcrafted wooden booths covered in lights filled with local produce, Christmas music, performances, and more in historic Old Quebec.
For foodies, Le Grand Marché, the town’s massive food hall, has its own Christmas market offering over 1,000 local products throughout December. You can also warm up at famous museums like La Citadelle de Québec and other attractions like the Observatoire de la Capitale that offer 360-degree views of the city.
TPG Tip: Official Christmas Market Partner, the completely renovated Hilton Québec offers spectacular views for $230 per night or 49,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
Sunny and 75? That’s what December in Bermuda offers visitors looking for an escape from the freezing temperatures and snow in many parts of the US.
In addition to pleasant weather, the month is full of celebrations. For example, the City Christmas Boat Parade graces Hamilton Harbor each December, filling the water with twinkling lights.
Additionally, Bermuda is served by non-stop flights of less than three hours from major source markets like New York (it’s only a 90-minute flight), Boston, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Miami, and Atlanta.
TPG Tip: Splurge with a stay at the St. Regis Bermuda Resort, overlooking St. Catherine Beach. Reserve this Category 8 property available from 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night right now; cash fares typically start at $735.
Related: Have you booked your vacation trip yet? Here are the best cards to make your trips more comfortable
The Big Apple appears frequently on this list thanks to all it has to offer each season. However, New York City is particularly charming in December.
The city shows its holiday spirit with elaborate window displays at well-known department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Barney’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. The iconic Rockettes appear in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and you can ice skate around the massive Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
Also included are the Union Square Christmas Market, Ice Skating at Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park, and the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens. It’s hard not to feel festive.
TPG Tip: Stay in the center of it all at the Courtyard New York Manhattan/Fifth Avenue (starting at $369 per night or 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night). If you prefer downtown, The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel is available starting at 29,000 World of Hyatt points per night or $519.
Related: How to Travel to New York City with Points and Miles