“Home Alone” for the Holidays may not be your goal. There is still time to create an incredible year-end option. I thought back on 5 spectacular holidays I have taken and can highly recommend:
1. Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA:
- You will find a warm Southwest culture.
- The backdrop of snow is almost sure to provide a “White Christmas”
- There are multiple options for great lodging/spas.
- Native handicrafts and unique jewelry give you lots to choose from.
- You will see much local fine dining and small bistros for meals.
- If you are an intrepid driver, you can get a ski day at Taos.
- Non-skier? You can make a day trip to state parks like Hyde Memorial State Park.
2. Quebec City, Canada:
- It has the great atmosphere of Renaissance Europe with strolling choristers in the Old City.
- You will find a true “White Christmas” with multiple activities from dog sledding, one of my favorites, skiing nearby, tobogganing/sledding and ice skating or swim indoors overlooking the quaint low-rise skyline.
- You will have ample choices for fine dining and casual bistro options at very attractive prices.
- Horse-drawn carriages for historic tours of the walled city will be available.
- In the charming shops, you will see everything from luxury items to tee-shirts with a loveable moose!
- For USA visitors, there is a favorable rate of exchange and only short distance to travel.
3. Big Sky Montana, USA:
- Southwest hospitality provides an informal, friendly atmosphere.
- You will find real convenience and service from pick-up at the airport to departure (do reserve a spot)!
- You will be able to ski almost from your doorstep with emphasis on the advanced levels but patient lessons for those of us “Intermittent Intermediates”.
- Nightlife and restaurants will abound for apres-ski.
- Better pricing is available than in many other ski resorts.
- You will have the option of day trips to Yellowstone ( Learn to say “bison” not “buffalo”!).
4. SE Asia River Cruise:
- This was one of my best holidays ever for 2015. I went solo to Siem Reap, Cambodia and then caught a Mekong River Cruise to Vietnam and traveled on solo to Bangkok.
- Aside from airfare, even 4-5-star Asian hotels are much less than in many parts of the world.
- Service is impeccable.
- Coming from the US, I found the uniqueness within the region fascinating.
- Fashionalistas will love Thai silk and be pleased at the well-priced jewelry in Cambodia.
- If you don’t like to shovel snow or shiver in below freezing weather, Dec.-Jan. in SE Asia is ideally warm for eating al fresco and touring without being too hot.
5. Amazon Adventure:
- If you love adventure, going upriver on the Amazon in Brazil as I did for Christmas 2013 is perfect. On a small boat holding only 15 guests, we started Christmas Day at a Portuguese colonial village in ruins, met local villagers and had a swim in the Amazon River.
- Bird watchers will be elated to see the number of species inhabiting the low marshlands.
- Hikers and ecotourists will marvel at the untouched rainforest upriver. On many treks, we followed our guides who cut a way for us with a machete to go where no one had ever tread (or not recently)!
- If you start and finish with a day in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, you can get acquainted with wildlife in local reserves not easily seen in the dense rainforest.
- There are opportunities to visit remote villages and see and purchase local handicrafts. I still have to laugh when I receive compliments on my “purchases from the Amazon”. Generally, the response is “Yes, I really like to shop at Amazon.com, too.”
- For US residents, the travel is easy with a flight to Manaus non-stop which is much shorter than traveling to most of Europe!
As I have just booked myself on our Solo Trekker India Tour, I am “home for the holidays” 2015 so please let me know your personal holiday recommendations at: Contact Solo Trekker 4 U. Thanks and Happy Holidays!