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Give gift of travel this holiday

Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm

LIFESTYLES EDITOR

kali bolle

 

Winter break is the perfect time to get away with the family and enjoy a cold-weather vacation.

According to travel specialist Dawn Celiberti with “A Time to Get Away” travel agency, winter vacations can mean many things to travelers.

“Travel this time of year really runs the gamut,” she said. “People like to go to NYC (New York City) from Thanksgiving throughout December to see the decorations, shop and just be in the atmosphere.  People like to go to the beach, of course, especially if they live up north. You have your regular snow birds that migrate to Florida every year for a six-month span, but for those who aren’t fortunate enough to have that kind of time off, a week or two of sunshine and warm temperatures is a cure all for their winter blues. Mexico and the Dominican Republic are very popular because of the large inventory of all-inclusive and the prices as well.”

She also added that cold destinations are popular as well.

“Of course some like the cold and the snow so there are some that like to either retreat to Gatlinburg or surrounding areas for colder weather, pristine air and peace and quiet, but there are some who head to Colorado or other areas for skiing, snowboarding and snow related activities,” she said.

Celiberti said that it’s the perfect to time to find some great deals and can be a great gift to family and friends.

“Travel at the holidays can be much more affordable than many think and what a great alternative to buying unnecessary or unwanted gifts, a great way to spend time with family and/or friends, and a fun and relaxing way to end the year and start the new year off,” she said.

She also added that if planning a vacation during the holiday and even winter month, being flexible with your destination is a must.

“As far as planning a vacation now, you can get some good last minute deals if you aren’t set on a particular destination, be open to trying out whatever destinations are offered at a great deal,” she said. “If you are set on a particular trip, of course the earlier the better due to availability, as spaces fill up, whether it be cabins on a cruise, hotel rooms, flights, etc. as available space decreases the prices go up.”

Here are several must-see winter-time vacations to enjoy with the family.

 

Orlando

 

MICKEY & MINNIE -- Standing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, where magical storybooks come alive, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse welcome visitors from all over the world. Combining classic favorites and exciting additions, Disneyland park is an essential part of a Southern California vacation.  (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

Celebrate childhood in one of the most kid-friendly places in the world.  Visit the well-known Epcot Center, enjoy a cool glass of “Butterbeer” in Hogsmeade located inside Islands of Adventure’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or witness the soaring heights of Shamu’s flips during the “Believe” water show at SeaWorld. All the events prove that being a kid is about state of mind, not age. The notion that only young ones will enjoy this city’s charms is just that — a notion. In reality, Orlando has a little of this and a little of that to appeal to all ages, and there’s more to do than visit theme parks. The subtropical climate is great for golfing and the downtown city landscape is too attractive not to explore.

 

The Bahamian Islands

 

web The Bahamian islands

Enjoy the sunshine and spend a week or two and enjoy the islands’ white-washed shores, duty-free shops, fishing and scuba diving excursions and luxurious accommodations. The families that flock here tend to indulge in the diversions of the lavish mega resorts, but this diverse island chain also offers a range of activities away from the hotel zone. Nature enthusiasts explore the offshore reefs and wildlife preserves and golf lovers tee up on the numerous par-72 courses. Bargain-hunters enjoy patrolling the marketplaces for the best duty-free deals. The Bahamas has become a popular destination in the Caribbean.

 

Sanibel Island

 

Caribbean Sea coast

Collecting shells along the sandy shores, exploring the Sanibel Lighthouse and indulging in fresh seafood are just a few activities that families can enjoy on Sanibel Island. Temperatures rest in the mid-70s this time of year but can get chilly at night, so pack layers. Winter is the standout season on Sanibel, but the best shelling conditions are actually in the cheaper winter months.

 

Aspen, Colorado

 

web Aspen, Colorado.

In terms of “Winter Wonderland” status, few destinations can compare to Aspen. This scenic mountain town is straight out of a snow globe, featuring picturesque mountain chalets hugged by the soaring Colorado Rockies. Of course, the main draw is skiing, and there are four premiere ski areas nearby that cater to powder hounds of all levels. But there’s more to Aspen than winter sports: With high-end shopping, fascinating museums, funky galleries and fun festivals, it might be a struggle to make it to the slopes. No matter how you choose to spend your time here, it will be a vacation you’ll never forget.

 

Adirondacks

 

web adirondacks

This vacation is all about enjoying the great outdoors. The region holds a treasure trove of adventure activities. You can hike up High Peaks one day and kayak through the St. Regis Canoe Area the next. You can even take an airplane tour over Tupper Lake village or paddle down Old Forge’s famous canoe route. And when you’re ready to snuggle in your sleeping bag, you’ll find that there are plenty of campgrounds waiting for you.

 

Anaheim, California

 

web Anaheim, California

Many vacationers come to Anaheim for Disneyland and for more than 50 years, this complex of amusement parks and hotels has remained a fun fantasy world. But Disneyland isn’t the only thing luring visitors to this Southern California city. There are other parks like Knott’s Berry Farm and Adventure City, a picturesque nature park and even an “angelic” baseball stadium. And, although you might not know it as you’re sweating it out in the summertime, Anaheim is within a 30-minute drive to the cooling ocean breeze of Long, Huntington and Laguna beaches.

 

Washington, D.C.

 

web Washington D.C.

With its marbled monuments and high-profile politicos, Washington, D.C., has long been saddled with a reputation as a stuffy government-driven town. These days the nation’s capital is awash with a new energy, transforming itself into an exciting, faster-paced East Coast vacation destination. Although government is still the sun around which this city orbits, the District also offers a host of renowned museums and interesting neighborhoods. And with a recent explosion of restaurants, cafes, boutique shops and clubs, D.C. is transitioning into a thriving cultural hub. As the D.C. Tourism Board is emphasizing through its “DC Cool” campaign, this isn’t the Washington you remember from your middle school field trip — it’s much hipper than that.

Source: U.S. Travel

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