Vacation Holiday, All I Ever Wanted

Joelle Mentis, Staff Writer

Sirai Beach House Sunset

You’ve always been a planner, ever since you were a kid. Your homework, class dioramas, and test prep are always done on time, and sometimes ahead of time. As an adult, you like to get to the airport with more than enough leeway to relax at the lounge and get into your Zen vacation frame of mind. So, when it comes to your holiday travel, you either already booked months ago, or you’re ready to pull the trigger now. So, we have the places – from your family ski vacation to an African safari to Bora Bora. At this point, the world is still your oyster to do your holiday season right. These are 7 destinations that are calling you now, for where to travel for the holidays this season.

rome trevi fountain

The Destination: Italy
Cortina, Florence & Rome

Why You Want to Go

You want culture. You want food. And it would be nice to offset the previous with a good calorie burn. So the answer naturally is Italy, which has all of the above in spades. Cortina is the site of the 2026 Olympics, but this isn’t their first rodeo. In fact, they were originally an Olympic village back in 1956. After you get your ski on, from there you can head to Florence, and catch the last of the white truffle season. (We suggest high tailing it to Atto by Vito Mollica, the hottest table in town). Last but not least, there’s bella Roma, where it is always gelato weather and will guarantee you the most lavish way to ring in 2024.

Where to Stay:

Hotel de Len in Cortina, the Four Seasons in Florence and the Six Senses or Bulgari in Rome.

The Destination: Kenya

Why You Want to Go

A nice long Christmas to New Years vacation makes Africa where to travel for the holidays. Almost everyone is out of office, or at least things are quiet, and Africa is a lifetime trip that you don’t want to interrupt. Kenya is where to travel for the holidays when you want to take an authentic life-changing safari in the heart of Africa. Sirai in Kenya is maybe one of the top 3 hotels in the world that no one knows about

Where to Stay:

Ishara Mara in the Masai Mara epitomizes the best of luxury but quiet and experiential luxury. You can send some beach time from there at Sirai Beach House in Kenya. Sirai is where to travel for the holidays when you want to stay in one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, that only insiders know.

The Destination: The Philippines

Why You Want to Go:

You know that you are a certain level of well-traveled, when you’ve been to the Philippines. Also, the Philippines is hands down where to travel for the holidays if you want to have a luxurious diving vacation. On the way, the city of Manila is bustling and a good day or two stop to regroup before and after you head to the islands. The islands are some of the most pristine with white sand beaches and every color of turquoise you’ve never seen before.

amanpulo travel 2

Where to Stay:

Amanpulo, of course. If you’re only going to go once, this is where to be. If you’re regularly in the Philippines, then you can also check out El Nido.

The Destination: Australia

Why You Want to Go:

You’ve always been the first to have everything; in fact you pride yourself in being an early adopter. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok; you were on and off before the mainstream came in. So it makes sense that on your list of where to travel for the holidays would include Australia – one of the first to celebrate the New Year. Besides your Type A ambition, Australia is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world. You can start with the Great Barrier Reef, a lifetime experience to swim in the largest natural reef in the world. Then there are the beaches and of course the iconic New Years Celebration in Sydney, because in this case, it’s good to be first.

Where to Stay:

In Sydney, the Park Hyatt still rules for the best seat in the house on land to watch the New Years celebration. Saffire Freycinet gives you a high dose of nature in Tasmania, where it really is like the outback. To get your Barrier Reef on, Qualia is Australian luxury at its best.

The Destination: Spain

Why You Want to Go:

The Spanish know how to live, where everyday has a siesta, and dinners are a customary 9:00pm. What you may not realize is that their weather is perfect al year-round too, so you too can get a taste of the good life. Especially during the holidays, Spain is where to travel for the holidays to get some real R&R. The Canary Islands have actual beach weather to catch some rays, and are a vacation that won’t break the bank. Places like Ibiza are as authentic as can be during this time of year too, and some would say even more fun without the crowds. Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian; Spain is your oyster and one of the top of the list for where to travel for the holidays.

Where to Stay:

If you’re headed to Ibiza, the Six Senses puts on quite the party for the New Years holiday. You would actually think that it was the high point of summer as this is the happening place to be. In Madrid, Rosewood Villa Magna is a big favorite. You can also start out the year healthy at SHA Wellness in Albir, Spain to really welcome in the New Year.

The Destination: California

Why You Want to Go:

There’s no need to leave California for good weather, because the weather could not be more perfect. California is where to travel for the holidays when you want good, clean, active living to start the new year. The whole state is actually compelling for the holidays, where you can have everything from a perfect family vacation in San Diego, to a wine extravaganza in Napa. The best part, like the next destination of where to travel for the holidays, is you don’t need a passport or a lot of complex planning.


Where to Stay:

We need an entire article of where to stay for the holidays in California. The Park Hyatt in San Diego is a top choice for families. In Napa, baseline expectation is the hotel is at luxury level, so you can’t go wrong with any of these on our list. Montecito is always a good idea too, or you can rent this baller villa in Laguna and bring out the whole family and entourage of friends.

The Destination: Tennessee

Why You Want to Go

There’s a reason why outside of Los Angeles and New York that Tennessee may just have the greatest concentration of celebrities in the U.S. Tennessee is where to travel for the holidays when you want to keep it down-home real. In Nashville you can listen to some good live music, eat down-home Southern cooking and now stay in luxury hotels throughout the state.


Where to Stay: Blackberry Farm or Mountain, or Southall in the country. To be more in the action, Four Seasons in Nashville.

Other Articles You’ll Like

Celebs Who Live in Nashville 
Five Essential Santa Barbara Hotels 
The Insider Guide to Napa Valley


Q: Is it a good time to travel to the Philippines in December?

A: It is an especially good time to travel to the Philippines in December. The weather is pretty much perfect. There’s nothing like a warm destination over the winter that makes it a compelling destination of where to travel for holidays.

Q: What is the most luxurious hotel in Kenya?

A: Kenya has a number of luxurious lodges and hotels, especially for safari. If you had to pick one though, Sirai Beach is one of the most luxurious hotels not only in Kenya, but in the world.

Q: Is California a good place to spend the holidays?

A: The beauty of California is that you don’t need to leave for better weather, as the weather is perfect in December. The weather is just one of the reasons that makes California where to travel for the holidays.

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