If you’re looking for the best places to travel in December then you’re in luck! I happen to have a few travel blogging friends all over the globe who gave me the inside scoop on winter destinations with all the warm and fuzzy feels for the holiday season. From ski resorts to quaint downtowns that look like they were plucked from the pages of an old book, these five places are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. So get ready to book your flights, tours, and pack your bags. You’re going to want the whole family with you. Places like these leave lasting memories, and that’s what it’s all about.
The Best Places to Travel in December for the Ultimate Christmas Feels
So many people stay home for the holidays. They get caught up in guest lists, gift lists, and all the visitors coming by. It seems nowadays that the Christmas season goes by faster than ever before! That’s why I always tell my friends that they should travel during the holidays. Go somewhere where time stands still and all you have to worry about is hot chocolate and making memories that will last a lifetime with the people who matter to you most. I promise you that you’ll return halfway through the month feeling like you had the best experience of your life, and you haven’t even started going to parties or baking cookies yet! Get your bucket list and earmuffs ready, these destinations, which I’ve listed in random order, will have you jet-setting to Finland, Washington State, Austria, and France.
Alpine Skiing in France
If spending the day surrounded by snow, warm fires, hot cider, and some of the most stunning Alpine Chalets you’ve ever seen sounds like your type of December holiday, then skiing in Alpine France is where you want to be. There is an incredible feeling that comes from being hugged by the towering Alps. The rush that comes from a great run down the slopes, and the cozy feels of just you and your family warming your feet by the fire makes for a perfect family ski holiday. And this is one of the only ski resorts in France which boasts childcare so you and your other adult can enjoy more than warming your feet by the fire.
Rovaniemi Finland – Lapland
Close your eyes and imagine Arctic Evergreens dipped in white fluffy whipped cream that sparkles in the sun. Imagine the silence of the forest broken only by the sound of reindeer and warm berry juice on a crackling fire. Now picture yourself watching as these whipped cream trees turn to orange and pink cotton candy in the magic of the sunset. You wouldn’t be dreaming. Rovaniemi is Finland’s most northern destination. It’s a magical place which embraces the Polar Arctic Circle as the majestic auroras of pink and green dance in the night sky. It’s no wonder why this is home to the “real Santa Clause”, Elf School and the post office where all the “Dear Santa” letters arrive. With unique experiences like ice igloos at the Arctic Snow Hotel where you can watch the dancing auroras from bed and snowmobile safaris that will take you into a world like that of Narnia, you are sure to have a magical experience of otherworldly proportions.
Leavenworth – Washington State
Maybe it’s the Bavarian village inspired town or the 500,00 Christmas lights, but Leavenworth, WA is the kind of place Charles Dickens would write about. Two massive festivals to light Christmas lights and celebrate the holiday season with traditional German markets, crafts, entertainment and food will transport you into a winter wonderland. There’s no shortage of Christmas spirit here, whether you’re enjoying the festivities, strolling through the Bavarian town, tubing, sleigh riding, dogsledding or just warming your hands by the fire, you will leave Leavenworth with the magic of Christmas in your heart.
Hallstatt – Austria
If you’re looking for old history wrapped in a blanket of snow, then you’ll want to take the time to slow down in this sleepy village plucked straight from a Christmas card. Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Austria’s oldest village. Its photographs are storybook level magical and have brought the town recognition as one of the most beautiful places in Europe. From its real Christmas trees adorned with decorations, Alpine architecture, Christmas market and the majestic Alps which wrap themselves around this sleepy village, it’s no surprise that it’s so highly recommended as one of the best places to travel in December.
Of all the half-timbered villages in Europe, Colmar especially stands out as one of the best places to travel in December because it looks like it was plucked from the pages of Beauty and the Beast. Located in Alsace, the wine capital of France, this village turns into a winter wonderland complete with Christmas markets, ice skating, wine tastings, and artesian decorations. It actually has five different markets which will take you through the towns famous historic cobblestoned streets and probably straight to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole. Just a guess.
Take it from me, if you want to get in there before the hoards of other Christmas travelers do, you’ll want to book a trip in early December. This is especially perfect if you have older kids or homeschool. Or if it’s just you and your adult family traveling. Places like these are popular for a reason, which means some of the magic can slip away when you’re surrounded by other travelers. If you can’t plan your trip early in the month, then plan your itinerary so that you’re not out eating or shopping during rush hours. And be sure to spend lots of time taking it all in and slowing down. Because when you slow down, somehow the world around you does too. And be sure to get yourself some warm gear. If you’re skiing, they will provide you with the gear so you don’t have to fly with it, but in all other cases, you’ll want to be dressed for very cold weather.
December is a time for family and making memories. From twinkling lights, auroras, and Christmas markets to the rush of a perfect run down some of the world’s most famous slopes, these destinations are the best places to travel in December because they are filled with magic and adventure. Start making your bucket list now, because you’re not going to want to miss out on any of these incredible destinations in the coming years. You only have one life, so start living it!
Do you have a recommendation to add to my list of the best places to travel in December? If so, please leave me a comment below. I would love to check it out! Happy Holidays!