It happens every year. After the excitement and activity of the holidays subside, travelers look at each other and say, “I think it’s time for a winter getaway. Where should we go this year?” Whether you prefer sun and sand, snow and skis, or vibrant city life, here’s some inspiration for your perfect winter vacation.
Nearly everyone loves Australia. There are experiences for every interest in this vast island/country/continent: learning about Aboriginal culture and art for culture seekers, visiting kangaroos and koalas for animal lovers, sightseeing in cosmopolitan Sydney for city fans, roughing it at Uluru and the Outback for adventurers, and sipping at award-winning vineyards for wine connoisseurs. And we certainly can’t leave out the beach and water culture. Surfing at Bondi Beach, sailing the exquisite Whitsunday Islands, and diving the Great Barrier Reef are iconic Australian experiences you won’t soon forget. Travel Maestro tip: There’s no way you can do it all in one trip, so work with your vacation advisor to craft a trip that’s perfect for your interests.
New York City
The city that never sleeps is one of the most dynamic places in the world. After the holidays, the crowds revert to normal city levels and hotel rooms are less expensive, so it’s the perfect time to put on your stylish winter hat and boots to window shop along Fifth Avenue, soaking in the energy. Or explore the city’s distinct neighborhoods like chic SoHo, funky East Village, and artsy-hip Chelsea. In New York, you’ll find the finest selection of entertainment, museums, and restaurants in the world. From taking in Broadway plays to strolling Central Park to sightseeing world-famous architectural landmarks, this is another destination where there is more to see and do than you can ever manage in one visit. Travel Maestro tip: Try to walk everywhere, especially across the Brooklyn Bridge. There’s no better way to see the city.
Belize is the destination of choice for those seeking an active, educational vacation. You can explore Maya ruins such as Lamanai, Zunantunich, Caracol or Altun Ha; find a rich collection of birds and animals in the rain forest; dive or snorkel along the world’s second-longest barrier reefs; and go cave tubing at Nohoch Che’en Caves. Of course, you can always just take a leisurely stroll along one of Belize’s many white-sand beaches. Travel Maestro tip: See the best of Belize by combining mountains and sea. Spend the first half of your vacation in rustic comfort at Francis Ford Coppola’s secluded mountain retreat, Blancaneaux Lodge. Then head to Cayo Espanto in San Pedro to sea kayak, paddleboard, and snorkel in the “jewel box” of the Caribbean.
Winter temperatures in the Dominican Republic hover in the 70s and 80s so you can spend endless hours on stunning stretches of talcum-white sand. The sizable Caribbean island is home to dozens of all-inclusive resorts that feature world-class golf courses, every imaginable watersport, high-energy casinos, and relaxing spas. Outside the resorts, you’ll find historic sites dating to the early 16th century, baseball games (October – February), caves full of pre-Columbian art, and shopping for local handicrafts, cigars, and rum. You can visit more than 30 national parks which preserve the country’s diverse nature: mountains, deserts, seashore, rain forests, mangroves, and waterfalls. Plus, the bathtub-warm waters of Samana Bay attract thousands of humpback whales starting in mind-January as they migrate north. Travel Maestro tip: The FBI recently concluded that there was no wrongdoing or alcohol poisoning in the intensely reported 2019 tourist deaths in the D.R.
You won’t find Iceland’s raw mix of fire and ice anywhere else on earth. It’s a frozen landscape that’s always letting off steam with many glaciers, geysers, and more than 200 volcanoes. Because it’s on the Gulf Stream, Iceland is much warmer than most people think. The winters are cool and very windy, but mild (often milder than Chicago). In winter, daylight only lasts three to four hours but the long nights offer prime conditions for seeing the Northern Lights, a surreal bucket-list experience. Horse trekking, skiing, snowmobiling, and hiking across glaciers are other favorite outdoor winter activities. Every visitor must swim in one of the geothermal pools, the Blue Lagoon is the most famous. Travel Maestro tip: The weekend nightlife in Reykjavik – especially in the 101 postal code downtown – is legendary, lasting well into the wee hours of the next morning.
When you’re ready to plan your own winter getaway, contact the experts at Covington.