One of the most magical times to go on holiday is during the holidays. Travel destinations all over the world put on an extra-special show at this time of year. While there are certain complexities to traveling during the holidays, including the stress of traveling during one of the busiest seasons and the complication of telling extended families that you don’t plan to be home, traveling during the holidays affords you with one-of-a-kind memories you won’t get any other time of year. This is especially true for couples. A holiday vacation can be a great way to reignite the romance in your relationship and to really prioritize one another. If that sounds like something that would appeal to you, check out this guide which highlights some of the best holiday travel destinations for couples.
New York City
No list of holiday travel destinations would be complete without mentioning New York City. There’s a reason so many Hallmark movies are set in New York: It is one of the key places to go for winter romance. Winter comes early and hits hard in that part of the world, leading to a winter-wonderland that could bedazzle the best Christmas card. Every year the Empire State Building is lit up with red and green lights at night to cast a magical glow over the city, and the window displays on 5th Avenue are legendary.
While watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve is an obvious culmination to a romantic New York City holiday, there are tons of other activities you could enjoy together. Ice skating at Wollman Rink can be a healthy way to have a good time, for example, and catching a Broadway show is always a great time. With the entire city lit up for Christmas, there’s no way to get bored with a New York City vacation.
If you’re traveling sans children, Orlando may not seem like an obvious vacation choice, but it can provide a great atypical holiday vacation. Where New York City provides the typical winter wonderland, Orlando provides an escape from the cold and snow you may have at your own home while still somehow retaining the magic of the holidays. Considered the theme-park-capital of the world, Orlando sports both Disney and Universal Studios, both of which go all-out for the holidays.
Universal Studios is home to the Magical World of Harry Potter. With its beautiful English charm, Harry Potter has long been associated with wintertime. Hot butterbeer is a must-have holiday drink in this location. And while Disney may not seem like an obvious choice when you’re traveling without children, Epcot is really more enjoyable when just adults are traveling together. Orlando also hosts a pyrotechnic version of The Nutcracker that is a delight.
Venice is one of the most romantic locations in the world. If you enjoy the history of a location and unbelievable architecture, Venice is likely the best travel destination you could choose. During the holidays, arches and cathedrals are magically lit. St. Mark’s is an especial delight during the holidays, with a celebrated midnight mass on Christmas Eve and bells ringing throughout the day on Christmas. One tradition you won’t want to miss out on: A polar dip in the Lido on New Year’s Day to start the year with an adrenaline-fueled burst of energy. You can also take a weekend ski trip to the nearby Dolomites.
Another totally romantic location that you can enjoy during the holidays is Paris. The city of love, Paris is especially romantic during the holidays. It’s not just the Eiffel Tower that gets a makeover for the holidays. Every year, Paris has a different theme, and everything from department store window displays to the streets themselves enjoy a facelift. Paris also has holiday markets that spring up all over town for a quaint, magical shopping experience complete with hot cocoa and gingerbread. Meanwhile, Notre Dame offers a Christmas-Eve mass that can be memorable to enjoy.
Australia may not seem like the most obvious place to enjoy the holidays, especially since it’s summer there, but Sydney goes all-out every year to make their warm departure from holiday norms a singularly memorable experience. The tree-lighting ceremony starts off the month-long holiday celebration, and one of the most beloved experiences is listening to carols in the Domain. And because it’s the summer months, you can get in your holiday cheer while also enjoying sandy beaches and warm weather.
There are so many great places for couples to explore over the holidays. Get your passports out, snap your luggage tags into place, and pick the perfect spot for the two of you to enjoy together. To really make the sparks ignite, make sure you leave some space open in your itinerary for spontaneity. You never know what you’ll want to explore once you get there!