The holiday season is just around the corner. Soon, the TV screen will be filled with ads and the radio will be playing holiday music.

If you want to travel during the peak season, it's a good idea to plan now. You can plan in advance for your holiday in 2023.

Whether you want to make the season extra special or you're just trying to use up your vacation days, here are a few festive getaways to start.

Cologne, Germany

Christmas market in Cologne, Germany. MEDIA PRODUCTION/GETTY IMAGES

If your celebrations aren't complete without a postcard- perfect festive market, then Cologne is a great place to go.

In the last month of the year, the German city has many Christmas markets. There are three major themed markets that are open until the end of the year. It is named after a Gothic cathedral that overlooks it.

It is not possible for travelers from the U.S. to take a connecting flight to Cologne. All of the airlines fly directly from the United Kingdom.

Costa Rica

The National Theater of Costa Rica in San Jose. GETTY IMAGES

Costa Rica is warm enough for sunseekers to enjoy. The month of December has a temperature of 80 degrees. It will be easy to find a beautiful beach to soak up the nice weather.

Caroling, decorating with local flowers, and displaying nativity scenes are some of the Christmas traditions celebrated in a mostly Catholic country. On Christmas Eve, there is a family meal of pork legs, traditional Christmas cake, and gifts.

San Jose is a great place to be in December because of the Festival de la Luz and the Carnival. If you want to travel from the U.S., San Jose is the best place to go.

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New York City

Central Park ice skating in New York City. TOM WILDE/GETTY IMAGES

New York City during the holidays can be just as magical as you have seen in the movies, if the points and miles collector in you can look past the price increase in hotels just this once.

A visit to Fifth Avenue for last-minute shopping is one of the classic must-dos.


Zurich’s Wienachtsdorf at night with Christmas lights. SANDRO BISARO/GETTY IMAGES

There are multiple Christmas markets in the city and a singing Christmas tree in the city center.

There are a lot of markets, a cathedral, and theater and variety performances happening in the month of October. If you are looking for snowy skies, ski slopes and ice skating, then a trip to the village of Zermatt may be for you. The quaint traditional houses of Zermatt make it look enchanting all the time.

Gothenburg, Sweden

Christmas celebrations in Gothenburg, Sweden. IKOIMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

The Liseberg amusement park is where the largest Christmas market in Sweden takes place. There are more than 1,000 Christmas trees on the site and a chance for visitors to sample traditional hot dishes and drinks.

One of the best markets in Europe is located in the district that dates back to the 1700s. There's also a 35-minute drive away from the country manor. It's an excellent choice for a festive vacation if you want to eat at the large Feskekorka seafood market and see the Volvo museum.

If you want to travel to the U.K. during the holiday season, you can take a flight from London via British Airways, Finnair and Ryanair, which takes less than two hours. There are flights from all over Europe.

Oaxaca, Mexico


Mexico is a great option for travelers who don't like the idea of cold weather. December through New Year's is a great time to travel because the average temperature is 75 degrees and the resorts are packed.

Oaxaca, in the country's southwest region, is a great place to take a vacation. During the month of December, there are reenactments of Mary and Joseph searching for an inn. An event called Noches de los Robanos, or Night of the Radishes, takes place in the city on December 23, and is a chance for locals and visitors alike to see intricately carved radishes.

Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas are some of the US cities where you can fly to Oaxaca. If it's not convenient for you to fly to Oaxaca from Mexico City, you can drive to Oaxaca.

The best times to visit Mexico are in the summer.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland. YOSHIO-TOMII/GETTY IMAGES

The city of Rovaniemi is located in the north of the country. The Christmas appeal is obvious since it is the official home of Santa. There is a Santa Claus Village just north of the city that is perfect for families with young children.

The month of December in Rovaniemi is very cold and snowy. Thick coats and warm gloves are required when the temperature is between 12 and 19 degrees. You wouldn't be able to enjoy the other activities in Rovaniemi andFinnish Lapland without them. Meeting reindeer and huskies, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and going to a traditional Christmas market are some of the activities that are included. Those who stay outside of the city have a good chance of seeing the northern lights.

If you want to make it worth your time, you can stay in a cabin, a lodge or an igloo. If you book early you can get cheap flights from many European hub cities.


Faneuil Hall in Boston in December. DENISTANGNEYJR/GETTY IMAGES

If you've been thinking about New York City during the holidays, it's a good idea to visit its smaller neighbor. Boston has a lot of things to do and will feel a bit less like a road trip.

There will be major holiday lights across the city, including more than 50,000 blue and white bulbs illuminating all 260 feet of Columbus Park. A range of restaurants and ice rinks are open on December 25. The Boston Ballet will perform "The Nutcracker" at the Citizens Bank Opera House.

Boston has 16 attractions.

Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic has a dry season that starts in December with lots of sunshine and warm weather. If you want to relax by the pool or the beach on your vacation, stay in a resort hotel. If you want to see more of the world, head to Santo Domingo, the historic capital of the country, to see its UNESCO listed colonial city.

Do you know what a Caribbean holiday season might look like? There is a Dominican version of a Christmas tree that is made with wood and branches and painted in bright colors. Locals can follow the tradition of La Misa del Gallo and a family feast on Christmas Eve, though how you celebrate is up to you.

The Dominican Republic can be flown from many U.S. cities. There are more than one airport on the island and many people choose to fly into the main airport.

Canary Islands, Spain

People kiteboarding off Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, Spain. ROBERT MOIOLA/GETTY IMAGES

One of the Canary Islands is close to the U.S. East Coast.

The archipelago is located off the coast of northern Africa and has pleasant December temperatures of between 69 and 78 degrees. Canary Islands and La Palma aren't as warm as Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. You will find yourself bored on any of the islands. Fly-and-flop vacations are certainly possible, with a wide range of hotels to choose from, but there are also plenty of adventurous activities such as visiting volcanos, traversing national parks and trying watersports.

Las Canteras Beach is home to an incredible, 16-foot nativity sculpture created from sand. The Three Kings parade is celebrated in the Canary Islands before a holiday on January 6.

There are 10 all-inclusive resorts in Europe.