Are you tired of yearly Christmas preparations? Do you want to skip the cooking, cleaning and endless family dinners? Are you fed up with low temperatures, snow, and rain? If the answer is yes, perhaps you should consider traveling during the Christmas time. Luckily, even when it leaves your country, summer is always somewhere out there. That means you can just get a plane ticket, pack your bags and follow the warmth. You don’t have to spend another Christmas at home, exhausted after all the shopping and baking, bored of repeating the same things all over again, tired of your neighbors’ singing carols with their terrible voices. Instead, you can lie down on a sandy beach, watch tiny little clouds floating above and sip a colorful cocktail. Or climb wondrous hills dotted with old, traditional temples. Or dive deep into clear water full of fascinating marine life. Well, there are many alternatives. Good news is: you don’t have to be a millionaire to do it; not all interesting places are madly expensive. Here’s a list of 7 destinations that, besides of being all lovely, beautiful and sunny, are also affordable.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
One of Mexico’s top resorts, Puerto Vallarta has amazing beaches for lazy sunshine-seekers and lots of activities for sporty travelers. You can dive, practice horseback riding or spend hours wandering around lovely cobbled streets. Numerous bars and clubs make the nightlife sizzling enough to make the craziest party animals happy. There are also many fancy restaurants and shops selling all sorts of quirky products. Puerto Vallarta has everything to keep a vacationer either busy enough or entirely relaxed, depending on what’s one’s priority. As for accommodations, you can find a broad range of reasonably priced hotels. In the northern part of the town there are many luxurious resorts, but if you prefer something rather small and cozy, look around the Zona Romantica neighborhood.
Roatán Island, Honduras
Surrounded by a colorful coral reef, this sun-kissed island is a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Countless species of fish and other intriguing creatures can be seen in the blue waters of Caribbean, and these views are fantastic. Even if you’re an experienced diver, the coral reef of Roatán Island can amaze you. In addition to the underwater beauties, the island also has the quite impressing coast and interior. You can rest in the sun or get adventurous and go to explore hilly parts of the isle. Because of the cruise ship ports, Roatán has become quite a popular destination, yet it’s not as famous as many other sunny islands. There are elegant hotels as well as simpler, cheaper lodgings.
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
One of the warmest places in Spain, Canary Islands don’t lose their sunshine even when the rest of Europe is covered with snow. Geographically, they don’t belong to Europe, but because they’re a part of Spain, Canaries are well connected with the continent. That makes them a great destination for Europeans who want to escape the winter without spending a fortune for plane tickets. Gran Canaria, the second most populous among the Canary Islands, offers not only warm weather but also awe-inspiring nature, lovely towns, and charming locals. There are the dramatic coastline and spectacular mountains, sandy beaches and rocky shore, delicious food, and great rum. Whether you’re a backpacker or a luxury-seeker, on Gran Canaria, you can find suitable accommodations and activities.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
December is the coolest month in Ho Chi Minh City, but the temperatures still oscillate around 30°C. Sunny, colorful and full of life, Ho Chi Minh City is one of Vietnam’s most popular destinations, and it deserves its fame. The largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is wonderfully diverse and full of attractions. Because of its enchanting atmosphere and low prices, it’s especially beloved by backpackers. Nonetheless, if you’re not into hostels and street food, don’t worry; Ho Chi Minh is prepared to welcome luxury travelers as well. It’s a perfect destination for a city break, but even more so during Christmas – a visit to Saigon is a great chance to see a whole different way of celebrating.
Not without reason Bali, Indonesia is considered to be a dream destination and not without a reason so many falls in love with it, from the first sight and forever. It’s wonderful indeed; green rice terraces, impressive coastlines, and marvelous volcanoes can inspire the sense of awe in most skeptical travelers. Then, in addition to unusual nature, Bali has also fascinating culture. Mysterious temples stand amongst rugged hills; traditional dancers perform their shows with atmospheric music in the background, people gather during colorful festivities. Whether you’re a foodie, a nature-lover or an anthropology enthusiast, whether you like hiking, swimming, art or dancing, Bali will provide you with countless activities and attractions.
São Paulo, Brazil
Intimidating, immense and vibrating – these are the first impressions São Paulo awakens in its visitors. The metropolis can be scary for someone who isn’t used to such large cities, yet getting to know it is such a fascinating process it can easily make a traveler obsessed. Despite being the biggest city in Brazil, São Paulo is not the most popular one among tourists. It can be taken as a plus though – it remains unique and full of hidden treasures. One of São Paulo’s greatest advantages is the number of excellent restaurants. The city’s a playground for foodies. From small, cozy bistros to fancy gourmet restaurants, a hungry traveler has many options to choose from. Besides, there are lots of cultural activities. Cultural centers, museums, theatres and concert halls are so numerous you could spend weeks attending various events without ever visiting the same place. Usually dazzling and eventful, the city’s even more appealing during Christmas, when streets are adorned with impressive decorations and celebrations take place all around.
Koh Tao, Thailand
If diving amongst turtles, stingrays, and bright fish sounds to you more interesting than singing carols next to a Christmas tree, Koh Tao is your place. The Thai island is known for its calm waters and abundant marine life. There are many diving schools and resorts suitable for both beginners and more experienced divers. Besides, Koh Tao offers great trekking and sailing opportunities. Yoga, meditation, detox, message and cooking courses, rock climbing and, of course, sunbathing is popular as well. As you can see, the alternatives are numerous, but most importantly, you can do all these interesting things in beautiful, natural settings. Koh Tao is small, but its modest land manages to fit in coastal jungles, gorgeous beaches and picturesque hills that you can enjoy in Thailand.
Which one of the listed destinations appeals to you the most? Tell us! And remember to share this article with your friends to warm up their mood on the cold days.