Caribbean sea with turquoise water and palms close to Saona island

7 Ways To Spend The Holidays Abroad

The holidays are a hot time to travel according to Stats Canada, with over 4.3 million Canadians leaving the country each December.

For Canucks looking to spend some quality time celebrating Christmas with friends and family, or for snowbirds just looking to escape the cold, there is no time like the present to begin planning a winter retreat.

We’re celebrating the season early by rounding up the top places around the world to spend the holidays abroad:

7 Ways To Spend The Holidays Abroad

Photo: @adventurefaktory

Aria Budapest Hotel

Embrace the romance and enchantment of winter by cozying up with loved ones at Aria Hotel Budapest by Library Hotel Collection, recently named the number-one hotel in the world by 2017 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards. Just steps away from the Christmas market in Budapest—one of the most charming markets in Europe—Aria Hotel Budapest is the perfect place for a beautiful holiday getaway, offering multiple holiday packages each year that include a range of delicious hot toddies, complimentary spa treatments and special Christmas treats. 

7 Ways To Spend The Holidays Abroad

photo: @torfronts

Bisha Hotel Toronto

Escape Toronto’s cold winter weather and immerse yourself in the newly launched, Bisha Hotel Toronto. Right in the heart of the Entertainment District, Bisha Hotel specializes in laid-back luxury with an edge. Enjoy winter-themed cocktails on the hotel’s 44th-floor rooftop bar or indulge in celebrity chef, Akira Back’s namesake restaurant offering modern Japanese cuisine with a Korean accent. The much-anticipated hotel is the perfect place to plan a company Christmas party with venues including a 2,300 square-foot event space on the 43rd floor or for a more intimate gathering, reserve the Bisha Suite with a 1,000 square-foot terrace with views of the CN Tower peeking through its two story windows. 

7 Ways To Spend The Holidays Abroad

Photo: @@eandmbambrick

Dominican Republic:

Trade in your caroling for Merengue music this Christmas and head down to the Dominican Republic. The country celebrates Christmas the right way, with festivities beginning in October and lasting right through to January. Visitors to the DR can experience a Christmas like no other with traditional fireworks and Christmas cuisine over the course of three months. Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) is the ultimate night for celebration and those staying in Santo Domingo have the unique opportunity to experience the most elaborate Christmas mass in the country at Cathedral de Santa Maria in the Colonial Zone. 

7 Ways To Spend The Holidays Abroad

Photo: @artistoswald

Gansevoort Park Avenue, NYC

The Big Apple is calling all Christmas lovers. Take a stroll by Rockefeller Center to visit the famous Christmas tree and take in all the lights. Frequent the many renowned Christmas markets that the dazzling city has to offer before retiring to the swanky Gansevoort Park Avenue. After enjoying a warm, delicious meal at Asellina, head on up to the Rooftop Lounge for a night-cap of festive mulled wine. 

7 Ways To Spend The Holidays Abroad

Photo: @passionforcruises

Silversea Cruises

“Lido deck” the halls this holiday season by celebrating with a Silversea cruise. Decorated from bow to stern with traditional greenery and ornaments with an old-fashioned flair—including cheery and whimsical gingerbread cottages—each Silversea ship is a glittering oasis for a holiday abroad. Guests can sip on eggnog, mulled wine and hot chocolate while caroling with the crew, or indulge in traditional meals, Hannukah and Christmas services, holiday specials in the show lounge or delight in a visit from Santa Claus. 

7 Ways To Spend The Holidays Abroad

Photo: @foodienationtt

The Crane Resort, Barbados

Dreaming of a pink Christmas? With the famous Crane Beach’s soft pink sands in place of white snow, The Crane Resort is just the spot! Indulge in a well-deserved holiday getaway to this historic hotel in Barbados. Make sure to book a reservation on Christmas Day at The Crane’s top-tier, on-site restaurant, L’Azure, which offers specialty Christmas menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing says Christmas like a good meal followed by the gift of a luxurious treatment at Serenity Spa. 

7 Ways To Spend The Holidays Abroad

Photo: @thecurtainldn

The Curtain London, UK

One of the best times to visit London, UK is in the winter as the city offers visitors everything from Christmas markets to the iconic Winter Wonderland festival in Hyde Park. For the hottest and hippest place to stay, head to The Curtain. Recently opened, The Curtain offers visitors an eclectic atmosphere infused with luxury and the fun and dynamism of trendy east London. Guests can spot the city’s Christmas lights from the hotel’s rooftop bar, LIDO or hideaway in the hotel’s cozy and iconic restaurant, Red Rooster – they bring comfort food to a whole new level with their famous Fried Yardbird and mulled wine. Also don’t miss the weekly band performances including funk, soul and contemporary jazz – Christmas themed of course!