Need a change of pace this Christmas? Get away from it all and experience the silly season from a different perspective.
Dive headfirst into the festivities…
Germany’s fourth-largest city is famous for its Christmas markets, and with good reason. Four million visitors a year flock to Cologne to see the beautiful nativity scenes, buy handmade Christmas ornaments and toys and enjoy bratwurst sausages, gingerbread and mulled wine.
While you’re in town, check out the impressive Cologne Cathedral and historic University of Cologne, one of Europe’s largest and oldest universities.
Manhattan’s jaw-dropping Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a Norway spruce 20 to 30 metres tall. Its crowning glory, the ‘Swarovski Star’, is almost 3 metres in diameter and weighs 250 kilograms. The tree is erected and lit in late November or early December every year, scheduled for 3 December this year (2014).
If you can, stay in the Big Apple until New Year’s Eve and experience the unforgettable countdown to the New Year in Times Square.
Drop in on Mr and Mrs Claus, the elves and reindeer at Santa Claus Village and Santa Claus Park in the Arctic Circle. While you’re in Lapland, visit the Riisitunturi National Park to see the remarkable shapes created by contorted trees heaving with snow.
Escape the Aussie summer heat and hit the slopes…
Colorado is home to plenty of great ski resorts. Vail in Eagle County is modelled on a Bavarian-style village and caters for all ability levels with wide open terrain, cruising runs, glades, chutes, moguls, cornices and more. Aspen Snowmass in Pitkin County boasts four ski areas on four adjacent mountains, collectively forming one of the most well-known winter resorts in the world.
Whether you’re a skier or a snowboarder, the Swiss Alps are dotted with world-class ski resorts in full swing during December and January. You’ll find some of the best in in Valais, Bernese Oberland and Graubünden.
Keep in mind some Swiss villages in the Alps, like Riederalp and Bettmeralp, are car-free and can only be accessed by public transport.
Or just take it easy…
Think white, sandy beaches, coral reefs and coconut palms…ahhh. That’s Ko Samui, an island off the east coast of Kra Isthmus in Thailand. Once you’ve arrived at your cute bungalow or luxury private villa, grab a cocktail, choose a deckchair and feel your stress melt away.
With 60 kilometres of coastline and some of the most popular surf breaks in the world, including Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta, the Gold Coast proves you don’t need to fly long-haul for the ultimate beach holiday. Fill your time with sun, surf, partying and people-watching.
The Gold Coast’s famous theme parks, including Dreamworld, Movieworld, Seaworld and Wet n Wild, are close by if you’re in the mood for an adrenaline hit and happy to brave the crowds.
Need travel insurance?
If you do head overseas this Christmas, don’t forget to organise travel insurance.
From all of us here at Online Travel Insurance
Have a happy and safe Christmas