The holidays are almost here, meaning plenty of food, family, and time for fun and relaxation are on the horizon. Summer is slowly retreating and the cooler months are taking over, signifying the perfect time to go on a dream vacation with the whole family. So, where to fly? I have a few ideas for you!
Whether you’re looking for sun-drenched beaches, the vibrant rhythm of bustling cities, or the tranquility of mountains, there’s something for every traveler on this list of recommended destinations for the holiday season. All aboard? Let’s go!
Things to Consider When Planning a Holiday Trip
As a busy time to fly, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to traveling during the holidays.
Weather: Check the climate and weather conditions of potential destinations to make sure you’ll get the weather you are hoping for – whether that be sunshine or snowfall.
Tourist Traffic: If you don’t mind the crowds and enjoy a bit of hustle and bustle, then you can skip to the next section. But if you prefer a more local feel, with a quiet and laid-back atmosphere, then you may want to travel to somewhere that gets less foot traffic in the winter. Warm weather destinations tend to be the most crowded during this time of year, as many are looking to escape the cold and snow. There are, however, some amazing destinations where you can still find warm weather without dealing with the crowds. Some examples include Cartagena, Colombia, Roatan, Honduras, and Panama City, Panama, among others.
Cost of Flights: Research flight options and compare prices for your desired destinations. Look for deals, promotions, or low-cost airlines that can offer reasonable flights. Flexibility in travel dates and airports can often lead to better deals.
Accommodation & Rates: Be sure to check the availability of accommodation in your desired destination. Determine if there are any major events or festivals that could affect availability and rates, and consider alternatives such as vacation rentals or Airbnbs for potential cost savings.
Budget: During the holiday season, in many places, the prices of everything tend to go up. This means that setting a concrete budget for the duration of your trip is essential. Decide how much you are willing to spend on accommodation, flights, meals, and attractions, and stick to it.
Festivals & Local Events: For many countries, November, December, and January are bursting with holiday celebrations. Before visiting, check what will be happening around you, and find all the fun and unique ways to join in on the fun!
Stay Connected with eSIM: No matter where you fly for the holidays, use an eSIM abroad to stay connected to your loved ones. eSIM is a digital SIM card that can be easily installed on compatible devices and allows you to enjoy the internet and make calls without the need for a physical SIM card.
The Best Destinations to Visit During the Holidays 2023
Venice is a must-visit destination for any traveler. Both adults and children, alike, will be enchanted by this dreamy city. Cruising around the canals by boat is an unforgettable experience that makes you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.
Winter can be a beautiful time to visit Venice, as there are far fewer crowds, giving it a more local feel. It will be a bit colder than other months of the year here, but with the right packing, it should be no trouble!
A fun activity while you’re there is to take a mask painting lesson. Take a boat to the Ca’Rezzonico stop and transfer to Ca’Macana, and there you can learn about the centuries-old history of Venice’s mask-wearing tradition while also creating a beautiful souvenir to bring home.
Take your time simply wandering through the neighborhoods away from the center, admiring the beautiful homes and their moored boats. When it comes to food, your options are endless! A foodie heaven, you and your children can have a blast simply trying all the delicacies, like pizzas, pastas, and fresh seafood.
If you are flying to Venice, be sure to pack our affordable eSIM package for Italy.
If you don’t mind a little rain, London can be the perfect holiday destination for you, whether you’re single, a couple, or married with children. London is rich in history and culture, ensuring that there are plenty of things to do and see, no matter what time of year you visit.
As the home of Harry Potter, one of the coolest things to do while in London is stopping by the studio where part of the movie was filmed, and buying some great souvenirs. You can also find some of the world’s largest science and natural history museums here, giving you an opportunity to get warm and browse around the enthralling exhibits.
If you’re traveling with children, they’ll be thrilled to see the iconic double-decker buses, old-school phone booths, and the vigilant guards of the King’s Palace. You can also take the kids to musicals like Matilda, The Lion King, or Aladdin in the West End.
|Considering flying to London for the holidays? Check out our guide – What to do in London
There is, debatably, no better place for a family vacation than Paris. And, during the holidays, Paris’s inviting charm takes on a more laid-back vibe as fewer tourists flood the city.
If you are flying to Paris in December or January, you can expect far fewer crowds and shorter lines at the top landmarks. For instance, you can check out the top of the Eiffel Tower without waiting hours in line. You can also visit a famous museum called the Pompidou Center. The look of the crazy external pipes and the modern art inside will leave everyone amazed – even the children! Another museum that you must go to is the Musée d’Orsay, located in a converted train station, making the architecture alone an amazing sight to see.
Don’t forget to go to the Jardins du Palais-Royal or the Jardin du Luxembourg, enjoying the serene atmosphere and sweet escape from the city. As for food options, I recommend starting each morning in Paris at outdoor cafes. Pass the time doing some great people-watching while you enjoy a good espresso and a fresh croissant. For lunch, I recommend a croque monsieur, and for dinner, try a hearty steak frites.
|Make sure you have an internet and data package for your holiday vacation to Paris! Try our eSIM.
The holidays are the perfect time to travel to Greece, and it is also relatively economical. The temperatures will be a bit chilly on the mainland, but the island of Rhodes remains slightly warmer than the rest of the country during this time. This Greek island is a great travel destination for families, offering a combination of rich history, amazing nature, and vibrant culture. History buffs will be excited by the historical significance of Rhodes. The island has a storied past, dating back to ancient times when it was an important center of trade and culture. Rhodes was home to the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and you can still explore the remains of ancient cultures at archaeological sites such as the Acropolis of ancient Kameiros.
For nature lovers, Rhodes boasts a diverse landscape of valleys, golden beaches, and stunning mountains. Explore the picturesque villages nestled among green hills, such as Lindos with its iconic Acropolis on a clifftop. Unspoiled beaches like Faliraki, Tsambika, and Anthony Quinn Bay offer opportunities for sunbathing and water sports.
Rhodes also offers a colorful cultural scene. The island hosts many festivals and events throughout the year with traditional music, dancing, and performances.
|Taking a trip to the Greek islands this holiday season? 🧿🍋 Yasou! Don’t forget an eSIM for Greece.
Galway, located on the west coast of Ireland, is a charming city that offers a unique combination of history, culture, and breathtaking beauty. Galway, known as the “cultural heart of Ireland”, captures the essence of Irish hospitality and provides an unforgettable experience for travelers. The city is known for its many festivals, including the Galway International Arts Festival and the Galway Oyster Festival, which celebrate music, theater, art, literature, and more. Walk the colorful streets of the city that are filled with traditional pubs and enjoy a pint of beer with fish and chips.
I recommend spending time in the historic center of Galway, which is full of impressive buildings and narrow cobbled streets. Then head to Galway Bay, a stunning coastline providing a picturesque backdrop for the city. The famous promenade known as Salthill Prom should also not be missed, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and a great spot to take a leisurely walk or have a picnic on the beach.
Galway is also a gateway to stunning green landscapes. Don’t miss a trip to the Connemara National Park, with its rocky mountains next to beautiful lakes. There you can enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
Food lovers will enjoy the culinary offerings of Galway too! The city boasts great food with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and cozy pubs serving traditional Irish dishes.
|Heading to Galway? Check out our eSIM packages for Ireland.
Madeira, an island in Portugal, is a destination growing in popularity. If you haven’t been yet, then the holidays present the perfect opportunity to visit this treasure!
With its mild climate and vibrant culture, Madeira, also known as the “Pearl of the Atlantic”, is famous for its stunning scenery, characterized by mountains, green valleys, and turquoise seas.
Hiking enthusiasts can explore the picturesque Levada trails, which wind their way through lush forests and along breathtaking coastal paths.
The charming capital of Madeira, Funchal, is a mix of old-world charm and modernity. I recommend taking a walk in its historic center to discover colonial architecture, colorful markets, and wonderful cafes. The city is also home to beautiful botanical gardens, where a wide variety of exotic flowers and plants thrive in the island’s unique climate.
The island is also known for its unique wine production, especially Madeira wine. You can go on winery tours, enjoy tastings of fine wines, and of course, enjoy the wonderful food of Portuguese culture, which includes lots of fish, pastries, and many more traditional dishes.
|Whether you’re taking a trip to Porto, Lisbon, or Madeira, don’t forget to arrange your eSIM for Portugal. 💃🏻
Barcelona, located in the Catalonia region of Spain, is an amazing city that should be visited at least once in everyone’s lifetime. It offers the perfect combination of rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and a welcoming atmosphere.
While there, you must see the architectural masterpiece, Sagrada Familia. Designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, this awe-inspiring basilica is a testament to Barcelona’s artistic and architectural legacy. Gaudi’s influence can be spotted all over the city, with other notable works including Park Güell and Casa Batlló, which showcase his unique style.
The city’s vibrant cultural scene is evident in its many museums, galleries, and theaters. The Picasso Museum houses an extensive collection of works by the renowned artist, while the Museum of Contemporary Art, MACBA, showcases modern art by both local and international artists.
Barcelona’s historic Gothic Quarter, known as Barri Gòtic, is a maze of narrow streets, medieval buildings, and charming squares. If you need a break from the city, you can head to the beautiful beaches and enjoy the waterfront promenade.
In addition, the food in Barcelona, as in all of Spain, is world-renowned. Be sure to try saffron-spiced paella while sitting seaside with a glass of chilled red wine.
|Traveling with kids and thinking of flying to Barcelona for the holidays? You may want to read our guide to Spain for families – click here!
The Black Forest, Germany
The Black Forest, located in southwestern Germany, is a picturesque region known for its stunning beauty, dense forests, charming villages, and rich cultural heritage. This magical destination offers a wealth of experiences that attract travelers from around the world. During wintertime, in particular, it turns into a fairytale world of snow-covered scenery.
One of the most distinctive features of the Black Forest is its lush and dense forests, which give the region its name. The towering green trees, combined with winding rivers, beautiful lakes, and gushing waterfalls, create breathtaking views.
The Black Forest is also famous for its traditional villages and towns. Villages like Triberg, Titisee-Neustadt, and Gengenbach offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history, with their preserved architecture, stunning squares, and many traditional festivals.
The cuckoo clock, an iconic symbol of the Black Forest, originated here, as well as the world-famous Black Forest cake, a decadent dessert of layers of chocolate, cream, and cherries.
On warm days, the well-worn bicycle trails allow you to explore picturesque landscapes by bike, boating, and swimming in the clear lakes, such as Lake Titisee and Schluchsee.
For those looking for wellness and relaxation, the Black Forest is home to many spa towns known for their therapeutic mineral springs.
In addition, the Black Forest is home to a wealth of folklore and legends that originated there. The Brothers Grimm stories, such as “Hansel and Gretel” and “Snow White”, find their inspiration in the stunning scenery of the Black Forest. Visitors can explore fairy-tale-themed parks and trails that bring these stories to life.
|Traveling to Germany? Be sure to read our guide to Berlin!
Cappadocia, located in central Turkey, is a fascinating region known for its stunning scenery and rich culture. In recent years, it has become one of the most popular destinations for travelers from around the world.
The region is characterized by unique rock formations that were created by volcanic activity over the centuries. One way to see this breathtaking beauty is by taking a hot air balloon ride over the formations, giving you amazing panoramic views during sunrise.
The Göreme Open-Air Museum is another must-see attraction in Cappadocia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site includes a collection of rock-hewn churches decorated with beautiful 10th-century frescoes. The museum provides a glimpse into the Byzantine past of the region, and if you’re a fan of history and culture, you will enjoy every minute.
Cappadocia is also famous for its traditional handicrafts. The region’s pottery and ceramics are highly regarded, and visitors can witness the intricate techniques of local artisans at various workshops that the locals offer.
|Have you set up calls and internet for your vacation in Turkey? Check out our Turkey data packages.
Looking for an affordable holiday destination? Look no further than Transylvania, located in central Romania. This magical region is home to a rich history and enchanting folklore. Known for its breathtaking scenery, medieval towns, and legendary Dracula tales, Transylvania offers a unique experience for travelers.
The region is awash with picturesque landscapes, including the Carpathian Mountains, stunning forests, and rolling hills. Nature lovers can explore national parks such as Retezat National Park or hike in the scenic mountains, which offer otherworldly views.
Transylvania is also famous for its medieval towns and fortified churches. Brasov, one of the region’s most enchanting cities, boasts a well-preserved medieval center with cobblestone streets, Gothic architecture, and the famous Black Church. Sibiu, another charming town, is home to the Brukenthal National Museum and the restored Large Square. Both towns provide a glimpse into Transylvania’s rich history and architectural heritage.
Bran Castle, often associated with the legend of Dracula, is a major attraction in Transylvania. While the castle’s connection to the fictional Dracula may be more myth than fact, it remains a fascinating landmark that draws visitors from all over the world. Transylvania is also known for its fairytale-like villages, where time seems to stand still. Visiting places like Sighișoara, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula), allows travelers to step back in time and immerse themselves in a medieval atmosphere.