Unique Destinations for Holiday Travel

Spend a magical time in Belize, dive with Great Barrier Reef turtles, and more!

Germany and Scandinavia often make it to the top of so many holiday bucket lists. And while they and many other places have earned their festive reputations, plenty of other unique travel destinations that also deserve the holiday spotlight.

From jungle explorations in Belize to scuba diving in Australia, we’ll show you places packed with incredible culture, food, and attractions for a truly unforgettable holiday vacation.

Cave on a river in Belize.
Ever tried cave tubing instead of stocking stuffing?

Belize

Love the Christmas season, but don’t love cold weather? Then sink your toes into the golden sands of Belize for the holidays! With a huge variety of activities to choose from, it’s a dream for adventure and relaxation seekers alike.

Make it a truly tropical holiday by exploring Mayflower Bocawina National Park, a 7000-acre rainforest with ziplining, hikes, and waterfall rappelling! After that, take to the streets to see how the locals do the holidays. Throughout Christmas week, costumed dancers called Jankunu and Charikanari parade the streets to the beat of Caribbean drums!

And what holiday is complete without tasty meals? Belize has that, too. Be sure to try some rumpopo, the Belizean version of eggnog featuring the country’s own Caribbean White Rum!

Aerial view of the Soothsayer's Pyramid in the Yucatan Penninsula.
In Mexico, Christmas is celebrated for almost an entire month!

Merida, Mexico

Merida is the crown jewel of the Yucatán, and with good reason. Why not end the year at a destination that was named one of the top places to visit in 2022

A big part of the holidays is about honoring traditions and history–and this colonial city is rich with both. Take scenic tours to view the city’s highlights, like the Monument to the Country, a stone carving depicting the history of Mexico. You’ll also be able to visit a historic hacienda that produces Xtabentún, a Mayan liqueur exclusive to the Yucatán. 

Want to travel farther back in time? You can explore ancient Mayan ruins, like the Temple of Kukulkan. It’s one of the seven man-made wonders of the world!

And if you like driving through neighborhoods to see Christmas lights, you’ll love Merida. From November to December, the entire city is decorated with towering Christmas trees!

Aerial view of a lake and mountain in South Island, New Zealand.
Explore the cultural and natural wonders of New Zealand for the holidays.

New Zealand

For Kiwis (New Zealanders), the Christmas season is all about spending time outdoors. 

Locals often enjoy Christmas barbecues on the beach! You’re welcome to have your own BBQ feast as you kick back in the beaches, Polynesian spas, or hot water springs of Auckland. It’s one of the top cities to visit in 2022, and even has a beach called Christmas Beach! What’s more festive than that?

A unique holiday destination wouldn’t be complete without special sights. In New Zealand, the traditional Christmas trees aren’t pines, but pohutukawas, large trees filled with striking red flowers and found on many holiday cards. Be sure to take a card home to remember your trip!

Two scuba divers among coral in the Great Barrier Reef.
Sun, surf, AND scuba diving for the holidays? Count us in!

Australia

Just across the Tasman Sea lies another holiday-travel gem… Australia! Whether you plan to go to New Zealand, The Land Down Under, or both, you’ll be spoiled for options for off-beat holiday experiences.

Try Cairns, Queensland, to explore the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. You won’t find reindeer here, but you will be among nearly 10,000 species of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife!

Just one hour away is Port Douglas, where you can have a white Christmas–not in the snow, but in white-sand beaches! It has a private-island vibe, so you can chill on the beach, take a leisurely swim through Mossman Gorge, or go on a Low Isles snorkeling tour for a truly relaxing holiday escape.