Each year, we look forward to the holidays: to sleep, cook, bake, drink, and repeat—all the while surrounded by our nearest and dearest. We rewatch out favorite movies, listen to our beloved Christmas albums, wrap presents as if they were a work of art destined for The Louvre. We bake cheesecakes and cookies, roast turkeys, and snuggle with our dogs—all the while being blissfully disconnected from work emails or social media. Then, when December 26 rolls around, the lucky among us realize we still have a whole week before returning to work, and the initial holiday bliss slowly turns into itchy feet.
Where to go spend those last few days of vacation—and soak up every second of time off? For the best holiday destination ideas, we turned to our favorite jet-setters. Are you dreaming of hot cocoa by a fire after a long day of skiing, or is chartering a boat in the Cayman Islands more your speed? Either way, there's something for you. Get ready to score last-minute holiday travel deals—these dreamy destinations await.
George Town, Grand Cayman
For Lauren Pruner of PR Blonde, family time is sacred around the holidays: "Between Christmas morning traditions and food, I can't imagine not being by the tree opening presents," she says. "My other tradition: Skip out to some place warm on the 26th. This year we're heading to the Cayman Islands. George Town, Grand Cayman, is the perfect spot for relaxation and play. There's something for everyone. We always charter our favorite boat every year—the Oh Boy—and head out for a day on the water.
If this jet-setter wasn't spending the holidays in the crystal clear waters of Cayman, she says Europe would be her second pick: "I would love to spend time in Portugal and Spain and extend the trip over the New Year. Stops in Lisbon, Barcelona, and ending in Mallorca sounds like a great whirlwind way to kick off 2017."
Courtesy of Jacey Duprie
"I literally would not want to be anywhere else," says Damsel in Dior's Jacey Duprie of her hometown of Taft, Texas. The L.A.-based blogger is ecstatic to be spending the holidays at her parents' house with her husband and two brothers. "We have an annual Christmas Eve tradition in my family where we all meet up at 7:30 p.m. We eat sausage balls, cheese dip, and Meme's famous tuna dip. After enjoying cocktail hour and appetizers, we all open presents, and then Santa Claus makes an appearance. Every year there are Christmas carolers who stop by the house. It is my favorite night of the year. Christmas morning is spent with my immediate family, and on Christmas night, the entire family comes over to my parents' house for a talent show and singing around the piano. This night is always more casual. Last year we wore funny T-shirts."
Courtesy of Marianna Hewitt
It's no surprise that the quaint ski town of Aspen is a coveted destination for discerning travelers around the holidays. Both Life With Me's Marianna Hewitt and Brittany Xavier of Thrifts and Threads will be trading their sandals for snow boots this holiday in the Colorado locale.
Hewitt, who will spend Christmas in Los Angeles with her family, will head to the snow peaks for New Year's, while Xavier will visit her husband's family in Dallas before traveling to the snow: "We are planning Christmas in Aspen, just trying to see the logistics of one big family in a cabin and all the activities (getting a Christmas tree and transporting the presents). The planning is a bit more complicated than I originally thought," Xavier explains. "We've always wanted to have a white Christmas. It's usually so hot in L.A., even in December, and I can't remember the last time it's been cold on Christmas morning here—so this year, we want to be cozied up in a cabin with hot cocoa and a fireplace, plus being outside after in the snow!"
Hewitt, who is a seasoned traveler, is also considering other destinations to beat her après-ski blues: "I would love to go to Paris or London around the holidays. London is even more charming than usual that time of year."
Courtesy of Kat Tanita
NYC-based Kat Tanita of With Love From Kat is always on the go—so she uses the holidays as a respite to wind down and visit her family in Scottsdale, Arizona. "I'm excited to be spending the holidays in NYC for a bit," she says, "and then I'll fly to Scottsdale a few days before Christmas. The desert is so beautiful, and the weather is just perfect this time of year. I love going on long hikes with my dad, catching up with girlfriends, and having spa days. Going home for Christmas is really important to me because I rarely get a chance to make it back during the year. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but in Scottsdale surrounded by my loved ones."
Blogger Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast is hopping across the pond for a Christmas worthy of our favorite movie, The Holiday—minus the heartbreak. "This year, I'm spending the holidays in England with my boyfriend and his family," she says. While this It girl is delighted to be spending her holiday break on European soil, she tells us there's one place she'd particularly love to visit during Christmastime: "I'd love to be in Tokyo for the holidays—it's been a long time since I've spent time there!"
New York, New York
Courtesy of Sara Azani
Sara Azani of Style MBA typically splits her time between Los Angeles and D.C., but this year she is heading to the Big Apple for the holidays: "For the holidays, I love visiting New York and admiring all the holiday windows and décor on Fifth Avenue at Bergdorf's and Barneys." When not traveling, the blogger makes a point to catch up with her loved ones over during the festive season: "I love getting dressed up and spending quality time with friends and family. I also love wrapping presents and pampering them with beauty products."
Courtesy of Camille Styles
"We're lucky enough to have both sides of our family in town, so we'll be sticking around Austin for the holidays," says hostess extraordinaire Camille Styles. "We'll hopefully be lounging around the house in pajamas watching Christmas movies and making cookies! We usually go out for Tex-Mex on Christmas Eve, and since my husband's family is British, we celebrate Christmas Day with a big English roast, traditional Christmas crackers at each place setting, and sticky toffee pudding to cap it off."
This is no time off for the famed entertainer, who is keeping busy with a slew of holiday parties and events: "Since the month of December is so full of social events, I’m hosting four parties at my house this year! Christmas is all about family for us. I really look forward to this time to unplug, take a break from social media, and be truly present with the people I love most. "There's honestly nothing I love more than being home for the holidays, but I've always dreamed of spending New Year's somewhere tropical—I think Fiji would do the trick."
Panama City, Panama
Courtesy of Pam Hetlinger
For some, traveling back home for the holidays is entirely wanderlust-worthy and snowbank-free. Blogger Pam Hetlinger of The Girl From Panama is traveling back to her hometown of Panama City. "Every year I go back to Panama to spend the holidays with my family, including my cute 2-year-old niece," she says. "I'm obsessed with her!" Turn to the blogger's Instagram this season to escape the snow for a moment.