Have you fallen into the routine of holiday celebrations? Even though company potlucks and family dinners are a great way to spend time with loved ones, repeating the same holiday traditions can feel less exciting over time.
The holidays don’t have to feel like your life is on repeat, like the department stores playing the same five Christmas songs. To prevent the holidays from feeling mundane, consider trying a travel experience.
What Are Travel Experiences, and Why Should You Try Them?
Travel experiences are the activities that you do on a trip. Experiences can range from a relaxing massage or spa treatment to more adventurous activities like ATV riding or scuba diving.
Many experiences allow travelers to participate in a destination’s cultural festivities. They are also great for breaking up the holiday monotony or serving as a unique holiday gift.
While traveling abroad or long distances can be challenging over the holiday season, fortunately many festive travel experiences are available in the United States. The company Tinggly has a list of several holiday experiences. Here are some of the most popular ones and how to create your own holiday travel experience.
1. New York City Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise
If you want something more elegant than your company’s holiday party at the Olive Garden, try a cruise on the Hudson River. A 1920s-style yacht will take you through New York’s most iconic sites, such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Battery Park. As you admire the Christmas lights, you’ll be serenaded by a live jazz band playing your favorite holiday jingles.
If you’re worried about getting cold on a cruise in the middle of winter, the yacht has a heated glass-enclosed observation cabin. You can warm yourself up even more with the spiked hot chocolate served on your ride.
2. Festival of Lights Night Tour in Washington, DC
Light displays make the holidays feel magical. If you want to see a light show better than your neighbor’s, you should check out the Festival of Lights Night Tour. A 45-minute tour in a private pedicab will take you around the city and make stops so you can take pictures of the most dazzling light displays. Popular stops include the 50 trees in front of the White House and passing by the Capitol building.
3. Hands-On Blown Glass Ornament Experience in Naples, Florida
If you’re a fan of hanging Christmas ornaments, the Hands-On Blown Glass Ornament experience during a trip to Naples, Florida, is a must-try. During these top-rated glass-blowing classes, you’ll learn to blow and shape personalized Christmas ornaments.
The best part of this experience is that you get to try something new while making a gift for someone on your Christmas list.
4. Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour from Fairbanks
For those who want to travel and see one of the world’s natural wonders, Alaska has an experience for you. While the infamous aurora borealis or northern lights are notorious for appearing in Iceland, those living in the U.S. can also experience these multi-colored lights.
The tour starts with a visit to the Fairbanks Ice Museum, where you can see unique ice carvings. Afterward, you can warm yourself up at the Chena Hot Springs Resort, relaxing in the outdoor mineral rock pool. Then, later in the evening, a guide will take you to the best viewing location to see the northern lights.
5. Half-Day Snowshoe Hike in Tahoe National Forest
If you like to experience the outdoors, then a trip to the Tahoe National Forest is something you’ll delight in. During this experience, you’ll have private access to a trail that will take you along a scenic route within the Alpine Meadows, Sierra Crest, and the Olympic Valley.
A nature hike is a perfect getaway when you’ve become overwhelmed by malls and shopping outlets.
How to Create Your Own Holiday Travel Experience
While pre-planned travel experiences are convenient, you can create special holiday memories with your own holiday travel experience. Here are some other ways to mix things up this holiday season.
- Look up local events in neighboring cities or states. Sometimes, traveling upstate or just a few hours’ drive away can lead to new discoveries and adventures. Try looking up events in neighboring towns by checking the city’s website of the place you want to visit.
- Invite people with different cultural backgrounds to partake in your holiday festivities. While Christmas often gets the most attention among the winter holidays, other celebrations and traditions occur during this time. Participating in other cultural practices can give you a different perspective and appreciation for this time of year.
- Try a bucket list experience. Instead of attending countless holiday parties and lunches, why not do something you’ve always wanted to do? Winter activities such as ice skating or snowboarding can revitalize your holiday spirit.
- Participate in volunteer work. While it’s easy to get caught up in the consumerism of the holidays, it’s important to remember that not everyone can indulge in holiday shopping. With over 15 million children living below the poverty line in the United States, not every parent has the luxury of buying tons of gifts for their children.
There are many ways to volunteer, including helping at a soup kitchen, donating to a toy drive, and supporting a family by buying things on their Christmas list.
Additionally, consider spreading the holiday cheer by visiting a family member out of state. You can also invite someone you know who is spending the holidays alone to join your festivities.
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Kiersten is a freelance writer and coach. As a writer, she has written for Travel Noire, Passion Passport, BAUCE mag, and various travel and lifestyle blogs. As a writer, her goal is to write content that inspires others to take action. As a coach, her goal is to empower women to be their most authentic selves. In her free time, you can find her dancing to any song any where.