If you are the type who plans your next vacation while enjoying the one you’re are on, we know how much you love travelling. And what better way to end your year or start the next one while doing what you love the most? That’s why we have whipped up a list of destinations that must top your travel goals from November to January. After all, that is the perfect time to take a holiday too – the weather is cool, the vibes are festive and workplaces are rather relaxed. Need we say more?
1. Romance on ice rinks
Where: Paris, France
When: November, December
Why: Low season, great deals
They say Paris is always a good idea and we totally concur. Even if you have seen Paris during its sunny season, there are more than enough reasons to visit the French capital when it is drenched in snow. The city’s many ice rinks, festive decorations, gourmet hot chocolate (or better, mulled wine!) and winter fashion are sure to make your trip remarkable.
Plus, winter is the perfect time to skip those never-ending queues outside tourist attractions and grab the best deals on flights and hotels. However, make sure you consider the super low temperatures and short days while planning your itinerary. When you find yourself in this winter wonderland, make some time out and visit the city’s famous flea market – Les Puces de Clignancourt – in St. Ouen.
2. Party the night away
Where: Bangkok, Thailand
When: December, January
Why: Unending entertainment options, wild parties
Bangkok must be on your year-end travel list if you want to spend nights you won’t remember and try things you won’t forget. Turn the full moon into your own shiny disco ball and dance the night away at one of the full moon parties in Koh Phangan or welcome the New Year in style by being a part of the spectacular Count Down @ Central World Bangkok.
Of course, once you are out of the party zone, you can indulge in some value-for-money shopping and melt all the fatigue away by getting a soothing massage at one of the many spas in the city. Even though it might not rain throughout the month, make sure you carry an umbrella for those sudden showers.
3. Have a culturally-rich vacation
Where: Yogyakarta, Indonesia
When: December, January
Why: Currency win! Singapore dollar is trending stronger against the Indonesian Rupiah
If you think Indonesia is all about Bali, think again. Yogyakarta or Jogja, a city that flawlessly blends the traditional and the modern has to be on your travel bucket-list. Apart from beaches and mountains, Yogya offers a travel experience that would not burn a hole in our pockets. That’s because the Singaporean dollar exchanges for a whopping 10,600 Indonesian Rupiah, giving you a higher value for your buck.
When in Yogyakarta, don’t forget to visit the breathtaking Kalibiru National Park and go for an adrenaline-pumping adventure at Sinden beach and Kalong island. This is also a place where you will be able to welcome the New Year a bit differently – at a palace square or in a temple! Waking up on the first day of the year, looking at the sunrise over Borobodur — if surreal experiences like these make it to your bucket list, Yogyakarta is just the place.
4. Experience magic
Where: Svalbard, Norway
When: November, December and January
Why: Known to be the best spot to witness the Northern Lights
Aurora borealis or the Northern Lights are said to be a spectacular wonder of Mother Nature and if you have been yearning to witness it, there is no better time than the winter season. Of course, Norway has many other winter activities to offer its tourists too – snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowshoeing and ice caving, to name a few. The rare wildlife (think polar bears, whales and walrus!) and scenic landscapes are icing on the cake.
If you plan your visit during Christmas, we promise you it will be one of the most magical celebrations you would have ever seen – after all you are so close to Santa himself! Pssstt…Svalbard is a duty-free zone so keep some time out to shop for unique gifts at bargain prices for the folks back home (and of course, yourself too!).
5. Spend quality family time
Where: Timaru, New Zealand
Why: The iconic Caroline Bay Carnival
If you are bored of spending every New Year eve in a local pub buying super expensive drinks and jostling to find a table, it’s time to break the monotony. Hit the two-week-long (and entertaining!) Caroline Bay Carnival at Timaru, New Zealand and bid the perfect goodbye to the current year and give a fun welcome to the new one.
The carnival, marked by live performances, concerts, fairground-style rides, interesting competitions and sports events, starts on Boxing Day and ends in the first week of January. It is the ideal way to make up for all the fun family time you have lost due to your hectic work schedule throughout the year. Oh, and did we mention 2018 will mark the 108th Caroline Bay Carnival. Wow!
6. Witness the festival of lights amidst a royal backdrop
Where: Udaipur, India
Why: Diwali celebrations with a royal backdrop
When one thinks about the best place to be treated imperially in India, the first choice is invariably Udaipur. Known as the City of Lakes, the city is home to beautifully carved palaces, majestic forts, luxurious hotels and local delicacies that will take a long time to leave your best food dreams.
While Udaipur is magical during the entire winter season, it dons an unforgettable charm during the Hindu festival of Diwali. The city enthusiastically celebrates this festival for five days and decorates each corner with a lot of heart.
The City Palace of Udaipur looks like a gleaming structure you cannot take your eyes off. Oh, and the fireworks! The city skyline lights up enough for you to carry a little sparkle back home when you leave. When in Udaipur, don’t forget to try some local chaat and shop for beautiful handcrafts.