There are many hot spots around the U.S. that make for a festive retreat — and that you can explore via road trip if flying the friendly skies isn’t an option. In Aspen, Colorado, you can get a wet holiday kiss from the resident dog, Kitty the Bernese, at the St. Regis Aspen Resort. Take a holiday-themed road trip from Atlanta to Asheville, NC — along the way, you’ll pass through the German-inspired town of Helen, Georgia, known for its annual Christkindlmarkt, as well as Asheville’s Biltmore Estate, which showcases over-the-top Christmas displays.

In Canada, make the hectic holiday season a little less harried with a staycation escape closer to home. You’ll find atmospheric Old Quebec’s 17th-century homes and storefronts are transformed into a mesmerizing winter wonderland, and if you’re wishing for a snow-covered, storybook setting, head to Prince Edward Island to experience Charlottetown’s beloved Christmas Festival.

Take the Family Somewhere New

snowman made of sand dressed like santa

Sandy Santa snowmen for the win. (Photo: iStock)

Imagining your holidays spent on Florida’s warm beaches instead of in your chilly hometown? Before setting off on your holiday vacation, carefully research a few destinations that you would want to visit with your family.

If you are completely unfamiliar with the destination, don’t forget to research all the details, like the weather forecast and local holiday events, as well as accommodation options ranging from hotels to vacation home rentals. If you are seeking ease of travel, then consider how many modes of transportation your family will need to get from point A to point B safely.

Escape the Holiday Hustle

couple kissing in winter

Find the time for a romantic escape. (Photo: Getty Images)

Leaving the holiday frenzy behind can be achieved by setting out on a solo journey or a romantic couples journey. Booking a hotel or resort with a kitchen or kitchenette is a good way to self-sustain while traveling.

Also, staying for more than a long weekend on a holiday trip is becoming more popular through the slow travel trend, where travelers take the opportunity to stay longer while working and exploring. Instead of being caught up in the digital madness, you can stay for a few weeks or more in a destination and experience the local culture, food and art at a leisurely pace.

Show Gratitude for Loved Ones

If you can’t be with your loved ones this holiday, you can send them a little something to show that you are thinking of them. For friends and family that enjoy tea, an ornate London EDITION teapot would be a classy gift. Many are missing the pampering that only a spa brings, but you can send your loved one a spa-style mango and tangerine-scented candle from The Ritz-Carlton Spa. Almost everyone can appreciate a new, hotel-quality pillow like the JW Pillow made with natural fibers.

Look Forward to Your Next Trip

Hiker overlooking Chugach Mountains

Find yourself a wish-list destination and start planning. (Photo: Getty Images)

Whether you have your sights set on doing an international dive trip in Fiji or a ski vacation in the Swiss Alps, it’s never too early to begin planning. Checking off your wish-list vacations can be achieved by budgeting in advance, sourcing advice for places to visit from travel reviews, and asking friends and family for feedback about past experiences.

Some places to consider for your wish list are Rwanda, Crete, Oman and Vietnam, depending on if you like adventure, culinary travel or just want to explore a new culture.

Holiday with Peace of Mind

man using hand sanitizer in airport

Hotels and airlines have updated cleaning protocols to keep travelers safer. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cleanliness is one of the most important considerations when booking travel these days, and because of the pandemic, most accommodations have updated cleaning protocols on their websites for travelers to reference. Wiping down high-touch areas like remote controls and tables with hospital-grade products and using high-tech electrostatic sprayers are some common ways properties are being mindful of sanitation. You can also do your part to protect yourself from germs by packing hand sanitizer in both your carry-on and checked luggage and bringing extra masks in case you leave one behind.