Before you get sucked into all the holiday parties, wine, comfort food, and more wine, take some time out to get planning a trip away for yourself this coming winter. Round up your besties for a reunion vacation, or start the new year with a solo trip that could change your life because, friends, 2019 has a lot to offer.
To get the best deals for your trip and ultimately leave yourself with more spending money when you get to your destination, book your flights and hotel before the holiday season.
But before you do that, let’s take a look at some of KAYAK‘s top trending destinations (destinations that have increased in interest year over year) for Canadian travellers.
Dublin, Ireland – Searches up 48%
Dublin city, KAYAK’s #1 trending destination with searches up 48% year over year, has a charm that needs to be experienced to be believed. In winter, you can take a walk along the city’s iconic shopping promenade, Grafton Street, explore Irish design stores, and indulge in a decadent hot chocolate at the luxury Butlers Chocolate Cafe. Visit the Trinity College library to see the Book of Kells which dates back to the seventh century, see some great literature in The Winding Stair Bookshop, and head to the Cobblestone pub for some amazing traditional live music (every night of the week), to get a real Dublin experience.
Melbourne, Australia – Searches up 41%
Leaving Canada in winter to visit Melbourne in spring/summer sounds bizarre, but who wouldn’t want to spend the holidays on the beach? Go surfing wearing a Santa hat before having a BBQ feast for dinner – it’s like Christmas remastered. Melbourne is also home to a gingerbread village during this time of year and the magical holiday window displays at Myer department store. Don’t forget to visit the cocktail bar where you’ll find drinks from the 1650s to the present date on the menu. Party like it’s 1799! KAYAK recommends booking your trip at least one month in advance (airfare will generally be around $1,315).
Hanoi, Vietnam – Searches up 24%
Okay, so this destination is further away from Canada, but that just means that you’ll have to visit for a little longer. Walk along the bustling, crowded streets that are bursting with colour as you immerse yourself in the local culture. Take a trip back in time at the 19th century St. Joseph’s Cathedral or visit the Hanoi Opera House to see a version of The Nutcracker ballet. Infinity Club Hanoi will give you an introduction to the energetic Hanoi nightlife scene if partying is your thing. Because of the distance, the airfare can be pricey but median hotel rates for December will only set you back about $72!
Zurich, Switzerland – Searches up 25%
Zurich has inspired a wealth of fairy tales and it’s easy to see why as soon as you walk through the city streets and explore the city markets. If you visit during winter, check out the magical tree lighting or the Advent concert. It might be snowing when you visit but this will make the city look like even more of a winter wonderland. You can go ice skating at Dolder Ice Rink and savour rich Swiss chocolate from the divine Confiserie Teuscher. Unwind by the fire at Giesserei Oerlikon and prepare yourself for an epic gastronomical feast. KAYAK recommends booking your travel at least 10 weeks in advance for the best price.
Willemstad, Curaçao – Searches up 15%
Snagging the number 10 spot on this year’s trending list, Dutch Carribean island Curaçao gives you the perfect opportunity to celebrate Dutch culture in the serene setting of island life. The picturesque town here is filled with pastel coloured architecture. During the holiday season, it gets even more magical with lights, decorations, and a whole lot of fireworks. Winters here are hot with an average temperature of 30°C so you’ll want to pack your sunscreen and shades. For those on a budget, consider waiting until January to take your trip when median airfare runs about $650 — a 26% decrease in price when compared to December.