5 amazingly unexpected places you should be spending the winter season

Nov 2 2018, 10:28 pm

The holidays are coming, and you know for sure that it’s going to be cold and rainy here in Canada. You’re itching to get out of your city to explore somewhere you’ve never been. We get you.

Winter is the perfect time to pack your bags and celebrate the season in an ancient European city, hiking as you overlook the desert, snorkelling in Caribbean waters, or dancing in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

To help inspire your well-deserved winter vacay (and narrow down your choices), we’ve teamed up with KAYAK to tell you the amazingly unexpected places you should be spending the holidays, based on current trending holiday destinations.

Cartagena, Colombia – Searches up 48%

Cartagena, Colombia/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for Caribbean vibes, Colombia’s port city Cartagena has exactly what you need. It’s bursting with culture, and you can’t help but fall in love with all the colourful architecture.

Cartagena has a tropical climate, so you know you’ll be able to kick back on the beach and read that book that’s been weighing down your bedside for months. Visiting at New Years? Be warned that this city knows how to party. You’ll find folk dancers, chiva party buses, salsa dancing, and more in this historic walled city. Median airfare during the month of December can be price (approximately $950) so KAYAK recommends waiting until January when median airfare drops to a more reasonable price of $656.

Prague, Czech Republic – Searches up 40%

Czech Republic

Prague/Flickr

Like something out of a Netflix holiday movie, Prague is filled with snow-dusted Gothic buildings to bright and lively Christmas markets during the holiday season. Be warned however, that the temperature during the Christmas season is very cold, and the city sees a lot of snowfall.

That being said, it is the perfect time to enjoy some hot chocolate at the Cafe Savoy, which you can get regular (slightly savoury) or dessert-style (sweeter). When looking at flights to Prague, KAYAK recommends booking your flight at least 3 months in advance, when airfares are below $1000.

Belize City, Belize – Searches up 31%

Belize City/Flickr

If you’re looking to escape the winter in Canada, Belize City is the place for you. In this Caribbean city, you will be able to experience tree lightings, boat parades, markets, and more during the holiday season — as well as being able to get some sunshine and surf in.

Be sure to hit up the Belize Museum and St John’s Cathedral to experience some of the urban culture of Belize City, but the area is most known for its nature and beautiful offshore islands, so take in the scenery and sunshine. KAYAK recommends booking flights to Belize City at least three months before you fly, when you will be able to get flights as cheap as $497.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – Searches up 20%

Beach Punta Cana

Punta Cana/Flickr

A true island escape, Punta Cana has the beachy vibe that unfortunately Vancouver doesn’t offer. Located on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, it is a region known for its 32 km stretch of white sand and clear waters. With plenty of seaside bars, lounges, and restaurants, there are plenty of opportunities to sit back and relax. For thrill-seekers, Punta Cana is the place for sailing, zip-lining and kite-surfing — and even riding in hot air balloons. KAYAK recommends booking your travel at least three weeks in advance for a great price.

Edmonton, Alberta – Searches up 23%

Alberta

Edmonton/Flickr

If you need a getaway from Vancouver but want to stay within the country, Edmonton, Alberta should be on your radar. With some of the best festive displays (and an abundance of snow), it’s like visiting a living Christmas card. There are plenty of vibrant light displays throughout the city, like on Candy Cane Lane — the city’s most famous street for holiday lights.

Edmonton is also home to North America’s largest mall, West Edmonton Mall, and Fort Edmonton Park, Canada’s largest living history museum. KAYAK recommends you book at least a month before you travel, you will be able to find flights at around $277.

Search the best value flights and hotels for your holiday vacay now via KAYAK.

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