Escape the Cold: The Best Places to Warm You Up

If you’re lucky enough to have vacation days scheduled around the holiday season, now is a great time to start planning. If you wait much longer, airline prices will start to rise, and all the best hotels will be booked up. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, chances are you’ve already had a couple days of cold weather and are just starting to realize that summer is truly over.

If you’re nervous about the potential of having to dig out your winter boots and remember how to walk on snow, you aren’t alone. This year take a break from cold and dreary weather by picking a warm-weather destination for your holiday vacation. There are tons of places to choose from depending on your budget, and what you want to do while you’re away.

Now is a great time to lock down plans, so check out this list for some inspiration for the best places to warm you up this winter.

Costa Rica

Located in Central America, Costa Rica has always been a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful weather, stable political climate, and incredible biodiversity. If you’re interested in exploring interesting wildlife and trekking through the rainforest this winter, Costa Rica is the place for you. Our winter is definitely the high season there, so it’s important to book early if you want to secure the best deals and most exclusive activities.

If you don’t know much about logistics in Costa Rica, and want to leave sweating the small stuff to the professionals, you might consider booking an organized tour — it will allow you to pack a lot of activities into a short time span, and there are a lot of outdoor adventure companies in Costa Rica that have great reputations for organizing amazing excursions. Just make sure any tourism business you interact with has an official CST (Certificate of Sustainable Tourism).


Photo by Joel Sharpe / Getty Images

Paradise Island, Bahamas

If your idea of a holiday looks more like sitting at a beach than it does trekking through the rainforest, Paradise Island in the Bahamas might be more your speed. Paradise Island is located just offshore of the Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas.  The area has been under development by hotel owners and real estate moguls since 1959. In just 60 years, it has been transformed from a narrow, sandy spit called Hog Island to a booming hotel metropolis.

The most famous resort on the island is Atlantis, a massive complex that encompasses six huge towers that can accommodate hundreds of thousands of guests. The accommodations are all centered around an aquatic theme park called Aquaventure, which includes incredible features like a 60-foot slide through a massive, shark-filled tank, 14 different lagoons filled with a huge variety of fish and aquatic mammals, and the mile-long Rapid River artificial waterway.

If you want to stay at Atlantis, or one of the other Paradise Island resorts, it’s wise to book early. If you’re on a budget, focus on suites at the Coral Towers or Beach Tower.

Pola Damonte via Getty Images / Getty Images



10 Interesting New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

In the Gregorian calendar, which is the most widely-used calendar system in the world, the start of the New Year is celebrated on January 1. In North America, bottles of champagne are popped, kisses are exchanged, and everyone sings and makes noise to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Some traditions that we take part in are unique to our culture, even if it seems like everyone does them. In other parts of the globe, the celebration of the New Year looks quite different — some cultures even celebrate it on a completely separate day.

Weirdest American Holiday Traditions

The holiday season is here and businesses across the United States are going all-out to make sure that their decorations are better than the year before. The majority of Americans get so excited about holidays that it’s easy to forget how many traditions are strangely unique to the American culture. Actually, there are a large number of uniquely American holiday traditions that seem strange to those who didn’t grow up here. Let’s explore some of the weirdest American holiday traditions that are out there today.

The World in Liquor

When you go out for a night, how many options for liquor does your home base bar have on offer? Sure, they’ve probably got some standard gins, vodkas, rums, whiskies, and tequilas—but probably not much of anything else. If you’re traveling, one of the best ways to start to get to know the local culture is to indulge in a popular local drink.