It can get pretty hectic during the holiday season but that’s just more reason to plan yourself a nice little vacation. Here, we curated the top travel destinations just for you. Be sure to check events you may have arranged or planned as they may be cancelled or postponed.
Keep reading for our top ten travel destinations in December. Take advantage of these amazing travel destinations we’ve written for you today! In addition, you can check out our best credit card bonuses here to maximize savings.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Tokyo (Japan)
- 2 2. Miami, Florida (USA)
- 3 3. Tallinn (Estonia)
- 4 4. Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
- 5 5. Chiang Rai (Thailand)
- 6 6. Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA)
- 7 7. Auckland (New Zealand)
- 8 8. Paso Robles, California (USA)
- 9 9. Patagonia (Chile)
- 10 10. New York City, New York (USA)
- 11 Best Credit Card To Redeem For Flights
- 12 Top Destinations By Month
- 13 Bottom Line
1. Tokyo (Japan)
The holiday season in Tokyo is beautiful, lit with gorgeous winter illuminations to add to the festive feel. The city is decked in lights and full of holiday spirit. For souvenirs and gifts, shop at the European-style Christmas market in Hibuya Park.
Additionally, Tokyo has a plethora of non-holiday activities. Visit Harajuku district for boutiques, shops, cafes and restaurants that cater to the popular youth fashion culture. Check out Meiji Jingu featuring a museum, garden and shrine buildings. Explore the grounds of the Imperial Palace, home of the Emperor of Japan and an impressive art collection. For a family friendly fun day, check out Tokyo Disneyland.
2. Miami, Florida (USA)
Miami is full of fun during December. Families can enjoy Zoo Lights Miami every Friday and Saturday throughout the month with Santa photos, Snowman’s River Boat rides, fun events and performances.
Additionally, there is Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park with rides, shows, games and eye-catching holiday decorations. The Miami City Ballet will present The Nutcracker from mid to late December. For art fans, check out the annual Art Basel Miami Beach, featuring large-scale works, performances and film screenings.
3. Tallinn (Estonia)
|Average Temperature||34°F high; 23°F low|
|December Events|| PiparkoogiMaania (Gingerbread Mania)
Google Translate may be needed
Check out the traditional Tallinn’s Christmas market. This market features typical holiday fare, mulled wine, a gigantic Christmas tree, an outdoor ice skating rink and a stage for live performances. If you’re looking for more festive activities, visit PiparkoogiMaania – Gingerbread Mania – which is an art exhibition showcasing all things gingerbread.
Head into the Old Town to admire the beautiful architecture and locals dressed in medieval clothing. Get unobstructed views of the harbor, bell towers, and the terracotta roof tiles from the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform. And indulge in food, from Estonian cuisine to Indian to medieval fare, and local craft beer.
4. Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
|Average Temperature||59°F high; 26°F low|
|December Events||Wrangler National Finals Rodeo|
December in Vegas offers a different experience than typical trips to the city that doesn’t sleep – the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. It’s got all the typical rodeo events as well as the Miss Rodeo America contest, Cowboy Christmas, charity events and after parties.
If you’re looking for a more festive feel, then check out the special holiday display at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden and the ice rink on top of the Cosmopolitan Hotel with the occasional “snow shower.”
5. Chiang Rai (Thailand)
|Average Temperature||81°F high; 57°F low|
|December Events||Chiang Rai Flower Festival|
Dry season in the northern part of Thailand makes December the ideal time to visit Chiang Rai with cooler and less humid weather. Although Christmas and New Year’s aren’t traditional holidays in this area, many locals celebrate these occasions anyway.
The city hosts festivals this month, including the Chiang Rai Flower Festival with tulip, lilies and other cold-climate flowers in full bloom. You can also enjoy a photo contest, flower-painting competition, cultural shows, local product and food fairs, and musical performances.
The Color of Doi Tung Festival showcases six ethnic groups and their cultures. Indulge in both ethnic and royal cuisines, shop for hilltribe fashion and handicrafts, wander through flowery gardens and go on a tour led by local youth guides.
6. Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA)
|Average Temperature||52°F high; 33°F low|
|December Events||Holidays in Old Salem|
Winston-Salem was founded by Moravians from Eastern Europe in the mid-18th century, while the more industrial Winston offers resources and a streamlined bureaucracy.
In Old Salem, the festive season is celebrated as the Moravians did hundreds of years ago with candlelight tours, gingerbread and Lovefeast buns. Admire the holiday decorations on Main Street and shop for a gift or two.
Visit the Reynolda House, where the gardens, village and house are open for shopping, Christmas carols, arts and crafts, and tours led by costumed actors. And take a walk around the Downtown Arts District to enjoy galleries, murals and artistic displays.
7. Auckland (New Zealand)
As another year wraps up and the summer right around the corner, New Zealand in December is full of revelry and cheer. If you’re in Auckland, don’t miss out on Coca-Cola’s Christmas in the Park. It’s a free annual event featuring outdoor concerts that’s fun for the whole family.
While you’re there, take the SkyWalk at Sky Tower, tour the city on a private cruise, kayak to Rangitoto Island, go on a marine mammal eco-safari with Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari and taste some wines at Waiheke Island.
8. Paso Robles, California (USA)
|Average Temperature||61°F high; 31°F low|
|December Events||Christmas Light Parade
Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase
Paso Robles is on the central coast of California, almost exactly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The town is warm and vibrant with vineyards, olive orchards, farms and ranches. Check out the wine trail, nosh on some seafood and visit an organic farm while you’re there.
The town celebrates the holidays with the Christmas Light Parade, featuring sparkling lights on spectacular floats, and the Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase, where 13 blocks are cordoned off as more than 15,000 people stroll up and down to admire the beautifully-restored Victorian houses lit up with Christmas lights and decorations.
9. Patagonia (Chile)
|Average Temperature||63°F high; 39°F low48|
December in Chile is magical, with beautiful weather. Note that Patagonia‘s infamous winds can tend to get a bit crazy, so it’s best to bring warm layers.
You can enjoy horseback riding and whitewater rafting, hang out with the Magellanic penguins at Isla Magdalena, explore Torres del Paine National Park and Tierra del Fuego National Park, stroll through the quaint fishing towns and sip on a glass of local wine.
The city of Aysen hosts the starting point of Patagonman, an extreme triathlon where competitors swim 3.8km, bike 180km and run 42.2km.
10. New York City, New York (USA)
|Average Temperature||45°F high; 32°F low|
|December Events||Luminocity Festival
Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Broadway Under The Stars
Holiday season in the Big Apple is full of spirit and fun. New York City offers the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza, meeting Santa at Macy’s Santaland, shopping at the winter and holiday markets, admire the holiday window decorations along 5th Avenue, and go ice skating at Bryant Park.
Check out th elight show at Randall’s Island Park for Luminosity Festival. Head to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the infamous Radio City Rockettes. Join thousands of wannabe Santas in Santacon, a fun and charitable pub crawl. And if you’re a fan of the arts, watch a free Broadway Under The Stars performance at the Shops at Columbus Circle.
Best Credit Card To Redeem For Flights
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is the best American Airlines rewards card. It offers bonuses on dining and gas spending and a handful of travel perks. And the key reason American Airlines travelers use this card: complimentary Admirals Club lounge access and 10K EQMs!
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite MasterCard® offers 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year.
You'll earn 2X AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1X AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.
This card comes with $450 annual fee, however, there are no foreign transaction fees. You can also save when traveling - first checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation.
On top of that, you'll get an Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is the best Delta Air Lines rewards card for elite flyers. You’ll get an annual companion certificate, access to Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs, fast-track to elite status and plenty of other travel benefits.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offers 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Earn up to 60,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost per year. After you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 15,000 MQMs four times per year, getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion(R) Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
You can earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases & 1X mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
This card does come with a $550 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Seems hefty but perks like being able to check your first bag free on Delta flights. In addition, you can enjoy complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs for you when travelling on a Delta flight, complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge or Escape Lounge - The Centurion Studio Partner when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card., fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. (See Rates & Fees)
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is the best Delta Air Lines card for regular flyers. You’ll get bonuses on hotel, restaurant and supermarket spending, an annual companion certificate and much more.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card offers 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Earn up to 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
You can earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels; 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, and at U.S. supermarkets; 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
This card comes with a $250 Annual Fee, but for each round trip Delta flight, you can check your first bag for free and save up to $240. In addition, there is no foreign transaction fee. You'll also get fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre?®. (See Rates & Fees).
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is the best Delta Air Lines card for occasional flyers. The card offers bonuses on restaurant and supermarket spending and comes with a handful of travel perks.
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card offers 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit on your Card to inspire your next travel.
• 2X Miles on Delta purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets
• 1X mile for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases.
There is a $99 annual fee, however, there is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (See Rates & Fees). Now, you'll get get more savings with your first checked bag for free on Delta flights.
The JetBlue Plus Card is the best rewards card for JetBlue frequent flyers. It offers bonuses on restaurant and grocery store spending, fast track to Mosaic elite status and a few other travel benefits.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the best Southwest Airlines rewards card. It gives cardmembers bonus points on partner hotel and car rental spending, fast-track to elite status, Southwest travel credit every year and more.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card offers 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
In addition, you'll earn 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
• Earn 3X points on Southwest purchases.
• Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
• Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
Some perks include $75 Southwest travel credit each year., receiving 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available, savings of 20% back on in-flight drinks and WiFi, and more!
This card carries a $149 annual fee and no transaction fees.
The United? Explorer Card is the best United Airlines rewards card. It offers bonuses on hotel and restaurant spending and plenty of travel perks.
The United Explorer Card offers up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
• Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United purchases
• Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining including eligible delivery services
Perks of this card include:
• Getting up to $100 Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Fee Credit
• Get your first bag checked for free (up to $140 savings per roundtrip) when you using your Card to purchase your ticket
• Get priority boarding perks & visit the United Club with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
• 25% back on United inflight purchases
This card does come with a $95 annual fee, however, the annual fee is waived for the first year.
Top Destinations By Month
To start accumulating more miles & points, below is a list of the top destinations for each month during the calendar year:
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in January
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in February
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in March
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in April
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in May
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in June
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in July
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in August
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in September
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in October
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in November
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in December
If you want to save even more money on your travels, then be sure to check out our Best Travel Credit Cards. Check our list on Discounted Gift Cards and get the best bang for your buck with the Best Cash Back Shopping Portals and our eBay Gift Cards list offered here at HMB!