This holiday season will no doubt be much different than years past. COVID-19 has led to changes like we’ve never faced before from digital health passports to resort bubbles. With the virus far from contained, it will be interesting to see how Americans spend their holidays this year. If you’re planning to travel domestically, you may be wondering which hotels are offering discounts and if their COVID practices can be trusted. Whether you prefer a five-star hotel, cosy beach getaway or sleepy New England village, there are definitely holiday bargains to be had.
Here are a few Christmas travel deals you can get in on this year.
Best Christmas Destinations and Deals
Whether you’re after a classic Christmas escape complete with sleighbells and eggnog or searching for something more tropical, we’ve got you covered. The United States is an incredibly diverse nation oozing with colourful cities, stunning national parks and a melting pot of culture. From New York City‘s bustling Christmas atmosphere to charming Coloradan villages like Vail – there’s something for everyone’s taste.
Vail, Colorado – Tivoli Lodge
This stunning Rocky Mountain state is a favourite year-round, but at Christmastime, it really comes alive. From cosy mountain towns like Aspen and Telluride to the bustling city of Denver, there’s much to be explored in the winter. Where the magic is really at, though, is Vail.
This picturesque ski town is the perfect place to celebrate with your family this holiday season. Vail is home to some of the best holiday activities around and one of the largest ski resorts worldwide. Vail also boasts some fantastic Christmas markets full of handcrafted ornaments, games and mulled cider galore to keep the whole family occupied.
This year Tivoli Lodge has put together a special Christmas deal for families looking to travel this holiday season. Guests who book a stay by December 25th will receive a whopping 45% off their price. The trip can be any time between October 30th – December 25th making it perfect for families that are difficult to schedule. Nestled right in the heart of Vail, you’ll be met with the local charm and picturesque mountains all in one. Tivoli Lodge offers a variety of winter activities, so you and the kids can ski, fish or hike the day away. Given the price, atmosphere and safety standards it’s one of the best Christmas deals out there.
See their health standards here.
Dallas, Texas – Gaylord Texan
Dallas may not be the first or most obvious pick of places to celebrate Christmas but bear with us. The bustling metropolitan hub is chockfull of Christmas charm from it’s gorgeous arboretum to the Galleria tree that’s lit to the high heavens. The city is also home to some of the best restaurants, shopping and hotels in the whole Lone Star State. And that’s saying something.
The famous Gaylord Texan takes the cake for best Christmas deal of the season. The hotel is renowned for its elaborate winter celebrations and family activities, making it ideal for couples or families. This year they are offering an unbelievable bargain of 20% off a stay of three nights or more.
While celebrating the holiday guests can enjoy any one of their world-class Christmas events. Build a gingerbread house together, go snow tubing or check out their famous Christmas Movies Event. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
See Gaylor Texan’s commitment to cleanliness here.
New York City – The Four Seasons
Nothing says postcard-perfect Christmas quite like New York City in December. This incredibly festive city is loaded with timeless Christmas tradition like the massive Rockefeller tree and the annual Christmas Spectacular. This year New York City will definitely look a lot different, but the Big Apple still plans to preserve the Christmas spirit. New York City is nothing short of magical this time of year. “Jingle Bell Rock” seems to blast the streets and every inch of the city is lit up – especially Saks 5th.
Turns out, the Four Seasons – yep, *the* Four Seasons is offering a deal right now through the end of the year that is unheard of. it’s called the “Rate Room.” This deal promises guests the absolute best rate based on their accommodation and gives full flexibility for changed or cancelled travels. Booking with Four Seasons not only gives you the most affordable option a five-star hotel can offer, but it’s also smack dab in the middle of Manhattan. The luxury hotel chain promises at least a 20% discount with their “Room Rate” offer. At just a few steps from Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue, it’s definitely the deal of a lifetime. Book here by November 30th.
To see how and why they are one of the safest hotels in regards to COVID, click here.
Woodstock, Vermont – Woodstock Inn
Simply put, Woodstock is pure magic at Christmas. This cosy winter wonderland is oozing with holiday charm – so much charm in fact that Country Living named it one of the best Christmas towns in the whole country. It’s the classic Christmas you’ve always dreamed of with strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriages and something yummy wafting through the air.
So, where to stay in a place as beautiful as this? Woodstock Inn bills itself as Vermont’s most beautiful address, and it isn’t hard to see why. This massive New England masterpiece is loaded to the brim with elegance and has the hospitality to back it up. Guests can stroll the village taking in the holiday spirit, make old fashioned smores, take culinary classes and more. The local culture and winter atmosphere is enough by itself but combine that with a discount and it’s unbeatable.
They are currently offering a pre-Christmas getaway on rooms booked up to December 23rd. The offer includes a luxurious and romantic suite with breakfast for two.
Above all, Woodstock in prioritizes safety. You can find their lengthy health and hygiene guidelines here.
Palos Verdes, California – Terranea
Who says Christmas can’t be sunny and seaside? Palos Verdes is the place to be for anyone looking for a relaxing beach getaway over snowy lanes and Christmas markets. While Palos Verdes isn’t as famous as it’s Monterey counterpart, it’s equally as beautiful. It’s home to some of the Golden State’s most stunning beaches and a picturesque 1920’s lighthouse that’ll make you go “Woah.”
One of the beach hub’s most famous and beloved hotels is currently giving an incredible special that can be applied over the holidays. The Terranea is presently offering guests an exclusive offer of one free night when they book two or more. You can spend the holiday weekend whale watching and exploring the gorgeous Mediterranean-Esque grounds with a full third discounted if you book two nights. You’ll have no shortage of outdoor distanced activities, either. The area is covered in cliffy seaside hikes, bluff parks and even a botanical garden.
To see why Terranea above and beyond in cleanliness and safety, click here.
What to Look For When Booking a Hotel This Christmas Season
Whether you opt for one of these deals or any of the several others sure to pop up in the coming months, there are a few things we recommend.
Book Places With Both Adult and Family-Friendly Activities
Gaylord Texan and Woodstock Inn are shining examples of this. Both offer everything from A+ culinary and wine classes to snowmobiling. It not only gives you plenty of options but ensures you’ll be surrounded by those most into the spirit – i.e. kids!
Find a Place That Advertises Distanced Activities or is Nearby Nature
Each location on this list either advertises social distanced activities or is nearby natural areas perfect for safe fun. By checking the location beforehand, you won’t have to worry as much about what to do and whether or not it’s safe once you arrive.
Check the Hotel’s Guidelines
Each hotel listed above carries high standards of cleaning and hygiene to ensure guests the least risk of exposure. If you aren’t sure, call ahead and ask what their procedure is.
Do a Quick Clean Anyway
It never hurts to have that extra reassurance that your room is in tip-top shape. Follow this guide for a few tips.
This is a given but be sure to check current guidelines where you will be travelling to and from this season. The Coronavirus situation is one that is constantly evolving and changing. As some states are letting up, others are becoming more strict. You can keep up with the most recent guidelines by state right here.
Lastly, Have Fun!
We know. This holiday season is different and in many ways, just plain strange. Nonetheless, families and loved ones can still improvise to enjoy a safe Christmas and make the best of this holiday season. After all, it’s the “most wonderful time of the year.”
What Does a 2020 Christmas Look Like, Anyway?
The nonstop changes to regulations and evolution of the virus has left a lot of Americans wondering just how different this Christmas will be from the last. One thing’s for sure – online shopping is slated to become more popular than ever before.
Santa will still be in malls, but it will be…different. Brookfield Properties, who is the second-largest mall operator in the country, has recently revealed how they plan to do Santa visits this year. The shopping centre mogul says it will have Santa present in its mall but will be providing a “touchless experience.” Santa’s big snowy beard will be covered with a mask, and children will have the opportunity to sit on wrapped gifts at an appropriate distance.
Mall operator Preit which owns approximately 20 malls on the East Coast says it will be placing Santa behind plexiglass. In lieu of photos, children will be given the option to record their…wait for it…zoom call. That’s right – kiddos can now zoom chat with Santa and save it for later.
Studies have also shown some pretty interesting numbers in terms of what Americans plan to do for the holidays this year. Moning Consult concluded that around 53% plan to have holiday gatherings as usual despite the virus. Alternatively, research done by Travelocity revealed that a whopping 60% of Americans don’t plan on visiting family for this years holidays. However, they still plan on travelling, just not to grandma and grandpas. The study revealed that one in four families plan on taking a vacation before the end of the year. Mostly due to the fact that summer vacations were cancelled and prolonged visits with elderly relatively could be risky. Whatever the reason, it gives at least a glimmer of hope to the countries struggling hospitality industry.
A Changing Industry
It’s no secret that the virus has led to unprecedented losses in the travel realm. Primarily with accommodation and airfare. Struggling to keep up, both industries have made massive cuts to their prices to stay afloat. Recently the pandemic has spawned once in a lifetime airfare deals, and larger chains like Wyndham are offering resort bubble style accommodation over the holidays. It’s an exceptional time indeed for the holidays and a season that will definitely be remembered. Whether you plan on booking a staycation, hitting the road or visiting family, plenty of fun will still be had.