Yes, it can be fun to celebrate the holiday season at home with family and friends. But sometimes it’s even more fun to leave behind all the preparation, the cleaning and wrapping and cooking in favor having it all done for you. This year, there are so many options for carefree holiday celebrations. Here, we have a few.

Regent Seven Seas Luxury Cruise

My personal choice for holiday getaway would be spending New Year’s Eve aboard a luxury ship, being served gourmet meals and celebratory cocktails, with stops in interesting ports and plenty of warm weather.

Regent Seven Seas offers such a cruise: the 12-night Champagne Toasts and Caviar Dreams itinerary, roundtrip from Miami, departing December 27, 2019, aboard the Seven Seas Explorer.

This Western Caribbean holiday voyage visits ports in Key West, Florida; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Harvest Caye, Belize; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; Roatan, Honduras; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; George Town, Cayman Islands—returning to Miami, Florida.

Highlights will include a visit to the ruins of Chacchoben and Kohunlich in Costa Maya and an opportunity to indulge in the unique Honduran cuisine while in Roatán.

Each Regent voyage includes all-suite accommodations, round-trip business-class air on intercontinental flights from U.S. and Canada, the largest collection of unlimited shore excursions, entertainment, unlimited internet access, highly personalized service, exquisite cuisine, fine wines and spirits, gratuities, ground transfers and one-night, pre-cruise hotel packages for guests staying in Concierge-level suites and higher.

Christmas on the Potomac

Maryland’s Largest Holiday Event, Christmas on the Potomac, opens on November 15, 2019, with more Christmas per square foot than any other attraction in the Washington, DC region.

The nearly 2,000-room Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center offers a holiday tradition that is open to both hotel guests and the public with miles activities for all ages, including the popular ICE! indoor walk through exhibit fashioned from more than 2 million pounds of sculpted ice.

Exclusive to Gaylord hotels, ICE!, presented by DEI, is a colorful wonderland of sculptures, scenes, and slides all hand carved by artisans from Harbin, China. This year’s 15,000 square foot “cold room” welcomes the classic holiday story, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, featuring scenes from the heart-warming holiday tale.

Also new in 2019, Grinch fans will have the opportunity to meet the star of the show at the resort’s Feast with The Grinch breakfast. Diners can enjoy a buffet of Who-ville inspired items, table-side visits with The Grinch and Max, plus special touches Dr. Seuss fans are sure to adore. There’s even a new adventure inviting kids to follow clues through the resort looking for riddles and puzzles dreamed up by The Grinch as he attempts to steal Christmas. In The Grinch’s Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt, solving clues leads to a grand prize and a change of heart for The Grinch.

Christmas Village is just a quick sleigh ride from the North Pole where Santa waits for the Big Day welcoming children to share their Christmas wishes and take souvenir photos. A long list of activities for children of all ages includes the new Reindeer Rush Ice Tubing Hill, which offers all the fun of sledding with the added speed of ice.

The new outdoor Winter Square overlooking the Potomac River will brighten holiday spirits with twinkling lights and festival decorations that include an outdoor Ice-Skating Rink and Tinsel Tavern, a new, over-the-top ugly sweater-themed bar. Adult beverages and hot chocolate add to the cheer at this warm and cozy outdoor space.

Inside the artfully lit Garden Atrium, revelers will be dazzled by the 55-foot suspended Starlight Christmas tree and nightly Christmas Miracles laser, light and music show, which magically features snow falling indoors. The Garden Atrium is also home to the newest version of Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, a seasonal production combining breathtaking choreography, music and showmanship from around the world.

Individual attraction tickets and flexible discount bundles including multiple attractions and experiences, along with hotel packages, are available on the resort’s website. For more information on Christmas On The Potomac at Gaylord National Resort, to book a room or package and purchase tickets, visit ChristmasOnThePotomac.com or call 301-965-4000.

Join Pére Noél for a Dordogne Christmas

The Dordogne in the heart of the ancient Périgord is synonymous with French gastronomy:  duck, truffles, goose and, of course, fine wines.  An excellent choice for your Christmas feast this year.  Winter in the Dordogne welcomes visitors with crisp clear days and starry nights, offering the perfect excuse to curl up in front of a blazing fire and roast chestnuts.

Plan your trip to arrive just before the holiday so you can do your Christmas shopping at one of the delightful Christmas markets.  The medieval footprint is beautifully preserved in the charming town of Sarlat.  Developed around a Benedictine monastery with fortified walls, Sarlat is a paradise for food lovers. Cobbled streets lead down laneways to lovely inner courtyards and pretty squares.  At the lower end of the old town the Christmas market surrounds a skating pond and children can take rides in horse drawn carts.

Le Mas & Le Mazet, a 16th-century farmhouse and its adjacent cottage are wonderful jumping off points to explore the Christmas markets in some of the prettiest villages in all of France.  Recognized by The Times’ 50 best holidays in France for 2019,  https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-best-holidays-in-france-for-2019-our-ultimate-travel-guide-35bwnh9xr

Le Mas, with five bedrooms, is ideal for multi-generational families, groups of friends or wine clubs.  And for a romantic get-away the charming Le Mazet is a delightful way for couples to escape.

At Christmas Le Mas & Le Mazet are decked with garlands of mistletoe and holly cut from the garden and surrounding woods.  Decorated trees greet guests and gilt cones and candles glimmer from the windows.

During the festive season the region’s excellent wineries offer up some of the best complements for your Christmas feast – or for quiet sipping near a roaring fire.   For an evening outing, host Rupert Springfield suggests: “The carol singing in English in Monflanquin town square in the run-up to Christmas is great fun!”

About the Property

Le Mas & Le Mazet is a 16th-century farmhouse located in the heart of the Dordogne countryside in France. In 2016, owners Rupert Springfield and Franck van der Hooft teamed up with Dutch interior designer Joris van Grinsven to renovate both houses, adding modern design to complement the history and character of the buildings.

Le Mas accommodates up to 10 guests and Le Mazet is a charming 1-bedroom cottage with the most gorgeous views over the valley to the 12th-century village church. Le Mas & Le Mazet can be rented individually or together for groups of up to 12 guests.

On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Le Mas was awarded 5-stars by the Dordogne Perigord Tourist Board. The classification is based on the facilities, space, accommodation and information offered to guests. It is the perfect base to explore all of the castles, markets, prehistoric caves, wineries and restaurants that the Dordogne has to offer.

Christmas in London

What could be more “Christmas-y” than a holiday in London, which transforms itself into a Dickensian fantasy with huge Christmas trees, festive decorations and twinkling Christmas lights. During this happy season, there are Christmas markets, ice skating, ice carving and wonderful shows and displays. The hotels play their part, with seasonal offerings and packages.

Milestone Hotels and Residences

The Milestone Hotel in Kensington ensures its guests have A Taste of Home this Christmas

The Milestone Hotel & Residences invites its guests to share their favorite seasonal recipe this holiday season so that they can enjoy A Taste of Home. Whether they’re longing for the sweet taste of pumpkin pie, a slice of Pavlova, or prefer their turkey and potatoes roasted a particular way, the hotel’s talented kitchen team will ensure that guests’ every festive whim is met and bring a true Taste of Home to their Christmas celebrations at The Milestone.

Guests spending Christmas Eve in the Hermes or Meghan Suites, or one of the hotel’s six Residences, need simply share their favorite recipe with Executive Chef Rob Creaser, and his team will recreate the dish as part of a delicious Christmas feast.

Overnight stays in mid-December start in the mid $400s.

Knightsbridge’s Egerton House Hotel

A holiday getaway with a Dickensian Christmas display, Wreath-Making Workshop and a Festive Doggy Afternoon Tea!

This festive season, London’s Egerton House Hotel will transform its elegant façade into a Dickensian Christmas display, offering a beautiful window into Victorian times. The hotel is introducing a Wreath-Making Workshop under the guidance of the hotel’s resident floral expert and ‘florist to the stars’ Jane Wadham, whose client list includes Victoria Beckham and The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The hotel’s famous Doggy Afternoon Tea has also been given a festive twist.

The new Wreath-Making Workshop will take place on 5th December 2019, and includes tips on how to design a wreath using English-grown and seasonal plants, berries and foliage. Priced at £90 per person and includes a Christmas Afternoon Tea.

Four-legged guests visiting the hotel in December are encouraged to dress in their best Christmas attire for the chance to win a gift voucher for Doggy Afternoon Tea. To be in the running, guests can snap a photo of their furry friend at the hotel in a Christmas jumper, hat, bow tie or similar, and post on social media using #EgertonChristmas. The pet-friendly team will select a winner on 1st January 2020.

https://www.egertonhousehotel.com/food-and-drink/whats-on

Safari in South Africa

For travelers seeking adventure during the holidays, African Travel, Inc. offers the magic of Africa with immersive, authentic experiences of the continent’s diverse culture–all wrapped up in their Southern Explorer safari.

This adventure is one of African Travel, Inc.’s most popular safaris. You’ll experience the vibrant culture, scenic beauty and natural wonders of Southern Africa. Spectacular Cape Town and Kruger National Park are artfully combined with the majesty of Victoria Falls.

While in Cape Town, you’ll explore the breathtaking scenery of the Cape of Good Hope and the surrounding winelands on privately guided sightseeing tours. You’ll stay at the luxurious Cape Cadogan–a stately double-storied Georgia and Victorian building dating back to the beginning of the 19th century.

You’ll then travel to the the renowned Krugar Private Reserve and enjoy twice daily game drives in search of Africa’s “Big Five” the leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo and the mighty lion. You’ll stay at the renowned Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, famed for its warmth, vibrancy and legendary hospitality. Each of the spacious, air-conditioned thatched suites features en-suite bathrooms with al-fresco glass-fronted indoor showers, affording wonderful views of the bush. Huge viewing decks are the ideal setting to relax while spotting game, birdwatching, or cooling off in the pools.

Your next stop is onto Zimbabwe, where you’ll discover the rainforests surrounding the thundering Victoria Falls, take a helicopter flight, and be awed by the sheer size and grandeur from above. A stay at The Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as “the grand old lady of The Falls,” will take you back in time to the early 1900s. The Edwardian-style hotel is surrounded by carefully tended tropical gardens, lily ponds and century-old shade trees.

Later, you’ll end your experience on a perfect note, with the golden glow of an African sunset as you meander along the Zambezi River on a sundowner dinner cruise—and be ready with your binoculars to zoom in on the hippos cavorting in the river!