quebec city at christmas

Find joy wherever you look — the holiday spirit is aglow in Quebec City. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

How to Find Joy This Holiday Season, Whatever Your Plans

This holiday season may be unlike any other experienced in your lifetime, but don’t fret— joy is near. Whether you like to escape the snow for a warm weather retreat or cozy up with the family in a rustic vacation rental, the opportunities for exploring holiday cheer are numerous.

And if you aren’t able to see your loved ones this holiday season, sending them something thoughtful will be sure to bring smiles to their faces.

Here are six tips for finding joy in the holiday season.

Lean into Holiday Joys

rittenhouse square philadelphia at christmas
Feeling festive in Philadelphia. (Photo: Getty Images)

There are many hot spots around the U.S. that make for a festive retreat — and that you can explore via road trip if flying the friendly skies isn’t an option. In Aspen, Colorado, you can get a wet holiday kiss from the resident dog, Kitty the Bernese, at the St. Regis Aspen Resort.

Take a holiday-themed road trip from Atlanta to Asheville, NC — along the way, you’ll pass through the German-inspired town of Helen, Georgia, known for its annual Christkindlmarkt, as well as Asheville’s Biltmore Estate, which showcases over-the-top Christmas displays.

In Canada, make the hectic holiday season a little less harried with a staycation escape closer to home. You’ll find atmospheric Old Quebec’s 17th-century homes and storefronts are transformed into a mesmerizing winter wonderland, and if you’re wishing for a snow-covered, storybook setting, head to Prince Edward Island to experience Charlottetown’s beloved Christmas Festival.

Take the Family Somewhere New

mom and child looking at christmas ligths
Kids and parents alike find joy in discovery. (Photo: Getty Images)

Imagining your holidays spent on Florida’s warm beaches instead of in your chilly hometown? Before setting off on your holiday vacation, carefully research a few destinations that you would want to visit with your family.

If you are completely unfamiliar with the destination, don’t forget to research all the details, like the weather forecast and local holiday events, as well as accommodation options ranging from hotels to vacation home rentals.

If you are seeking ease of travel, then consider how many modes of transportation your family will need to get from point A to point B safely.

Escape the Holiday Hustle

couples piggybacking through snow
Find the time for an escape with friends or loved ones. (Photo: Getty Images)

Leaving the holiday frenzy behind can be achieved by setting out on a solo journey or a romantic couples journey. Booking a hotel or resort with a kitchen or kitchenette is a good way to self-sustain while traveling.

Also, staying for more than a long weekend on a holiday trip is becoming more popular through the slow travel trend, where travelers take the opportunity to stay longer while working and exploring. Instead of being caught up in the digital madness, you can stay for a few weeks or more in a destination and experience the local culture, food and art at a leisurely pace.

Show Gratitude for Loved Ones

gingerbread christmas decoration
Treat your loved ones right for the holidays. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you can’t be with your loved ones this holiday, you can send them a little something to show that you are thinking of them. For friends and family that enjoy tea, an ornate London EDITION teapot would be a classy gift.

Many are missing the pampering that only a spa brings, but you can send your loved one a spa-style mango and tangerine-scented candle from The Ritz-Carlton Spa. Almost everyone can appreciate a new, hotel-quality pillow like the JW Pillow made with natural fibers.

Look Forward to Your Next Trip

Hiker overlooking Chugach Mountains
Find yourself a wish-list destination and start planning. (Photo: Getty Images)

Whether you have your sights set on doing an international dive trip in Fiji or a ski vacation in the Swiss Alps, it’s never too early to begin planning from home. Checking off your wish-list vacations can be achieved by budgeting in advance, sourcing advice for places to visit from travel reviews, and asking friends and family for feedback about past experiences.

Some places to consider for your wish list are Rwanda, Crete, Oman and Vietnam, depending on if you like adventure, culinary travel or just want to explore a new culture.