December’s dazzle and overall draw around the world means November is often the month to bag better value. Chase the sun to paradise isles or go skiing for less in low season. Wrap up for celebrations of light, be grateful for Thanksgiving and start thinking about Christmas with atmospheric markets in Europe…
GO WITH THE FLOW
America’s south is pleasantly warm: out-of-school crowds have left Florida and Charleston’s unfailingly charming. In California, LA’s still sunbathing and San Francisco is chilled out yet clement, plus Dungeness crabs are back on Napa Valley’s menus – best enjoyed with the latest wines. Always-warm Dubai is at its temperate best: go off-road in the desert, before cooling off by the coast. It’s road-trippin’ season in Australia, too: swap the humid north for vineyard hopping, beaching and city breaks around Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. In Thailand, the time’s right for island hopping off Phuket or Koh Samui or getting immersed in Bangkok’s bustle, or hit Asia’s whisper-quiet outlier, with a brag-worthy trip to Bhutan.
ESCAPE THE CROWDS
It’s the start of the ski season and – depending on snow cover – major North America resorts in Colorado (Aspen, Vail, Telluride et al) open up to winter sports fans, with wallet-friendly rooms. In Europe, aim for snow-sure glacier-fed resorts with longer seasons, such as Val Thoren in France – the highest resort on the continent. The Med has latter-day blue skies the further south you go: aim for Andalucia, the Balearics or Turkey to eke out the last days of summer.
The UK commemorates the Gunpowder Plot’s foiling with explosions (or fireworks) on Bonfire Night. Thailand lights up in more serene style, with floating offerings and swarms of khom loi lanterns at Loi Krathong. Americans tuck into turkey and Macy’s festive inflatables parade in New York for Thanksgiving, followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s super sales. Aussies do what they do best at Sydney Beer Week and Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea installations wrap up, as Melbourne’s Spring Carnival races begin. Christmas comes early in Europe as winter markets arrive in places such as Prague, Brussels, Vienna, Berlin and more, while Sinterklaas rides into the canals of Amsterdam, watched by thousands with music and parades.
BOOK NOW FOR…
Where the party’s at on New Year’s Eve, and that January-blues-busting winter-sun break.
For more travel inspiration, explore where to go in December…