#TRAVEL: GIVE THE GIFT OF TRAVEL WITH BOOKING.COM
Holiday shopping season is well underway, with many of us racking our brains to pick the perfect something. Jewelry is always welcomed, and a wine-of-the-month subscription is of course delightful. But they say the best gifts aren’t wrapped.
Recent research from global travel leader Booking.com, where you can book nearly your whole trip, from accommodations, to flights, car rentals, taxis, and attractions, found that three quarters (74%)* of Canadian travellers feel more alive than ever on vacation. Here are a few great ideas for trips to surprise your favourite person or people this holiday season.
Much-Needed Winter Beach Escape
The classics, like Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica, will always be there for us. But what if this was the year that you and yours went on a serious global adventure to somewhere off the beaten path?
Panglao, Philippines, a top trending destination for 2024 according to recent research from Booking.com**, is a tiny tropical island in the Bohol Sea, with sandy, white beaches, world-class diving, and an abundance of marine life. Known as the Philippines’ greenest destination, coconut palm-lined Panglao has an eco-friendly airport, plentiful organic produce, and a laid-back, ecological sensibility that makes complete relaxation inevitable.
Amarela Resort, a destination in itself, is a short drive to both Alona and Danao Beach. Guests can lounge on one of the private beach’s hammocks, or relax poolside with a book from the resort’s library and a stunning mountain view. The restaurant at this Booking.com Travel Sustainable getaway serves local delicacies using fresh ingredients from its own herb garden, while traditional woodwork and Philippine art lets guests absorb the local culture.
Invigorating Ski Vacation Away
On the other side of the spectrum, there is no shortage of Canadians looking forward to ski season. 36% of Canadian travellers even said that they will use their vacation to enjoy cooler climates in 2024*. From the Rockies to the Laurentian Mountains, we are spoiled with skiing and snowboarding spots. Spots that most dedicated skiers have been to, some many times over. Make this holiday season absolutely unforgettable with a ski vacation far and away in Valkenburg, Netherlands.
This adorable city, known for its marlstone caves, enchanting annual Christmas market, and historic castles, is just a half hour’s drive to SnowWorld Landgraaf, the largest indoor ski resort in Europe. Don’t worry – SnowWorld is just as cold as needed, maintaining an average indoor temperature of -5 celsius.
Château St. Gerlach, nestled in the Geul Valley and just a short drive or train ride outside of Valkenburg, offers a grand country-chic stay in a former 15th-century monastery. Cozy up by the fireplace in the bar, or head to the heated pool and Turkish steam bath after a long day on the slopes. The hotel’s restaurant, focusing on French cuisine, uses golden honey from its beehives and vegetables from its gardens and the adjacent Cannerbos (a Dutch nature reserve). A Walking Tour with a Self-guided City Trail lets visitors discover Valkenburg through solving riddles to reveal quaint castles and local city culture.
Surprise! Start the New Year in a New Place
While many of us are happy to spend New Year’s Eve locally, we would no doubt be utterly delighted to discover that we are going on a surprise New Year’s getaway!
2024 is set to be the year of chasing waterfalls. Kind of. Booking.com’s Travel Predictions 2024 research found that three quarters (76%)* of Canadian travellers agreed that being close to water instantly makes them feel more relaxed, and over a third (43%)* are interested in water-centric vacations in 2024. Beppu, Japan is home to the most natural springs in the country at more than 2,800 springs and nine types of water. Head to the ‘Hells of Beppu,’ a collection of eight spectacular geothermal springs with natural indulgences, like hot bubbling mud, and a geyser shooting off every 30 minutes.
A more relaxing and memorable New Year’s getaway may be near impossible to find. Once you get there, the family-run Terrace Midoubaru is a locally authentic, luxury stay with its own secluded onsen. Each room in this adults-only, design-led inn comes with an open-air hot spring bath and private terrace, enveloped by breathtaking views. Beppu’s attractions are spread all across the city and are best explored by rental car or bus. A half hour drive from Beppu is Yufuin Station where you can book a private rickshaw experience to explore the sights of neighbouring Yufuin.
Booking.com is on a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world and in doing so, connects you with Travel Deals of 15% off or more all year round, an easily accessible Genius loyalty program, a responsive, itinerary-planning app, the widest selection of incredible places to stay with 28 million reported accommodation listings across more than 200 countries, and so much more.
Make this year’s holiday gift giving easier and more exciting than ever with Booking.com. Embrace new experiences in 2024!