We all love to try out new experiences, learn about new cultures, and immerse ourselves to the unexpected. This is why we crave to go to as many places as possible even though it might not be as easy to do so for all of us. If you work a 9 to 5 job like me then travel can feel like a luxury. However, I just love travelling so much that I feel like I have to do it at least once every year. And when to best do it than during the holidays where you do not have to spend too many of your paid vacation leaves for you to go. As an architect, I may have a slight preference to going to places where there are architectural spectacles where I can take a picture for my architecture christmas card for that year. Without further ado, here are some of the best places where you can go on vacation this holiday season without burning through your food budget.
Architecture Christmas Cards Destination #1 : Sedona Arizona
Try visiting a desert during the winter season and be surprised by this one-of-a-kind experience. It might not be as conventional as the white christmas that we know have grown to know and love but it still has its own beauty that we ought to give a chance.
Even though the place is mostly a desert, the red rocks can still be dusted with snow during Christmas time, so you might still get your wish of a white christmas albeit with a reddish hue. Because, it is not the most popular of destinations, you can usually book a place there for quite less compared to the peak seasons when the desert is hotter and drier. Even the luxury hotels would put up significantly lower rates and you can even try going to the spa without spending too much.
Finally, you can still get to enjoy the same loved activities that you would normally do in Sedona, such as sight seeing, hiking and simply enjoying that crisp night air.
Architecture Christmas Cards Destination #2 : Phuket Thailand
Thailand is a predominantly buddhist country but because of the several waves of tourists that visit the place day in and day out, it has become home to a lot of different cultures and is slowly becoming a melting pot of all the world’s customs and traditions. The holidays in the place may not scream Christmas but it will still be as enjoyable.
Whenever we think about Phuket, the first thing that comes to mind is their beaches which boasts itself as one of the most beautiful attractions in the world. The people there are nice, and you will never feel alone as a compatriot is bound to show up in your travel at some point. It is home to a few thousand hotels as well so you will have a choice on how much you intend to spend in the place.
Whenever I go to places, I always check out the local cuisine and Thailand never failed to disappoint. Thai food has become a staple in several areas in the states but there is so much more to Thai cooking that you ought to experience right from the Thais themselves.
This trip might be a bit more pricey than other destinations in this list but it is well worth it. You might want to check out the neighboring southeast asian countries as well. The beaches there are to die for and the service is normally satisfactory if not outright amazing.
Architecture Christmas Cards Destination #2 : Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai may seem out of place in this list for people who have not gone there yet. It is a common misconception that Dubai is way too expensive for the common traveller. After all, the place is swarming with actual kings and princes, and admittedly, it does have a market for ultra luxury. But the truth is, it is quite affordable as long as you know where to find a place to stay and where to do your intended activities. The key is to look for the places where there have been no royalty flaunting their wealth.
Once you are there, you can enjoy the many activities that you can only experience in the great sand dunes of the middleterranean. Visit one of their beautiful and sunny beaches and shop till you drop in their excellent stores. As an architect, I made it a point in my travel to spend a bit of time to visit the Burj Khalifa which is the tallest building in the world. This magnificent architectural spectacle is a sight to behold and speaks to the architect in me the way a musician hears a maestro’s composition.
Architecture Christmas Cards Destination #2 : Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife is an island west of Morocco under spanish rule. English speakers are welcomed here with open arms and is the perfect destination for travellers hoping to escape the cold nights of the northern hemisphere. The place is home to a lot of english speakers as well so you should not have to dust up on your spanish in order to enjoy the place.
Once you are there, you will want to be in places where you are able to access the three main attractions which is to soak up the sun in their beaches, hiking and enjoying the local cuisine.
Architecture Christmas Cards Destination #3 : Orlando, Florida
If you are on a really tight budget and decided to instead stay stateside during the holiday season, you might want to consider booking a trip to Orlando, Florida. Right after the Christmas holidays, the prices of the hotel room drop, while all the parks will remain decorated. And while you are there, you can enjoy the lovely temperatures which would normally stay in the 70s. This way you can enjoy every bit of the Florida sun while having fun too. Discover the excellent florida beaches or simply enjoy the pools of your hotel.
Architecture Christmas Cards Destination #4 : Boracay, Philippines
Consistently ranks among the best beaches in the world are the beaches of Boracay island in the Philippines. The conditions on the island is near pristine since the government decided to close the place down for half a year. The night life has severely taken a tone back but it is still quite the destination if you are there to simply enjoy what nature is offering.
You can enjoy many activities while you are in the place, from paragliding as one of the most extreme activities to simply watch Hawaiian inspired fire dancers. And because the place is basically a collection of many islands joined together by boat routes, you may decide to go island hopping which is always a good idea.
In all my travels, never have I been stunned at the first sight of a place as I have been when I went to the island. It is truly miraculous which almost feels like a crime granted that western travellers would normally pay less because of the exchange rate.
Architecture Christmas Cards Destination #5 : Rome, Italy
If you have not noticed it yet, the pattern here is going to places which are not normally Christmas destinations so it will not be filled with tourists and thus we are able to afford the stay there.
When you spend Christmas season in Rome outside of what is typically the tourist season, you will not only be able to get lower rates on accommodations but you will also have the place entirely for yourself. This means no long lines, and uncrowded transportation while roaming around the beautiful city. If you are a christian, you may want to take part in a mass at the Vatican where they would normally have a celebration of the birth of Christ. Or, if you are a food junkie like me, you can get into your dream restaurants and have all the pizza and pasta right from the inventors.
People often tell me to lay off the camera when travelling as I should enjoy the moment as the moment is happening. I am not entirely sure if I agree with that statement given that I have always thought of memories as something that will last me through my years until my old age. Travelling has always been part of my life and I intend to capture these moments so I can keep on sharing my experiences with other people. It is not so much as trying to relive these moments but to hoping that friends, family and even strangers get to share theirs too.
The number one problem stopping people from going on vacation is the cost that comes with it which may be a real showstopper which brings me to the number two problem. And that is lack of planning. Make sure that every detail is accounted for and make room for sudden changes such as unexpected price hikes. Given that everything can be bought online nowadays, it would be wise to have everything pre-bought so you would not have to worry.