The Five Best Places to Escape the Holidays for Vacation

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The holidays are a cheerful and happy time of year, but it’s not that way for everyone.

While most people can’t wait for the winter holiday season, it isn’t cheerful for everyone. In fact, it is during this time of year that hospitals and crisis lines see more depression, self-harm, or worse, than any other season. The reasons for this can are as myriad and diverse as the individuals they effect. Still, if the holidays are a hard time for you, it is impossible to escape them, especially in the United States. Streets are decorated with bows, trees, and lights. Businesses have specials, sales, and play non-stop holiday music. If you’re not in the mood for Christmas cheer and the happy holiday wishes make you feel the exact opposite, maybe you need a place to go to escape the holidays.

During this time of year, most everywhere is going have to some reminder of the season. Whether it’s light displays or decorations or maybe a celebration of another holiday entirely, it can be tough to get away. Still, there are places you can go in order to better distract yourself from those things, usually with sun, surf, and sandy beaches. You can’t run away from your problems, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hit “pause” on them and take some time for you. Consider it a Christmas gift for yourself if you have to, but there are plenty of places to go where you can find some joy, even if the season of joy is anything but that for you.


The Top Places to Escape the Holidays

If you'd rather not be reminded of the holidays, we've compiled a few of the best places to escape the holidays. Try one of these vacation hot spots.

1. Escape the Holidays by Going to Dubai

Credit: Jeshoots, Pixabay

This Middle Eastern country is angling to be the go-to destination for affluent travelers at any time of year. However, if you want to escape the holidays, there is no more luxurious place to run to. From the towering Burj Khalifa skyscraper to the decadent Dubai Mall, there is plenty to hold your attention. As a majority-Muslim country, there will not be much chance to run into Christmas displays or other unwanted holiday reminders.

Spend a day boating on the Dubai Creek or visit the Dubai Aquarium for a full day of bonding with the wonders that live in the deep. You can tour ancient mosques or visit the Dubai museum, which holds artifacts from bygone days in the nation to the days of colonialism to the days of independence and the oil industry. This is an incredible place to spend some time no matter what the reason, but it’s a great place to go to avoid the holidays.

2. Escape the Holidays by Going to Mumbai

Credit: Vidur Malhotra, Flickr

Mumbai is one of the most populous and interesting cities in the world, so it makes a great destination for escaping the holidays. Using our list of the best luxury hotels in the city, you can find a place that will accommodate you and your guests. Depending on what sort of amenities and services you are looking for.

You can stay at resorts operated by trusted global chains like Grand Hyatt or Novotel. You can also stay at resorts with less name recognition, like Vivanta by Taj President, which still offers high-quality luxury experiences. You can enjoy these seven-star accommodations and the vital, vibrant city of Mumbai in style.

3. Escape the Holidays by Going to Barbados

The Carribbean and Central America are all popular destinations for travelers seeking tropical climates and luxury resorts. If you’re going to escape the holidays anywhere in that part of the world, consider Barbados. A unique blend of cultures, antiquities, and state-of-the-art accommodations await those looking to soak up some sun on their beaches.

You can look through our guide of the best places to stay in Barbados, and then learn more about each resort thanks to our in-depth reviews. Whether you want privacy and luxury in a remote location or the full-on resort experience, crowds and all, you can find them here. A wonderful place for a visit any time of year, if you want to escape the holidays, Barbados is a great place to get lost.

4. Escape the Holidays by Going to Bali

When you think of luxury resorts on gorgeous beaches, you probably don’t think of Asia as one of the premiere places for it, but you should. The tropical areas in Asia are just as lush and wonderful as those in Central America, the Mediterranean region, or anywhere else in the tropics. Bali is emerging as the jewel of this region, packed with luxurious resorts that promise pampering and privacy.

The resorts listed on our master guide of the best places to stay in Bali all offer that and much more. You can just lounge around the resort, drinking colorful drinks or explore the natural splendor and cultural diversity of the region. Bali is one of the preeminent tropical destinations, but you won’t encounter the crowds you find in the Carribbean or elsewhere during the winter months. Bali might feel like our little secret, but it won’t stay that way for long.

5. Escape the Holidays by Going Out to Sea on Your Yacht

As mentioned above, even when you travel abroad during the holidays you will still see signs of the season no matter where you go. People and businesses rarely need an excuse to decorate and celebrate, so it is inevitable. So, if you really want to avoid all holiday celebrations, maybe it’s time to hit the sea. They say that the happiest days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it.

However, if you have a luxury yacht, you’ll be hard-pressed to not be happy every moment you sit on the bow and look out to where the sea meets the horizon. You can sail to tropical islands or just hop from port to port, stopping only for food and fuel. These ships offer a kind of freedom that most people only dream of, and they can take you wherever you need to go. Check out our comprehensive guide to the best luxury yachts on the water to pick the ship that most speaks to you. 


The holidays can be a time of heavy despair and sadness for people, but they don’t have to be.

For many people, the idea of trying to escape the holidays seems strange and a little sad. However, for others, it’s the kind of thing that can make a tough time of year your favorite. You can use the holidays as an excuse to see new cultures, visit new places, and surround yourself with a celebratory atmosphere. Because while this is a season of giving and helping your fellow humans, it can also be a season for self-care. If being around home during the holidays fills you with dread, stress, or sadness, you can venture out into the world for a new adventure. Instead of being the time of year where you feel your worst, a vacation to escape the holidays can be your personal tradition that helps you look forward to this time of year, too. Happy holidays and remember to take care of yourselves.

What do you think? Share your thoughts, suggestions, and experiences in the comments below. Don’t forget to share the article on social media if you liked it, so your friends can get in on the discussion. 

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