Experiences are the new gifts of choice, and what better ones than travel? When you’re short on vacation days there are more options than staycations. Go beyond, to what I’ll call a “shortcation,” and place tickets to one or more of these getaways in a loved-ones stocking, or your own – or both.
Even if you or the lucky recipient have less than a week to spend – even just a long weekend – the following travel gift ideas will refresh and restore. And consider your own ideas – coming up short still can mean getting away.
Take a Long-Weekend Cruise
Short cruises, as few as three days, can help break up your routine.
Royal Caribbean. From Miami or Orlando, you’ll find plenty of weekend sailings. You can windsurf off the coast of Nassau. Climb up ancient Maya pyramids in Cozumel. And new, on their private island, overwater cabanas.
Celebrity. After a puddle jumper flight to Puerto Rico from the U.S. mainland, a southern Caribbean sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a fine short cruise. You can visit Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, in the lush U.S. Virgin Islands; Basseterre, the vibrant capital of St. Kitts and Nevis; and St. John’s in exotic Antigua – all in four nights.
Hop a Flight to a Neighbor
You can connect within a few hours to our North American neighbors and enjoy an international long weekend, without jet lag.
Mexico City Direct flights can quickly bring you to this magnificent city, which means that even a few days can be spent enjoying its pleasures: a foodie scene, world-class museums. And nearby: Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul, the Pyramids, the muraled buildings of the great university. Enough to satisfy for the time being, at least.
Maritime Canada. Halifax, Digby, St. John. These neighboring areas offer history, coastal gems such as Peggy’s Cove, fresh scallops and lobster, and fascinating traditions that offer the feel of another country, but closeby.
Fly to Nearby Islands
From many cities you can fly direct to the Caribbean or the Bahamas in a few hours. (And this year, if possible, choose an island where even a short stay makes a difference to the local economy. Holiday gifts for all!)
Puerto Rico. The island is still rebuilding and recovering from a couple of years ago, but Old San Juan and many parts of the island remain beautiful and ready for tourists.
The Bahamas. Nassau and most of the islands remain perfect spots for a getaway, despite this past season’s hurricane. Go, have fun, and help their economy.
Immerse in a City
Cities are wonderful for short breaks. So much to do, lots of excitement to pack in, day and night.
Boston. Walk along tree-lined Commonwealth Avenue. Explore the Public Garden and Boston Common, or opt for a scenic bike ride or picnic along the Charles River Esplanade.
Las Vegas. The Neon Museum. The Mob Museum. Art, great food, glitzy shows, desert and mountain landscape, Hoover dam. Lots to enjoy, even in a short while.
Relax in a Resort
A few days to rest and restore in a tranquil, luxe environment with spa facilities, recreation and fine dining. The perfect gift.
Boca Raton Resort & Club, Florida. Three hotels, 13 restaurants and bars alongside special dining events offering uniquely curated experiences – including the celebrated Winemaker & Chef Dinner series. Old-world charm and modern elements in a luxury complex. Beach, pool, gardens.
The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach, California. Italian Paladian architecture, three miles of cove beach, four restaurants, bluff-top trails, biking, spa: simple pleasures whatever time you have to spend.