Ho Ho Ho and pass the dreidel! A whopping 42.5 million people supposedly hit the road over Thanksgiving jump-starting the holiday travel season. And over the next four weeks millions more will celebrate the season with vacations near and far. And where are all these people staying?
Surely everyone is not going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house. In fact, a hotel versus a relative’s home is an enticing solution to often over-crowded family quarters. From the holiday décor to tasty holiday fare, hotels are celebrating the season with their guests and working hard to make their hotels feel a lot more like home at the holidays.
If you are traveling for Hanukkah or Christmas this year, consider taking along some of your favorite decorations and holiday gear to keep some of your traditions alive while you are traveling.
Tips for Making Your Hotel Feel More Like Home at the Holidays
Holiday Decor. It’s amazing what a string or two of lights, a menorah, some tinseled garland, a ribbon around your pillow or a little decorated tree can do to make a hotel feel like home at the holidays. Pack them in your suitcase or ship a box ahead. You can also bring supplies for your kids to make decorations. And don’t forget your stockings and a copy of your favorite Christmas movie.
Ornaments. I like to collect ornaments from the cities I am visiting both as a souvenir of my trip and to embrace the spirit of the season. And each year as I decorate my tree, I can remember the wonderful places I have been fortunate enough to visit.
Make the most of the Concierge. A hotel concierge also makes for a wonderful Santa’s helper! They are happy to store any surprises and help Santa deliver those presents Christmas morning. All you have to do is ask!
Presents! Logistically, it can be an issue transporting gifts for kids on a Christmas vacation. If you are flying to your destination, do NOT put wrapped gifts in your carry-on luggage. You run a big risk of having them unwrapped at the TSA checkpoint. In fact, I wouldn’t wrap them until you arrive to your destination. Even if your wrapped gifts are checked in your suitcase, the wrapping paper can easily get damaged. So pack a few gift bags and some tissue paper for easy assembly when you arrive. If time allows, have your gift list ready and do the shopping when you arrive to your destination. Let the Concierge point you to great local boutiques and city shopping favorites. One of the things you should always take advantage of is the in-room safe, especially if precious gifts are to be given this season. You’ll find this in most every hotel.
Hotels with HO HO Happenings!
Some hotels really know how to deck the halls during the holidays. Look for one that offers night-time calls from Santa or perhaps a holiday story reading, sleigh rides, or even complimentary cider.
Life-sized gingerbread houses can be found at nearly every Ritz-Carlton hotel in the world from Atlanta to Berlin. Children and adults will feel at home for the holidays with long-standing traditions such as Santa nighttime “tuck-ins” and Teddy Bear teas.
Gaylord Hotels located in Nashville, Dallas, Orlando and Washington, D.C. present ICE!, some of the country’s most memorable holiday celebrations each with unique whimsical winter wonderlands hand carved from nearly TWO MILLION pounds of ice. Guests at the Gaylord National will experience Merry Madagascar while at the Gaylord Texan you can Shrek the Halls.
Christmas at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville is Kentucky’s best holiday event. Celebrate now through January 2nd, 2012 and experience thousands of lights, a life-size Christmas village, snow fairy castle, holiday dinner and of course, Santa.
- During the holiday season at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego CA, guests of all ages enjoy a variety of activities including holiday night bike tours through festive Coronado Island, cookie decorating, crafts for kids, and Kidtopia Camp with holiday scavenger hunts and family s’mores roasts. Little guest at The Del will love the “Elf Tuck-Ins” where they are visited by real elves at bedtime. Teens can hang out at Vibz teen lounge, featuring billiards, video games, movie-time media and more (for those ages 13-17).
- Consider setting sail aboard a luxurious cruise ship during December. There’s merriment for all ages during these special weeks from snow making machines that offer daily snowfalls, special holiday meals and storytellers sharing tales of Hanukkah, to late night milk-and-cookies with Santa, to holiday-themed shows, and a full-on balloon drop to ring in the New Year.
Hotels.com and CruiseDeals.com
One of the best Christmas’ I ever had was on board a Norwegian Cruise Line sailing in the Western Caribbean. Talk about a holiday to remember! And now you can take a holiday cruise for your next vacation with a special offer from
Hotels.com and CruiseDeals.com, an online seller of a wide variety of cruise vacations. This giveaway is for the first 500 people to sign up on CruiseDeals.com and will include a 10%-off coupon from Hotels.com and a $100 on board credit provided by CruiseDeals.com.
If you are planning to travel this holiday season, share the details with Travel Smart Blog!