The Best Places to Travel in December 2020

Where I’m Going in December 2020,
And Where You Can Go Too ✈️

“I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”
– Hilaire Belloc

 

The world is a crazy place right now, and it goes without saying that we could all use a break (or a nice glass of bourbon).

Taking the right precautions, however, it’s still totally possible to see the world and experience new things alongside your favorite people—or on your own with an exciting solo trip

(Determined to stay home in quarantine this December? Make the most of it.)

So if you’re itching to get out and create some new memories, but you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. 

I got you. 

For the best places to travel in December 2020, read on for the official Of Whiskey & Words recommendations.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” -Neale Donald Walsch

Best International Destination for Americans in December 2020

For International Travel: Ecuador

Okay, maybe I’m biased, and the best place to travel in December 2020 is where I’m already planning on going. Or maybe I’m going BECAUSE it’s the best place to travel in December 😉

For those who hadn’t heard, I’m off to Ecuador from December 9th to the 21st this year, flying first into Quito, then spending time in Cotopaxi, Banos, Cuenca, and Manta. 

Deep dive into a new, rich culture this year.

Ecuador is one of only three countries that lies on the equator. That might sound like a simple fun fact, but think about it this way: where is the weather consistently beautiful no matter the time of year? Yep, you guessed it. 

From pristine coastlines and beaches to the towering mountains of the Andes, many great travelers, writers, artists, and other wanderers have found refuge in the natural beauty of Ecuador. 

It’s not just the location itself that makes Ecuador the ideal destination for travel during December and other winter months. The culture is rich, the possibility for adventure is ever present, and the food is 👌👌 

The Culture

Traveling somewhere where the majority of the population speaks a foreign language (or, in the case of Ecuador, 12) might induce some mild-to-moderate anxiety for some people. But for me, it’s just another fun challenge of traveling, one I’ve overcome in the past, too. In fact, one of my favorite travel quotes goes something like this:

“When you travel you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don’t even understand the language the people speak….You begin to be more accessible to others, because they may be able to help you in difficult situations.” – Paulo Coelho

The Activities

Besides, creating memories around the holidays doesn’t always have to be around the comfort of a Christmas tree. How does scuba diving, ATVs, tree houses, swinging over the edge of a giant cliff, surfing, hiking, and a spa day for good measure all sound? It may not be as relaxing as laying around by the fire, but it will definitely be something I won’t forget.

The Food

And while normally I’m not a food guy (though my recent trip to the Grand Canyon might have changed my mind just a little bit). But I’ll be damned if I don’t get a chance to eat some of the freshest ceviche in the world while I’m in Ecuador. 

Dare you to join me there.

Easy Destination for American Travelers in December 2020

Staying in the States?: Colorado

Whether you’re flying solo, taking the fam somewhere new, or your social bubble is determined to make the most of your holiday time, but you don’t have the time or resources to take a trip abroad this year, Colorado could be the place for you.

My vote for Colorado as the best place to travel this December is two fold: it can be as remote as you want; and it can be enjoyed by even the most widely different groups of people.

December 2020 Travel That’s Safe & Cost Effective 

Especially in 2020, it’s important to consider your travel destinations in terms of big crowds and social distancing. 

Most places in Colorado, such as Denver, Breckenridge, or Vail, are busier (read: more expensive) in December. But look further off the beaten path, and you’ll find plenty of places that are “off grid,” or at least far, far away from it.

Take Pagosa Springs, for example. It’s close to two huge national parks, not to mention the availability of natural hot springs, less touristy skiing options, and hiking for days and days. It’s basically social distancing made easy.

Looking for a quaint town to do your holiday shopping? Salida is another great option that’s far less packed with tourists in December.

Or if you’re looking to really go remote in December, you might prefer somewhere like Crestone, which requires you enter and leave from a single steep mountain highway. Even without any renowned New Age events happening in 2020, there’s no way you won’t have at least one spiritual experience around the 14,000 foot mountain peaks.

Do the things you want to do, on your own schedule.

There’s no end to the activities and opportunities for adventure in Colorado, if that’s what you’re into. A winter hike is physically demanding but invigorating and rewarding (and it will keep the holiday calories at bay).

However, if you’re looking for somewhere to travel this December that requires a lot more bundling, crackling fires, and contemplative quiet time, you’d be hard pressed to find a single place in the state of Colorado that didn’t have all of those things and more.

My advice? Book a cabin or Airbnb and enjoy your December in a new, beautiful setting that empowers you to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them.

Get more tips for getting out of town.

Each month, I’m providing timely and relevant travel recommendations and trip ideas to feed your wanderlust. Follow along @ofwhiskeyandwords on Instagram for more updates, quotes about life and love, and, of course, photos from my past adventures. 

Stay Gold.

Todd Smidt

About Todd Smidt

Todd is a man of simple tastes: traveling, words, whiskey, & dad jokes. He enjoys first-rate banter, long walks along the coast, Jameson, and Vonnegut. He spends his free time traveling the world and writing about it.

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