10 Last-Minute Holiday Fares From NYC You Simply Cannot Beat
We’ll take Iceland for $300, Alex
Looking to get out of town? You’re in luck: it’s not too late to score some killer December fares, whether you’re looking to keep it in the country (just over $100 to Savannah) or really get out of town (how’s Iceland for under $400 sound?). All fares double-checked for December departures and still available at press time.
Image from the Fosshotel
You’re going to: Reykjavik
Roundtrip: $380 on WOW
Briefly: If you’re the only person who hasn’t been to Iceland to Instagram a picture of yourself in the Blue Lagoon, this is fate knockin’ at your door.
Stay at: The Fosshotel, a massive and newish edition to the city. The rooms are reasonable, but climb past the 16th floor and you’ll get better panoramic views of the city.
Stop by: Videy Island via a quick ferry ride from nearby Skarfabakki. The isle doubles as an outdoor art gallery, most notably featuring the Peace Tower created by Yoko Ono, enscripted with “Imagine Peace” in 24 different languages. And if you haven’t the time to hit the Blue Lagoon, hop over to the nearby Laugardalslaug for a geothermal dip.
Image from Circa 39
You’re going to: Miami
Roundtrip: $157 on Frontier
Briefly: Art Basel, the wild affair wherein you run into every single person you try to avoid in the city, is finally over. So, it’s safe to head on down and scoop up some much needed Vitamin D.
Stay at: Circa 39, a trendy boutique hotel located in the heart of Miami. Easygoing, it’s a home away from home nestled in bustling South Beach.
Stop by: Little Havana on a bicycle and then cruise over to the artsy Wynwood Walls (the Williamsburg of Miami).
Image from Nobis Hotel
You’re going to: Copenhagen
Roundtrip: $390 on Norwegian
Briefly: While Copenhagen’s high season is certainly summer, no one does the holidays like the Danes. Snow-capped trees, twinkling lights galore and icy castles every which way — sign us up.
Stay at: The Nobis Hotel, the former location of the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music turne luxury getaway by Swedish architect Gert Wingardh. Crystal, marble and poster beds galore.
Stop by: Walk Strøget, the city’s famed shopping stroll on your way to Tivoli, where the iconic gates will send you into a 19th-century amusement park-cum-holiday wonderland.
Image from Nizuc
You’re going to: Cancún
Roundtrip: $333 on Delta
Briefly: Shadowed by the ghosts of Spring Break past, Cancún is at its heart a fantastic historical destination with white, soft sand beaches and bath-temp water that will melt you into tranquility.
Stay at: Nizuc, a 29-acre modern and minimal property praised for its superior spa and impeccable, house-elf-style service. (Fun fact: It was originally designed to be part of the Aman empire.)
Stop by: Take a jaunt over to Chichen Itza for some culture. Don’t miss the little beach hidden behind the ruins. And for a day trip, head over to Isla Mujeres. Back in the day it was the gem of the area and the only method of transport was golf carts. Those days are long gone, but the romance can still be tapped with an evening dinner at Maria Kan Kin.
Image from Audubon Cottages
You’re going to: New Orleans
Roundtrip: $303 on Spirit
Briefly: The Big Easy is always a no-brainer. It’s jovial, lively and can still use all the tourism it can handle.
Stay at: Audubon Cottages, perhaps the quietest little retreat you’ll find in the French Quarter. The hotel is private, quaint and one of the oldest buildings in the area.
Stop by: Carnival madness. The festivities commence long before January 6, with heaps of parades and parties, but less of the hecticness that comes later.
Image from Las Clementinas Hotel
You’re going to: Panama City, FL
Roundtrip: $317 on American
Briefly: It’s a year-round paradise. What more do you need to know?
Stay at: From the Hilton to the Westin, there’s no shortage of luxurious places to rest one’s head in Panama City. But for a still comfortable, more authentic stay, go for the Las Clementinas Hotel.
Stop by: The waterside Gene’s Oyster Bar, a local favorite, is not to be missed. Spend an afternoon with some wild types at the Bear Creek Feline Center and cruise into a luscious evening at the Panama City Beach Winery.
Image from The Hilton
You’re going to: Destin, FL
Roundtrip: $311 on American
Briefly: Off of the Emerald Coast, named for its clear green waters, Destin is a solid jaunt for families and friends alike in need of a quick weekender under the sun.
Stay at: The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, because golf, beach and spa is the holy trinity of winter-vacation needs.
Stop by: Destin Harbor Boardwalk for a stroll before heading over to Crystal Sands Beach to take a load off. The sightseeing tours can make the area feel a little over-the-top touristy. Our recommend: rent a boat and a captain and do some fishing.
Image from The Mansion on Forsyth Park
You’re going to: Savannah
Roundtrip: $170 on Allegiant
Briefly: Old World charm, Southern hospitality, historical points of interest and lots of ghosts.
Stay at: The Mansion on Forsyth Park. Number one, it’s a freakin’ mansion, but also hosts the phenomenal Poseidon Spa and get-your-hands-dirty 700 Kitchen Cooking School on site.
Stop by: Everywhere. Meandering is the name of the game in Savannah. Cruise through the some 22 historical districts with careful attention to the Mercer Williams House from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, as well as the famed Bonaventure Cemetery for charming spookiness.
Image from the Intercontinental
You’re going to: Cozumel
Roundtrip: $384 on American
Briefly: Easy, warm, close and not Cancún.
Stay at: Do it up at the InterContinental. Prized as the top spot in Cozumel, it’s got half a mile of shoreline, too many pools to count, pristine tennis courts and a drool-worthy spa.
Stop by: San Gervasio and hang with some big-ass iguanas. Skip the adventure park, but don’t sleep on snagging a glass-bottomed boat and doing some fantastic reef snorkeling.
Image from the Restoration Hotel
You’re going to: Charleston
Roundtrip: $252 on JetBlue
Briefly: Charleston bleeds charm and refinement. It’s seen a healthy tourism boost in the past couple of years in part due to a flourishing art scene, new boutique hotels, fanciful restaurants and its stunning architectural heritage.
Stay at: Restoration Hotel. The attention to detail here is unparalleled, from the hotel’s locally curated shop to the ability to rent vintage rides and zip around in style.
Stop by: Goat Island for some crabbing and oyster shucking. And if you don’t make a reservation (in advance) and dine at FIG, you missed out — it’s hands-down the best meal this editor has ever had.
Main image from Unsplash
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