It’s December 11. You’ve missed all those best-time-to-book-holiday-travel windows.
But, some good news.
It’s not too late to arrange some legitimately next-level trips for reasonable prices — from the hottest hotspot on Mexico’s Pacific coast to Europe’s last bastion of Old World luxury.
We’ve got seven fares still available at this moment, including New Year’s Eve in the Alps.
Trust: Better to ring in 2019 looking out at the Matterhorn than in a bar you don’t even like in SoMa.
NYC (2 images)
Images: Wythe Hotel
You’re going to: New York City
Round trip: $271 on United
Briefly: New Year’s in the best city on Earth (except S.F., obviously)
Stay: Take your choice — but there are plenty of rooms left at the Wythe in Williamsburg.
Must-dos: So this is the year you finally see the ball drop in Times Square ... or play it slightly more local and watch the fireworks in Prospect Park. It could be incredibly cold, it could snow, anything could happen.
Moab (2 images)
Images: Red Cliffs Lodge
You’re going to: Moab
Round trip: $340 on United (connecting in Denver)
Briefly: America’s most beautiful national parks without the crowds
Stay: At Red Cliffs Lodge, where staff can organize any outdoor activity on your agenda
Must-dos: This is a spectacular time of year to visit the nearby national parks, where the lack of crowds will make up for the possibility of snow or ice. Try your hand at “snowtography” through the natural arches or pack your microspikes and head for the trails.
Paris (2 images)
Images: Oetker Hotels
You’re going to: Paris
Round trip: $527 on American
Briefly: New Year’s in the best city on Earth (besides S.F. and N.Y.C., obviously).
Stay: Top hotels are seeing last-minute cancellations, so why not try five-star French luxe at Le Bristol?
Must-dos: Let the gilets jaunes keep the scaredy-cats away (making those Michelin-starred restaurants a little bit easier to book). The city remains beautiful and elegant, the protests are at this point fairly easy to avoid and the city’s never finer than when it’s empty. The New Year’s fireworks at the Eiffel Tower are, for now, a go.
miami (2 images)
You’re going to: South Beach
Round trip: $260 on United to Miami
Briefly: Good weather and a limitless selection of parties
Stay: The oceanfront 1 Hotel should provide a seductive mix of outdoor tomfoolery (there are for pools, plus that ocean) and restful downtime, in swanky rooms.
Must-dos: Come for the Miami Beach parties — but stay through the first weekend of January to explore the Everglades or the Florida Keys, or even hop a flight to Cuba.
Sayulita (2 images)
Images: Imagenplay/Phoenix Sayulita
You’re going to: Sayulita
Round trip: $340 on United to Puerto Vallarta
Briefly: The coolest spot on Mexico’s Pacific coast
Stay: If you must stay on a resort, book into the Phoenix — otherwise, a private rental will get you more into the spirit of the place.
Must-dos: Margaritas on the beach followed by surfing, fishing and yoga at Paraiso. If you’re not relaxing, you’re doing it wrong.
hawaii (2 images)
Images: Volcano Retreat
You’re going to: Hawaii’s Big Island
Round trip: $388 on Alaska/Hawaiian to Kailua
Briefly: Hawaii is glorious. End of.
Stay: You won’t have the range of high-end options you’d have on Oahu or Maui, so go with the dominant vibe and either opt for a low-key bed and breakfast or a private rental, like a sleeps-six guesthouse.
Must-dos: Here’s your chance to climb the highest point in Hawaii, as long as snow doesn’t close down the summit (really). Follow the alpine adventure with surfing, of course.
Gstaad (2 images)
Images: 25hours Hotel Company
You’re going to: Gstaad, etc.
Round trip: $527 to Zurich on American (connecting in Philadelphia)
Briefly: Avant- and après-ski with the best of them
Stay: 25Hours — the German equivalent of CitizenM — has two locations here that are design-forward, smart and reasonably priced.
Must-dos: The Flumserberg ski resort is only 90 minutes from Zurich — but thanks to the efficiency of the Swiss rail system, it wouldn’t be much harder to head somewhere considerably more luxurious, like Gstaad or Zermatt. You will have to nose around for lodgings, but perhaps the Gstaad Palace has had some late cancellations?
Main image: Gstaad Palace/Grand Luxury Hotels