There’s something special about December. As you inch toward the end of the year, you can feel a sense of excitement in the air. It’s a time when you look back at the year, celebrate life, share time with loved ones, and enjoy yearend festivities. You could do all that at home, but if you’re looking for that extra something, there’s also the option of taking off and exploring a new city.
As you’re planning your next adventure, there’s one question you’ll always comes across. When people say it’s cold, what does that actually mean? Is it bring-a-coat cold, or long-johns cold? If you’re running off to someplace warm, are you looking at sweltering heat or a nice breezy location with plenty of shade?
To help answer these questions, we’ve mapped out a number of travel destinations at which you can celebrate the end of the year, and added some inspiration for your wardrobe as well.
1. Whistler, Canada
With its white glistening slopes, Whistler is one of the most sought-out destinations among ski lovers. Situated two hours away from Vancouver, the town runs through beautiful forests and waterfalls that offer a breathtaking view on the slopes. There’s also plenty to do outdoors with the family, including walking along trails, riding a gondola to take in the sights, snowshoeing, ziplining, snowmobiling, and more.
The key to enjoying all this is packing a jacket that can withstand the biting-cold temperatures and provide comfort for fun-packed activities. Don’t forget a solid pair of shoes, and warm gloves and a hat.
2. Sapporo, Japan
The land of smiles and snow: Sapporo. Located in Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido, the regional capital offers the best blend of snow-covered scenes from nature and downtown. This means plenty of movement between well-heated areas and exposure to bone-chilling temperatures outdoors, making layering one of the best strategies. Hooded jackets provide some extra protection against the wind, and chic but warm down jackets will help spruce up your look when touring the city streets.
3. Seoul, Korea
Seoul sees less snow than the two cities above, but the wind chill factor can make things pretty challenging. If you’re in the mega capital, there’s a good chance you’ll be enjoying the toasty heat of a jjimjilbang (Korean sauna) or roaming one of the many indoor shopping malls, but there’s just as good a chance, you’ll be enjoying street food outside or taking photos with beautiful holiday lights and decorations. The good news is, this winter, long down coats are all the rage. They essentially keep everything below the chin covered in warm down, making winter a lot more doable. But place no limits on your look. Faux leather jackets can also be a great alternative, especially if you pair them with soft snuggly sweaters.
4. Shanghai, China
If you’re not in for a sub-zero temperature journey but still want an experience that’s plenty wintery, how about Shanghai? It’s by no means warm, but the relatively less busy streets will provide much more room for you to enjoy the city landscape. Light and compact down jackets are practical options. You can also add more fun to your outfit with faux fur or lighter coats, with down vests underneath for extra warmth at night.
5. Hanoi, Vietnam
Maybe the cold is not for you. Maybe getting away from it is all you want to do. How about Hanoi, which cools off in December, offering the best temperatures to roam the streets and tour cultural monuments? There will be plenty of opportunities to spend leisurely afternoons in cafes and explore different street food options, so make sure you have the right outfit for comfort and style.
6. Sydney, Australia
You might just be going after a summer Christmas. Visiting the Land Down Under will guarantee you plenty of sun, heat, and outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking for an authentic Aussie barbie (barbecue) experience, or interested in touring the many iconic landmarks in Sydney, sunblock is essential. Especially, if you plan on hitting the beach to catch a wave or soak up the sun, make sure you pack a rash guard, which will give you plenty of cover and a splash of color.
Packing can be one of the hardest parts of your journey or easiest, depending on how much planning you do ahead. Remember the basics. For cold places, it’s all about wearing layers, and keeping your head, neck, and extremities warm. If you know you’ll be exposed to the sun in a hot destination, consider bringing a light long-sleeve shirt, a hat, and sunglasses. Wherever you go, make sure you have the right outfit for the right weather.