Get on board, the train is leaving! Whether that’s the literal train that will take you from Vienna, Austria to Bratislava, Slovakia (more on that later), or the metaphorical train referencing the race to nab airfare and lodging deals before prices tick up, it’s definitely not too early to start thinking about—and booking—winter travel. In fact, we’ve chatted with five PureWow editors and travel writers who already have their hearts (and wallets) set on vacation destinations. Need some wanderlust inspiration? Here’s where these jetsetters are planning on heading this winter.
5 Winter Destinations PureWow Editors and Travel Writers Are Already Booking
Your pick: beach or winter wonderland?
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Best for Skiers
Travel Writer: Dan Koday
“I'm already dreaming about returning to the Kootenay Rockies in British Columbia, Canada, this winter, specifically to its phenomenal Kicking Horse and Panorama mountain resorts. As an avid skier, Kicking Horse is one of the most challenging mountains I've come across in North America, and it's spoiled with tons of natural beauty, a summit restaurant with epic views and grub, and some of the shortest lift lines (read: none) I've ever witnessed. As another fun fact, Kicking Horse is home to a grizzly bear refuge where Boo lives, protected (but visible) to skiers. At nearby Panorama, expect a resort with views that pay off its name, plus Monster Cat skiing that makes glade skiing at the further stretches of the resort more accessible. Does the lodging at Panorama have an enviable year-round pool and hot tubs? You betchya. There is something truly magical about the Kootenay Rockies all year round, and I will undoubtedly make a return this winter.”
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Best for Christmas Markets
Travel Writer: Emily Zemler
"I love Europe around the holidays, especially when the Christmas markets are open, so I'm heading to Vienna and Bratislava in December. While the Christmas markets themselves can be crowded, European cities tend to be less busy during the winter and it's great to take advantage of that as an American traveler. There's something very relaxing about drinking mulled wine under a blanket at an outdoor cafe, even if cold weather isn't usually your vibe. I've previously visited Vienna and Bratislava (which are very close despite being in different countries) over Thanksgiving, which I highly recommend since no one in Europe takes that week off."
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Runner-Up: Christmas Spirit
Travel Writer: Lindsay Cohn
“Not only is Belgium one of the most underrated countries in Western Europe, but it’s also a magical place to spend the holidays. If you're looking for a destination that oozes Yuletide spirit, consider Bruges! This fairytale Flemish city draws travelers (myself included) during the festive season with its Christmas markets, cozy bars for sipping local beer, storybook architecture, and sweet treats.”
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Best (Non-Disney) Family-Friendly, Warm-Weather Vacay
PureWow Editor: Alexia Dellner
“When traveling with two young kids, it limits your options a bit...I want to go somewhere warm but without a crazy time change (jet-lagged toddler? No thanks.). And as much as I'd love a beach vacay or to go to a remote resort, I need access to playgrounds, museums and things to do, not to mention conveniences like grocery stores and pharmacies (because I will run out of diapers at some point). Basically, I need a chilled out city break, with the option to swim and relax on the sand, but also close proximity to Legoland for when the ‘I'm boreds’ begin. San Diego checks all the boxes.”
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Obligatory Disney Trip
PureWow Editor: Rachel Bowie
“We're booked for March next year at Disney World and are counting the weeks. My 5-year-old is daydreaming about the rides he'll go on at the Magic Kingdom and the characters he'll meet (he really wants to meet Donald Duck?); I'm daydreaming about the pool situation at the Polynesian Resort, Moana-themed cocktail in hand.”
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