Travelling in winter isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there are a number of advantages to travelling at this time of year, including fewer travellers (as mentioned, many people aren’t fussed on travelling in winter), a variety of different activities to partake in, and the opportunity to celebrate Christmas and bring in the New Year in a magical location. If you’re interested in taking a winter break this year, the following destinations may very well be just what you’ve been dreaming of.
New York – USA
New York is a magical place all year round, with the exception of those incredibly hot summer days that are nothing shy of punishing and impossible to find a means of escaping from. It’s always advisable to plan your holidays around the climate and weather whenever you can, but be aware that many other people are doing the same thing.
Winter can be brutally cold, which is something to bear in mind if you suffer from arthritis, but there are so many things to see and do in a New York winter that you can’t do at other times of the year, like taking a stroll in Central Park and bringing in the New Year at Time’s Square, arguably one of the most popular places to celebrate the start of the new year and the end of the old.
However, as it’s such a popular place Time’s Square attracts thousands of people, so take this into account if you’re not a fan of crowds. If you holiday here in the winter and over the holidays, don’t miss:
- The lighting of ‘The Tree’ at the Rockefeller Center in Midtown
When this massive conical tree is illuminated in all its splendour, Christmas in New York is considered to have commenced. If you can’t get a good view of the tree on the first night, be sure to return when the crowds have thinned and you can get a good look. It’s something very special indeed.
- ‘The Holiday Walk’, 39th to 59th Street on Fifth Avenue
This stretch of Fifth Avenue is home to some of the biggest and most famous department stores in the city. At this time of year their Christmas displays are out for everyone to enjoy and the effort that has gone into creating such intricate, timeless displays is to be applauded.
- Central Park
You don’t have to go ice skating to have a wonderful time in New York’s celebrated Central Park. When the sky is clear (the sky is often a magical clear blue on a New York winter’s day), there truly is no better place to be than strolling along a snow-covered lane in this magical park, one of the biggest in the world.
New York is one of the top destinations for a winter break, but be aware that medical treatment is exorbitant in the US and that a good travel insurance policy from a medical travel insurance provider in the UK is essential. You don’t want to have to seek medical treatment for an existing condition or due to an accident. Those sidewalks are as slippery as they look.
Copenhagen – Denmark
It’s one of those fairy tale European cities, the home of Hans Christian Andersen and a superb destination at all times of the year. In winter, it’s pure magic and attracts a flock of tourists over the holidays, the period from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day, though if you book ahead and select your activities wisely, you can avoid the crowds (for the most part) and enjoy a wonderful winter holiday that’s very different to one taken in other parts of Europe.
For a wonderfully romantic setting, take the time to visit the 19th-century Tivoli amusement park which comes alive at Christmas. You can take a relaxing stroll around the park and nearby gardens and enjoy a drink in one of the city’s superb bars and pubs. There are also some very fine dining options in Copenhagen, including NOMA, which is one of the best restaurants in the world. As in many major cities, fine dining options like this tend to be booked out well in advance, so plan and book ahead.
For those with a love of history, art and culture, Copenhagen is home to many fantastic museums and art galleries, so you’re sure to find numerous cultural activities to partake in whilst here, including attending the opera.
Depending on your nationality, you may be covered by a reciprocal healthcare arrangement between your government and the Danish government, however, medical treatment can be very costly in Denmark so make sure you take out travel insurance before departing.
Andalucía – Spain
If you’re not fussed on travelling in winter because you’re not a fan of the cold, why not look at heading somewhere with mild winter weather, like Spain? For many people, Spain is far too hot in the summer, but most of the south is delightful in winter and there’s a wealth of superb destinations teeming with culture to visit in Andalucía, including Cordoba and Granada.
Spain has become a popular destination for many older people in the winter because the winter weather is very mild, some would say perfect, medical treatment is very inexpensive and of a high-quality, especially if you have a good travel insurance policy and can access a good hospital should you need medical assistance, there are far fewer tourists around the most popular cultural sites like Alhambra, and accommodation is usually quite reasonable, making it a very affordable winter holiday destination to boot.
These popular winter holiday destinations each has something very special to offer older travellers. From the magic of New York and its snow-covered streets to the fairy tale architecture of Copenhagen and, of course, the mild winter weather in Spain’s Andalucía, a great destination for those who aren’t too keen on a traditional winter holiday with snow, snow and more snow! Moreover, stay safe on your travels by taking out a comprehensive insurance policy from a leading provider of medical travel insurance for over-65s.