DO YOU TRAVEL FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE?

According to travel search engine KAYAK, the number of Canadians considering taking off for NYE is up 10 percent, and guess what distant city is on the Hot List?
Author:
Publish date:
Iceland: sunset at Strandarkirkja ©imabeautygeek.com/JanineFalcon

Iceland: sunset at Strandarkirkja

Yesterday, December 20th, was apparently the busiest air-travel day of the year in Canada. Pearson International expected 124,000 travellers, either on their way home for the holidays or heading off on vacation. According to cbc.ca, "between today and Jan. 3, nearly 1.9 million passengers are expected to travel through Pearson."

Some of those people – a number that's up 10 percent from last year, says travel search engine KAYAK – will be flying out to celebrate New Year's Eve some place that's else. 

So where are Canadians going to spend the last night of 2016? Searches on KAYAK reveal that: 

  • Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Miami are in the top 10 destinations.
  • interest in Dubai, Guatemala, Reykjavik, Seoul and Madrid has doubled
  • Vancouver and Toronto are the top Canadian destinations
  • interest in Kelowna, BC, is up... almost 70 percent!

i want to go to there again: iceland

What jumps out at me? Yup, hey there, Reykjavik. In fact, my friend Alexis is heading there via WOW Air for New Year's Eve this year because she's heard Iceland's a cool place to be for the festivities! (Along with various stopover programs and WOW's crazy reasonable fares, I'm convinced #Iceland and #BlueLagoonIceland on Instagram are factors in Iceland's ever-increasing popularity as a destination.)

Sòlfar or The Sun Voyager_Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland: Sòlfar or The Sun Voyager at the waterfront, about 10:30 pm in May 2016

In cased you missed it, I went to Iceland with discount airline WOW, and I'd go again and again. There are so many photos I want to take there, during their 24-hour-sunlight summer days and in their otherworldly winter, too.

Iceland: Blue Lagoon, February 2015

Blue Lagoon, Iceland, February 2015

I've been to Blue Lagoon twice, but I need to go at least once more – it's supposed to be incredibly beautiful on winter evenings, all misty-moody and so-dreamy soft light.

Update: here's a gorgeous shot from the aforementioned Alexis, of Blue Lagoon in the dark of morning just a few days ago. 

At this time of year, sunrise in Iceland is at about 11 am. (When I visited the first time, in February, the sun woke up at around 10 am.)

Right now, though, I've got my eye on a couple of places out west: Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler, BC and Magnolia Hotel in Victoria, also BC. 

i want to go to there: nita lake lodge

First, let's peek at Whistler, BC's Nita Lake Lodge, one of the top three resorts in Canada in Conde Nast Traveler's 2016 Reader's Choice Awards, one of the top 10 in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards, and one of TripAdvisor's Top 25 Hotels in Canada.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: imagine this with a thick blankie of sparkling white snow.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: imagine this with a thick blankie of sparkling white snow.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: oh look, the lake in winter.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: oh look, the lake in winter.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: another reason I need to see this place in winter.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: another reason I need to see this place in winter.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: my Instagram feed is screaming for snaps from right here.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: my Instagram feed is screaming for snaps from right here.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: this photo is missing one thing – me, on the couch.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: this photo is missing one thing – me, on the couch.

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: is this winter magic or what?

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC: is this winter magic or what?

Want to see more? Check out this beautifully shot post over at LocalWanderer.com. See why I'm dying to go? So pretty and Canadian!

i want to go to there: magnolia hotel

I think I might prefer to visit the award-winning Magnolia Hotel in Victoria, BC, in the Spring. (Travel + Leisure Magazine has them at #7 on their Best City Hotels in Canada list.) I hear tales of lovely breezy bike tours (I don't bike, but this post at lipsticklifestyle.com makes me want to snap a lot of photos) and self-guided walks, plus photogenic stops such as the Butchart Gardens promise hours of happy iPhone camera time. Let's look:

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: the charming hotel entrance... I might need a yellow coat.

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: the charming hotel entrance... I might need a yellow coat.

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: hotel lobby

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: hotel lobby

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: nearby Butchart Gardens lit up for the holidays

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: nearby Butchart Gardens lit up for the holidays

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: I could get so comfy in this corner suite

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: I could get so comfy in this corner suite

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: nearby Butchart Gardens in Spring 

Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, BC: nearby Butchart Gardens in Spring 

a travel tip for new year's eve

Obviously early planning has its advantages, but it's not too late to decide to make plans for a New Year's Eve away. 

“We understand that after the festive season budgets can be tight, and we would encourage travelers to begin planning now to discover cost-saving destinations," says David Solomito, VP North America Marketing at KAYAK. "By turning to tools like Price Alerts, you can set it and forget it with alerts coming to you when prices change.”

Fun fact: according to the press info, KAYAK processes 1.5 billion annual searches for travel information and operates more than 40 international sites in 20 languages.

Do you plan NYE trips? Or do you think you might? Ever?