Vacation places in November-December

if Covid-19 gives us a break!

Vacation Places Photo of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, Alaska, USA.

Easter Island moai at Ahu Tongariki sunrise, Chile. A bit far out but Rapa Nui is a superb Christmas destination!

Easter Island – also known as Rapa Nui – is in the South Pacific and a long way to go but totally unique and uncrowded. Chilean territory, Easter Island is at its best from September to April, the drier summer months. Temperatures during November and December reach highs around 25C/77F and lows of 17C/63F with more sunshine and less rain than any other month except January and October.

Best Vacation Places November-December 2020

November – December in the Northern Hemisphere is generally about winter sports or moving briskly between indoor cultural activities under damp and dreary skies.
Of course in the Southern Hemisphere it’s summertime so northern sun seekers need to head south. Easy, good value choices for Europeans lie in Africa – South Africa is particularly attractive, good value and easy to reach for Europeans, or pricey Dubai for guaranteed winter sun and serious bling – while North Americans just have to nip down to Latin America for incredible, colorful cultures or to Caribbean islands for magnificent beaches and sunshine.

Cheap and cheerful

We’ve trawled the web for budget destinations and a consensus is difficult to find, but here are a few interesting and recommended budget places that should be fine November-December: Egypt, Mexico,  Cuba, JamaicaNepal, Cambodia

America    Latin America   Europe      Africa      Asia      Australasia

The Americas

US Vacation Places November – December 2020

Vacation Places Photo of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, Alaska, USA.

One of Cabo San Lucas’ town beaches, Mexico

Beaches on most of mainland USA are pretty much out of the picture in wintertime, and the best bet – Florida – has been recently battling with Sargassum seaweed and storms, tho’ it will probably go away by November/December.
Temperatures rarely fall below 50F (10C) and usually hover around 72F (22C) with lots of sunshine, so a Christmas dip off Miami beach is chilly but definitely doable, while up the road in Fort Lauderdale dozens of decorated boats cruise around the Intracoastal Waterways during the Winterfest Boat Parade on December 14.

For beaches and decent weather expectations  Mexico is an obvious choice, with two coasts offering varied experiences tho’ Mexico’s Caribbean side also got hit by stinky Sargassum over the summer. Yucatan authorities claim the seaweed problem is over but do your research before booking! The Pacific coast’s CaboAcapulco and the more bohemian beaches further south are totally clear.
For winter sports the homegrown Rockies have attractions other than just mind-blowing skiing these days, just get a sniff of what’s smoking in Denver, Colorado.

Canada Vacation Places November-December 2020

Vacation Places Photo of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, Alaska, USA.

Snowshoeing and snowmobiling around Whistler’s lower zones, British Columbia, Canada.

Canada is an easy trip for Americans and you could get a feel for la vie Française if you head for Quebec or great English-speaking life in Vancouver and nearby Whistler ski resort.
Best cities: Vancouver (British Columbia), Toronto ( Ontario), Quebec City and Montreal (Quebec) province.
Best natural wonders: Banff lakes and mountains (Alberta), Niagara Falls (Ontario).
Best cuisine: Quebec province.
Best landscapes: British Columbia, Alberta and North West Territories.

Caribbean Vacation Places November-December 2020

Vacation Places Photo of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, Alaska, USA.

The Bight Beach, Norman Island, British Virgin Islands , Caribbean.

The Caribbean makes the best possible nearby winter break for affluent neighbours but beware the Sargassum seaweed situation, earlier this year the yucky, stinking, weed spread over many Caribbean beaches. Check your potential destinations carefully before laying down your dollars. Our Caribbean beaches pages

Latin America Vacation Places November – December 2020

Vacation Places Photo of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, Alaska, USA.

Rainforest zip line ride in Costa Rica.

Further south in Latin America the weather and colourful cultures of Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica should be brilliant in November but only the last four countries will still be fine in December, along with Ecuador’s spectacular Galapagos Islands.

European Vacation Places November – December 2020

Vacation Places Photo of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, Alaska, USA.

Playa Papagayo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain.

Europe in November-December frequently features dull grey skies with chilly drizzle so tourism focuses on winter sports in France, Italy, Austria and Germany or cultural visits to the classic cities of London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Barcelona and Seville where the climate is not quite as traumatising as further north.

Many European cities tend to have colourful Christmas lights dispelling the gloom, firework shows on New Year’s Eve and sales for bargain hunters. London’s stunning museums are still free in spite of political demands otherwise.

Germany’s brilliant Xmas markets are extensive, frequently family-friendly and run for most of December, sometimes starting in November.

Beach holidays? Nope, not even in southerly regions of Greece, Portugal or Spain, although there is always the Spanish Canary Islands, located on a North African latitude in the Atlantic and enjoying pretty good weather all year round with warm winter temperatures around 18C (64F), lows about 15C (59F) and water temp of 18C (64F) so book a place with heated pool, preferably on an easterly island on the south-east coast (such as Lanzarote, Fuerteventura (especially if you like board sailing) or Gran Canaria (Las Palmas is the capital and has the best climate in the world according to some US climatologists) for best chance of a warm, dry holiday. The Canaries can be easily reached by via masses of cheap flights or packages from Europe but Christmas time is busy so get web searching now!

Africa Vacation Places November – December 2020

Vacation Places Photo of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, Alaska, USA.

Edfu temple walls, beside the Nile river, Egypt

Egypt’s Luxor will offer the unusual experience of strolling incredible temples and tombs under blue skies with very few sheeple grazing around you as previous hordes are usefully discouraged by the troubles in distant Cairo and north Sinai. Security levels are high so for a small risk the adventurous will see one of the world’s best group of ancient sites at low cost and low crowd levels.
Sharm el Sheikh beach resort on the other side of the Red Sea (extremely well guarded these days) will be incredible value and offer lovely weather as the local authorities try to tempt visitors back to enjoy south Sinai delights; lower down the financial totem Dahab is a fun place to hang out. The lovely Red Sea, however, will not be very warm.

Morocco will be pleasant though a bit chilly at this time and definitely not the place for swimming or serious beach use. In winter slightly more upmarket hotels/riads are a better bet for decent insulation and warmer rooms. Agadir is the most southerly tourist venue, culturally very limited (boo!) but offering massive beaches (hooray!) washed by freezing Atlantic seas (boo!).
As usual Marrakesh makes a terrific base for exploring the Sahara desert and the Atlas mountains but if you’re temperature-sensitive go a little upmarket to ensure your hotel has heating, many hostels don’t and it can get decidedly chilly!

Etosha National Park in Namibia offers self drive, secure rest camps beside waterholes and vast numbers of animals, making this one of the world’s top three wildlife experiences. Add in vast dunes at Sossusvlei, seals on the Skeleton Coast and Namib Desert activities and Namibia is another bucket-list def-do.
Otherwise you could head for Tanzania’s wildlife and its beach island of Zanzibar or South Africa’s varied attractions, from lively cities, particularly Cape Town, beaches to wildlife and wine districts.

Asia Vacation Places November – December 2020

Vacation Places Photo of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, Alaska, USA.

Bagan in Burma/Myanmar,  2,500 ancient pagodas, temples and stupas over 40 sq kms of sesame fields, and not much else. Photo by Christopher Michel from a tourist hot-air balloon.

Few ancient sites have such incredible 360 degree views in one of the world’s most peaceful, Buddhist sites in Burma/Myanmar. There’s much, much more and this is totally the best time to visit this extra-ordinary country. For much of the year Myanmar is way too hot for comfort!

India is also awaiting your visit but it’s massive so focus, don’t try to see everything at once! Kerala, down south is perfect at this time though the country’s primary sights are in the Golden Triangle around Rajasthan.

Nepal is chilly in winter (so book rooms with heating!) but the key thing is the Himalayan skies (i.e. mountains) are clear, the ancient artefacts bizarre and the walks stunning. It appears to have recovered from the recent ‘quakes and be mostly intact.

Developing Laos is also good value and perfect in winter, as is Cambodia,  Vietnam (with OK beaches) and Thailand, with many great beaches.

Australasia Vacation Places November – December 2020

Vacation Places Photo of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, Alaska, USA.

Mt. Cook Track, Aoraki, South Island, New Zealand

This is positively prime time in New Zealand for incredible walks, beaches, wine tasting, and insane adrenalin activities, but try to avoid school holidays from December 20th to the end of January.

Southern Australia is generally in great shape in summertime, with Sydney and Melbourne buzzing with energy and things to do. However, the east coast is already (in September) suffering an unusual number of massive forest fires and it’s not going to get any better as summer kicks in.
On the Gold Coast early summer temperatures head into the 30Cs with occasional rain, albeit short and exciting tropical storms rather than north European drizzle. Surfer’s Paradise becomes very loud, pricey and overcrowded during the Christmas holidays. Far north Australia is best avoided at this time due to extreme heat, drought and forest fires.