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Christmas Wish List

Now that Halloween candy is marked down to half price, it’s only a matter of time before the malls are filled with Christmas carols reworked by pop stars, and all the merchandise to go along with it. But Santa, what we want this year is really quite small. It could fit in the slimmest of stockings. It’s plane tickets, of course, and perhaps some hotel reservations, booked by an elf with care. All we want for Christmas is our two (or three… or four) favourite holiday destinations.

Gili Lankanfushi (previously known as Soneva Gili), Maldives
Life is just better when you’re perched on stilts over a dreamy lagoon. Our own Greg Sacks was lucky enough to visit, and he maintains that he’s never used the word “wow” more times in his life. It sure looks a lot more like a holiday than visiting your weird aunt’s house in 3 feet of snow.

Mahale, Tanzania
What could be better than warm water and white sandy beaches while it’s freezing and snowing in Canada? Don’t kid yourself, you know it’s coming—the time to plan an escape is now. And as an added bonus you can always tell your family that you’re off visiting with distant relatives: the chimpanzees, of course.

Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Because sometimes you want a green Christmas, not a white one. Few places are greener or prettier than Hawke’s Bay—it’s like New Zealand’s answer to the Napa Valley. Most importantly, while it’s great to explore on your own, it particularly lends itself to hanging out with family or friends, and doing little more than local wine sampling and view-gazing.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Christmas is all about the kids, although dealing with that 6 am wake up call (and then cleaning up the wrapping paper war zone) deserves a vacation in itself. Visiting the “kids” in the Galapagos is much more relaxing. Baby seals, baby turtles, baby blue-footed boobies, and a bunch of family friendly excursions to boot—what’s not to love?

Amy Smithers will be parked in snowy Canada this Christmas, but Santa has a special escape plan for her come January.

You can always tell your immediate family that you're off visiting with distant relatives: the chimpanzees, of course.