Editors' Picks: $10,000 Gift of Travel

'Tis the season for gift giving! And we're handing out a $10,000 gift to travel anywhere in the world. See how the TravelChannel.com staff would splurge on significant others, relatives and friends.

You Might Also Like

Santa and His Elves
Santa and His Elves

Santa and His Elves

For kids from ages 1 to 92, Santa is the main attraction of the holidays, and it's the only time of the year that you don't have to go all the way to the North Pole to get a glimpse of the man in the bright red suit. You know he's checking his list twice, so add some travel goodies to yours to make sure there's something special under the tree for your next vacation. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Holiday Decor

Holiday Decor

There's no such thing as too many white lights, bright red bows, angels or snowmen when you're decorating your home for the holidays. There's always one house in the neighborhood that looks like Clark Griswold's -- it must come with an excessive electric bill. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Cookies with your coffee, cookies in the evening, cookies at suppertime -- during the holidays, you can have cookies anytime. Who could refuse a sugar cookie, macaroon, or gingerbread man? They're all an excuse to indulge. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Extravagant Gifts

Extravagant Gifts

A Gizmon? A Sholdit? A Whatzit? A Whoozit? As long as you're giving gifts, you might as well spoil your loved ones completely rotten with something from our gift guides for every type of traveler. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Ski Chalet

Ski Chalet

Over the top? Absolutely. But what better way to ring in the New Year with the entire family than to rent out a ski chalet perched on top of a snowy mountain? The slopes will literally be in your backyard. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Rolling Stones Play Barclays

Rolling Stones Play Barclays

In the ultimate form of satisfaction, the Rolling Stones added a concert date for Dec. 8 at Brooklyn's brand-new Barclays Center. They'll be the biggest act to take over Barclays, since Jay-Z christened it with 8 sold-out shows. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Eggnog

Eggnog

There's no shortage of spirits to get you into the holiday spirit, but to truly indulge in the season, make sure to sip on some eggnog. After all, you can have champagne or a hot toddy any old time. 960 1280

iStock  

Window Shopping

Window Shopping

Walking down 5th Avenue in NYC, it's hard not to get lost in the window displays. The larger-than-life settings may make you temporarily forget about the sidewalks overrun with tourists, but do they make you want to buy something? 960 1280

Getty Images   

National Christmas Tree

National Christmas Tree

On its 90th anniversary, the nation's Christmas tree will be lit on Dec. 6 with the help of some famous friends, including host Neil Patrick Harris and guests Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, Phillip Phillips, James Taylor and more. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Sneaky children fill their hollow houses with extra candy, but we think the universal rule of thumb when building gingerbread houses is the bigger the better! 960 1280

istock  

NYE Celebrations

NYE Celebrations

The ultimate night of indulgence? One where the party doesn't really get started until midnight. Champagne, crystal balls, confetti and fireworks -- there's no better way to ring in the New Year than with a little glitz and glam. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

For its fifth year, over 500,000 people are expected to descend on the LOVE Park holiday market in Center City Philadelphia will have more than 90 wooden booths, 2 tents of European food, sweets and drinks, as well as a life-size Advent calendar. 960 1280

Christmas Village Philadelphia   

AKC National Championship

AKC National Championship

Don't forget to treat your 4-legged family members during the holidays. You'll find the ultimate pampered pooches at the 12th annual American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, FL, on Dec. 15-16. 960 1280

  

National Christmas Tree
National Christmas Tree

National Christmas Tree

Kick off the month with a tour of the National Christmas Tree. Located on the White House’s South Lawn, a towering 40-foot evergreen spruce has been a seasonal fixture of the nation’s capital since 1923. 960 1280

Getty Images  

San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio River Walk

Keep the Christmas spirit going in San Antonio. Every December, more than a mile of the San Antonio River Walkcomes alive with over 100 underwater lights, as well as LED rope lighting crossing from one side of the river to the other. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Hobbit Tour

Hobbit Tour

Besides being a great time to visit (December is the start of New Zealand’s summer season), the country has a Hobbit movie set tour on upper North Island. 960 1280

Jeff Hitchcock, flickr  

Ice Fishing, Colorado Style

Ice Fishing, Colorado Style

This December, put Colorado on your outdoors adventure map: Colorado's robust winters lure ice-fishing enthusiasts to gear up and head out for the thrill of the catch. Prime spots include Wolford Mountain Reservoir, a 1,550- acre reservoir, about 100 miles west of Denver.  960 1280

Thinkstock  

Caribbean Cruise: Early December

Caribbean Cruise: Early December

For an impromptu December getaway, set sail for the Caribbean. The first two weeks of December are your best bet for bargain prices on cruises and hotels, before fares rise come Christmas and New Year’s. Combine your warm winter escape with cool events, like the Bahamas International Film Festival. 960 1280

Royal Caribbean International  

San Francisco Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

San Francisco Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

The holiday season wouldn’t be quite the same without catching a performance of "The Nutcracker." We suggest heading to the City by the Bay to see the sparkling two-act ballet performed by the San Francisco Ballet, which first introduced Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to American audiences in 1944.  960 1280

Erik Tomasson  

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating

For the quintessential N.Y.C. Christmas experience, take a whirl on the ice at Rockefeller Center. The world-famous ice-skating rink at the famed commercial complex, in the heart of Manhattan, has been a fixture of Rockefeller Center since 1936. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Stonehenge Winter Solstice

Stonehenge Winter Solstice

Take in the winter solstice at Stonehenge. Every year, more than 5,000 people gather at the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, to mark the time when the sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon. Be sure to explore the new visitor center close to the ancient site, too. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Santa Claus House in North Pole

Santa Claus House in North Pole

Just where does Santa Claus live? North Pole, Alaska, of course. Head to this small, wintery city in the heart of Alaska to see Santa Claus House. A storefront, built in the early 1950s, it’s the spot from which the Original Letter From Santa is mailed out, proclaiming the bearer to be “on Santa’s Good List.”  960 1280

Rosie Rosenberger, flickr  

Hit the Slopes

Hit the Slopes

Hit the slopes this month at North America’s most popular ski resort. In addition to being home to more groomed terrain than any other resort in the world, Vail, Colorado, boasts the country’s largest ski school for all skill levels. For the more seasoned skier, head to Jackson Hole, where over 90 percent of the trails fall into intermediate to expert categories. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

NOLA Christmas Bonfires

NOLA Christmas Bonfires

Add a little spice to the holiday season with a trip to The Big Easy. Come Christmas Eve, dozens of bonfires light up along the Mississippi River levee to make way for Papa Noel, as locals in bayou country call Santa. Arrive by 7 p.m. to watch the fiery feu de joie (“fires of joy”)! 960 1280

Douglas and Charlene Guilliams of Baton Rouge, LA: A Father and Daughter Photography Team  

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Come December, the City of Brotherly Love transforms itself into a Christmas Village. This annual holiday market in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park features traditional German Christmas market items, displayed by more than 60 vendors in decorated booths and tents. Get your fill of holiday goodies like gingerbread cookies and mulled wine. 960 1280

Christmas Village in Philadelphia  

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days

Learn dog sledding in... Chicago? Yep, for outdoor winter adventure, head to the Windy City’s Northerly Island, site of the annual Polar Adventure Days. Beginning in early December, the family-friendly event includes a toddler zone with outdoor “ice fishing,” an REI winter activity station and a dog-sledding demo with huskies. 960 1280

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days  

Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

On your mark, get set … it’s off to Louisville for the granddaddy of all horse races. In time-honored tradition, the 140th annual Kentucky Derby -- the first leg of the Triple Crown -- kicks off the first Saturday in May. Settle into your seat at Churchill Downs racetrack on Central Avenue, sip a mint julep and enjoy the "Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports." 960 1280

Getty Images  

Mother’s Day Tea at The Plaza

Mother’s Day Tea at The Plaza

Mom is always fussing over you, now’s your chance to turn the tables -- in style. Treat Mom to afternoon tea at The Plaza’s Tea Room. A tradition since the hotel opened in 1907, tea at this NYC landmark has inspired scenes in popular films and novels, including Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Mom can enjoy a selection of sandwiches and savories from the Fitzgerald Tea for the Ages and The New Yorker menus. 960 1280

The Plaza  

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

La lumière, la caméra, l'action! Slip on some shades, and head to the French Riviera for the largest annual showcase of cinema in the world. Don’t have a ticket to events inside the Palais des Festivals et des Congres building where the festival is held? Pas de probleme! Enjoy open-air shows at the Cinema de la Plage, and for celebrity sightings show up extra-early outside the Palais. You may just spot Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman or Steven Spielberg on this year’s red carpet. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis 500

Rev up for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Part of the Triple Crown of Motorsports (with the Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans right behind) this annual race is quite possibly the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world, attracting roughly 400,000 spectators. Head to Indianapolis the last weekend in May, and prepare for a high-speed show around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval circuit. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Brighton Festival, England

Brighton Festival, England

Enjoy a 3-week celebration of music, theater, dance, art and film at the 47th annual Brighton Festival. Held each May in the southeastern English city of Brighton and Hove, the gathering is the largest multi-art form festival in all of England: More than 370 performances from artists such as Sinead O’Connor and 3-time Grammy winner Lucinda Williams, are slated for 2013. 960 1280

Brighton Festival  

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Take in the small-town charm of Winchester, VA, in this 6-day celebration of spring. First held in 1924, the annual festival packs a wallop of more than 30 events into its lineup: band competitions, dances, parades, carnival, a 10K race, the coronation of Queen Shenandoah and so much more, attracting crowds in excess of 250,000. 960 1280

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival   

Whale Watching, Stellwagen Bank

Whale Watching, Stellwagen Bank

Did winter come and go without you getting a chance to see whales? There’s still time: Between May and September, more than 400 orcas swim in the waters around Canada’s Vancouver Island. Or head to the Azores, the Portuguese archipelago about 1,000 miles from Lisbon, where sperm whales gather from May to October. Closer to home, Stellwagen Bank, a submerged sandbank between Cape Cod and Cape Ann in Massachusetts, attracts the endangered North Atlantic right whale to its waters. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

When chef Mark Abernathy of Arkansas restaurants Red Door and Loca Luna kicks the bucket, he wants to skip heaven and head straight for this food extravaganza. Such is the praise heaped on this annual fest by critically acclaimed chefs. Now in its third year, the gathering celebrates the best of Southern cuisine’s past and future, with cooking and cocktail demos, tasting tents and seminars on everything from the history of the Southern cocktail to Southern beer culture. 960 1280

AFWF/Raftermen  

National Bike Month

National Bike Month

Dust off that old bike, or buy a new one: It’s National Bike Month. Cities nationwide, including Austin, Boston, Santa Barbara, and Portland (pictured), are among the cities actively participating in the event. In San Francisco, you’ll find “energizer stations” this month, with food, drinks, red blinky lights and reflective leg bands available for bikers participating in the month-long public awareness campaign. Sounds like a great way to get free stuff -- and get in shape! 960 1280

Portland  

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo (meaning "fifth of May" in Spanish) right here in the United States. Nationwide, there are more than 120 official US celebrations, spanning 21 states, in cities such as Cleveland, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta. The holiday stretches back to the first few years of the American Civil War, when Mexican-American communities sought to commemorate the causes of freedom and democracy. Head to downtown Denver for one such celebration: Here, members of a Mexican folkloric dance academy perform at the city’s Civic Center Park. 
960 1280

Getty Images  

Vesak (Buddha Day)

Vesak (Buddha Day)

Seeking enlightenment? Celebrate Buddha’s birthday this May. Or take in the festivities as Buddhist devotees mark the occasion in Southeast Asian countries from Nepal to the Indonesian island of Java (pictured). Here, Buddhist monks pray at Borobudur, a 9th-century temple (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) that is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Head to this amphitheater at Carlsbad Caverns National Park for a grand show: Each May Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from a large, rocky passage within Carlsbad Cavern in search of a tasty mix of insects for dinner. In case you’ve happened on this wondrous sight in southeastern New Mexico with your family (and your kids have questions), a park ranger gives an informative talk as visitors wait for the bats to come out. 960 1280

carlfbagge, flickr  

May’s Must-Dos  12 Photos

The Hot List

Explore America’s most stunning scenery.
Join the conversation on Social Media!
Stay updated on the latest travel tips and trends.
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.