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Top Luxury Holiday Vacations

The idea of family holiday travel may inspire panic. Here are tips and ideas for Christmas vacation travel, to help vacations be a luxury - not a cause for concern.

There's nothing quite like flying to a luxury destination. To get away from the stresses back home, while enjoying a family holiday in a fun new locale, may be the best luxury present you can give yourself. Do it right, and holiday travel is a great idea!

Top luxury holiday travel locales

The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas is one of the best family vacation places around. The child-friendly waterslides, the wall-to-wall aquariums, and poolside snacks that kids love, all equal a vacation full of happy children and rested adults. But be warned: Atlantis is expensive.

The Maui Prince Hotel, in Makena, Hawaii, is a top luxury resort hotel for honeymooners, baby boomers, and other adults traveling without young kids. The Maui Prince is quiet and serene, and its restaurants offer sophisticated, high quality adult fare. Very romantic, but children would likely be bored.

St. John, the smallest of the US Virgin Islands, is the best singles or family vacation in the Caribbean for those who want to immerse themselves in nature. The island's top luxury resorts provide yachting holidays for families with plenty of fun activities for kids, while adults can relax by the beach or indulge in some of the world's top snorkel and scuba sites.

Eco-friendly green travel fans can spend their Christmas vacation camping on St. John, as well. A tip: Camping and eco-travel on St. John help stretch travel dollars; eco-travel is good for travel budgets, and good for the island as well.

St. Thomas is the US Virgin Island with the best duty-free and luxury shopping. There are several upscale hotels and resorts on St. Thomas, and holiday shopping is made easy with all those stores in close proximity at Charlotte Amalie. Or, stay on St. Croix, the largest US Virgin Island, and day trip to St. Thomas for gifts and souvenirs.

If you'd rather ski than scuba for Christmas, Whistler, Vail and Jackson Hole are among the world's best ski resort towns. All offer fantastic slopes with powder galore for skiers. Other winter sports, like heli-skiing, snow kite boarding and more, are also available. These are upscale ski resorts for authentic holiday ski vacations.

For a ski trip that includes less actual skiing, and more star-spotting, time in luxury day spas, and high-end shopping, Aspen fits the bill. Great skiing and snowboarding can, of course, be had at Aspen, but it's such an "in spot" right now, that visitors should be prepared for long lines at the lifts. And at the nightclubs.

Travel memories are some of the best gifts to give and receive. Whether you choose to travel for the holidays or stay home, best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

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