Home Travel News New York Small Towns to Visit in the Holiday Season, Rio de Janeiro

New York Small Towns to Visit in the Holiday Season, Rio de Janeiro

Is Wonder-Lost? How To Take The Stress Out Of Travel

how to take the stress out of travelThis year, Trafalgar carried out a study to discover what living ‘The Good Life’ meant to you and whether travel contributed to it. To many people, ‘The Good Life’ meant being able to relax and enjoy a time without stress or anxiety.

The study showed that in today’s high pressured and connected world, people are finding it stressful to plan and enjoy their travels, and even struggle to switch off when away from home. Sound familiar? Here’s how to put the wonder back in your wanderlust and travel stress-free with real ease.

Travel has become… stressful to plan

“The main causes of stress and lack of excitement before embarking on a trip are: 50% time and research needed and 39% pressures of social media”

Travel has become… no different to being at home

“63% check the news, 57% check social media, 51% stay on top of emails”

Travel has become… an overwhelming checklist of things to do

“47% of people (close to half) admit to feeling guilty when they haven’t seen all the sights”

Travel has become… overcrowded

“61% of people agree that being in places with large crowds is a negative aspect of travel and 66% of people have experienced this during their last trip”

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Lake Placid during the winter holidays
Lake Placid is a fairy-tale winter wonderland during the holidays. Photo courtesy: F I N T Partners

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and with it comes the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Get away from it all in one of New York State’s charming small towns this winter. From special events and live performances to fireworks and parades, ring in the holiday season with your loved ones and check out the list below of some of the best small towns to visit in New York.


Experience Northeast’s largest free holiday festival, complete with more than 100 live performers sharing their holiday spirit at the 36th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll. Eat, drink and shop ‘til you drop as you walk through town. The celebration will be held on Sunday, December 2, and welcomes locals and visitors alike.

Rhinebeck & Kingston

An old Dutch tradition in the Hudson Valley, Sinterklass is a two-city celebration that pays tribute to the Dutch patron saint of children and sailors. The Sinterklass Celebration has deep roots going back over 300 years when the Dutch settlers arrived in Rhinebeck, New York.  The lively party starts in Kingston, where Sinterklass will have a send-off on November 24, and ends in Rhinebeck, where the crowds will celebrate his arrival on Dec. 1.  The fun holiday celebration is a rich blend of old and new in the Hudson Valley.


The village of Owego is set to sparkle this holiday season with their popular festival, Lights on the River. Taking place December 7, the event promises an array of activities for the whole family, festive decorations, live reindeer and a dazzling firework show by the riverside. Come join the fun!


Jump into the holidays with Christmas Past to Skaneateles, where Dickens Christmas comes to life every Saturday and Sunday from November 24 through December 24. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the celebration lets the areas’ businesses give gifts to the local patrons for their continued support over the years and share the story of Charles Dickens and his cast. Don’t miss out on the wonderful food, unique shopping, live music and special events like ‘Dinner with Dickens and Friends’, which takes place at the Mirbeau Inn and Spa on December 5.

strolling at Lake Placid in winter
Photo courtesy: F I N T Partners

Lake Placid

Head up north to the Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll, December 8-10, for a family and couples weekend full of events, entertainment, parties, dining specials and shopping in this fairy-tale winter wonderland. Just for kids, Santa will be making a special appearance in several locations throughout the weekend, while couples can enjoy dining specials and live entertainment into the late evening hours.

Saratoga Springs

This holiday season is packed with wonderful festivities in the small town of Saratoga Springs. Exciting events take place throughout town starting this week, including the Saratoga Holiday Craft Marketplace for unique holiday shopping, Tree Lighting Ceremony, a round-trip ride on the Train To Christmas Town and more! And if you stay through the holidays, you must catch First Night Saratoga on December 31, the largest New Year’s Eve event outside of New York City that brings live music, comedy acts, magic shows and fireworks to ring in 2019.

Rio de Janeiro Named Must-Visit Destination in 2019

Christ the Redeemer statue over the Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer. Photo: Pedro Kirilos, Riotur

Rio de Janeiro was named one of the world’s five most cost-effective destinations for 2019. A survey conducted by British air travel website Skyscanner revealed, after analyzing flight and hotel offers, that in addition to being a great cultural experience, visiting the Americas next year could also be an excellent idea for those who want to save money. According to the study, the day rates in four-star hotels in Rio dropped by 20%. The website also bets on the drop in air tickets prices due to the creation of new direct flights from Europe to the city. We list five classic and unforgettable tours for those who arrive in the Marvelous City. Check out:

1 – CHRIST THE REDEEMER: With arms wide open over the Guanabara Bay, the Christ, the Redeemer blesses cariocas and visitors. Sitting atop the Corcovado mountain, the statue is one of the most sought-after sights. The world’s largest and most famous art deco sculpture, the Christ is one of the seven wonders of the modern world. To get to the monument, visitors take a pleasant 20-minute train ride across the Tijuca Forest. The view is stunning.

2 – COPACABANA BEACH: Visiting Copacabana and Ipanema is almost mandatory for those visiting Rio. When added to its neighbor, Leme, the beach, located at Av. Atlântica, and its promenade, famous for its Portuguese mosaic stones imitate sea waves, is more than four kilometers long. Along Av. Atlântica visitors will find bike racks, bike lane, kiosks, hotels, bars and restaurants, frequented both day and night. It also has two Military Forts, one at each end of the beach, with panoramic views and open for visitors.

3 – SUGARLOAF: Save an afternoon to visit the Sugarloaf. Going from Praia Vermelha (Red Beach), in Urca, South Region of the city, visitors first take a cable car heading towards the Urca Mountain and from there they take a second car that takes them to the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain – 396 meters above sea level. The view from the top of both mountains is breathtaking, as visitors get to see the Botafogo Cove, Copacabana Beach and the Guanabara Bay entrance.

4 – MARACANÃ: Inaugurated in 1950, Maracanã has already hosted the finals of two World Cups, 1950 and 2014. It was the stage of the most important Brazilian derbies and of the thousandth goal of King Pelé, in 1969. He also hosted games the 2013 Confederations Cup, the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2007 Pan-American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016. Completely renovated, it also has a walk of fame and a museum.

5 – TIJUCA FOREST: The National Tijuca Park, considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the environmental conservation unit with the largest number of visitors in Brazil. Last year, 3.3 million people visited the park, including many foreign tourists. With access from the North, South and West zones, the Tijuca National Park shelters the world’s largest man-made urban forest, with 3,9000 hectares of Atlantic Forest.

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