While families with small children may embrace the experience of decorating, cooking and gift-giving in the comfort of their own home, other groups - such as families with teens, couples without kids, and baby boomers who love to travel with friends - may feel ready to revel outside their home zone. Like traveling at any time of year, holiday trips are not without hassles, but the benefits can make the challenges worthwhile.
Here are a handful of reasons why not being home for the holidays could make the season bright:
* Total relaxation - Instead of hurrying to decorate your home, host a soiree, accept every invitation, prepare enough food to feed an armored battalion, and find exactly the right gift for everyone you've ever met, going away to a resort during the holidays can help ease holiday stress. Opt for a quintessential winter getaway like in the Village of Kohler, Wisc., and you'll enjoy a snowy holiday season, complete with carolers, hot cocoa and holiday decor around every corner. The American Club Resort, one of only 45 hotels in North America to boast both AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star designations, has been hosting happy holidays for decades. Immerse yourself in spirit-soothing relaxation at Kohler Waters Spa, enjoy snow shoeing through an 800-acre wildlife preserve, or catch up on last-minute shopping at 25 specialty and boutique stores in the Shops at Woodlake Kohler.
* Visiting far-away loved ones - Is there an adored cousin whom you just don't get to see that much anymore? A brother who lives five states away whom you haven't shared the holidays with since you both lived with your parents? Giving up being in your own home for the holidays affords you the chance to enjoy part of the season in the home of loved ones you see infrequently. While you spend the whole year with the family you live with or the ones who live nearby, the holidays are the perfect time to re-connect with family and friends who live far away. And, if you don't want to add to their stress during the season, you can find plenty of great hotel deals in cities across the country.
* Savoring seasonal flavors without the work - Holiday cookies, pumpkin pie and elaborate dinners are an integral part of the season for many people, but they're also a lot of work. Staying in a hotel or luxury resort during the holidays ensures you'll be able to enjoy all your favorite flavors of the season - prepared by a professional chef and leaving cleanup chores to someone else. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen preparing and cleaning, you'll get to share those seasonal flavors with your traveling companions.
* Great travel deals - Knowing many people prefer to stay home for the holidays, top hotels and resorts across the country offer travel packages, deals and incentives to entice holiday travelers. Add-ons abound, from all-inclusive offerings with meals, parties and special dinners, to shopping packages that provide travelers with access to and discounts for premium shopping venues.