Tulum? Maui? Tokyo? This was my hot list a few weeks ago when I blinked and realized that winter break was breathing down my neck. And, I had planned zilch. Within an hour, I discovered that “sure thing” destinations -ski resorts with perma-powder, foolproof beach getaways (Hawaii, Mexico, St Bart’s) and most things international. were off the table. Even with connections, flights were ridiculously expensive. Award seats nonexistent, leaving stragglers like me in the blackout zone. So, my husband and I cracked open a bottle of wine and consulted our Sharpie-worn family travel map.


seven sister waterfall in Guadeloupe

The conversation swerved from where we could go that was warm but less obvious (Chile) to spots that are culturally compelling but unattractive during the winter (Norway). We thought about off-the-grid destinations, namely Finland’s Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, where the cool quotient of slumbering in an igloo would trump the less appealing elements (frigid temps) of the trip.


Igloos in Finland

Ultimately, reasonable air fares (plus one awards’ ticket) and the lure of the Northern Lights sold us on Scandinavia. On tap: Christmas in Copenhagen, New Year’s Eve in Stockholm and a kooky stay at Tree Hotel, an enclave of Swede-moderne tree houses sixty-five km south of the Arctic Circle sandwiched in between. It may not have been our first pick. But even the kids agreed that dog sledding and horse-pulled skiing, made balmy temps (or, sunlight for that matter) seem overrated.


Red Mountain Resort in British Columbia, Canada

The full story appears in the Wall Street Journal. Link is here