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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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  

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

  

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, royal baby, princess
Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave the paparazzi and dozens of anxious spectators their first glimpse of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana – weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces – as they walked outside of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, on May 2, 2015. 960 1280

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images  

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Airport’s military terminal for a windy start to their tour on April 7, 2014, in Wellington, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, their first official trip overseas with their son. 960 1280

Samir Hussein/WireImage  

The royal baby has finally arrived! Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge appear with their baby son, as they stand outside St. Mary's Hospital, in central London. 960 1280

Reuters  

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a service of celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. 960 1280

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images  

Prince Harry walks with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as they view areas of the boardwalk that have been repaired in Seaside Heights, a beach town in New Jersey hit by Hurricane Sandy. 960 1280

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson  

During a visit to the U.S., Prince Harry visits Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. 960 1280

REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool  

Prince Harry plays sitting volleyball with members of the British Warrior Games team, before the opening of the Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Warrior Games is a Paralympic-style competition featuring injured servicemen and women from the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. 960 1280

REUTERS/Rick Wilking  

Prince Harry kneels down at the bottom of a pyramid of cheerleaders, U.S. and British military officials and near the U.S. Air Force Academy mascot "The Bird" at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 960 1280

REUTERS/Rick Wilking  

The royal couple visit Singapore Botanical Gardens on their Diamond Jubilee tour. 960 1280

Nicky Loh/Getty Images  

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walks past the super trees during a visit to Gardens By The Bay as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour in Singapore. 960 1280

Nicky Loh/Getty Images  

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge tour the Kranji War Memorial in Signapore on their Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East. 960 1280

Chris McGrath/Getty Images  

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge travel in a special boat vehicle as they arrive at Honiara International Airport during their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island. 960 1280

Chris Jackson/Getty Images  

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, ride a traditional war canoe as they arrive in Tavanipupu, Solomon Islands. 960 1280

REUTERS/Rick Rycroft/Pool  

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, cross a bridge at the Borneo Rainforest Research Center in Danum Valley on the island of Borneo. The royal couple are on a nine-day tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. 960 1280

REUTERS/Mohd Rasfan/Pool  

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge reviews a Guard of Honour as he visits the Istana on day one of their Diamond Jubilee tour in Singapore. 960 1280

Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore  

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Albert II of Monaco and official team GB ambassador Robin Cousins watch Synchronized Swimming at the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images  

Prince Harry talks to Gold medal winning rower Sophie Hosking at Team GB House in the Westfield Centre at the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images  

Carole Coe, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips watch the Track Cycling at the Velodrome during the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images  

Zara Phillips (Queen’s granddaughter) of Great Britain rides High Kingdom after competing in the Individual Jumping Equestrian Final of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park. 960 1280

Alex Livesey/Getty Images  

Britain's Queen Elizabeth watches the morning session of the swimming at the Aquatics Centre during her visit to the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

Reuters/Martin Rickett/Pool  

Catherine, the Dutchess of Cambridge, meets Great Britain’s sailing gold-medalist Ben Ainslie at the Weymouth & Portland venue near Weymouth Harbor. 960 1280

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images  

The Duchess of Cambridge was in the audience to witness Romanian gymnast Sandra Raluca Izbasa compete in the women’s vault final during the Artistic Gymnastics at the North Greenwich in London. 960 1280

Ezra Shaw  

Prince William talks to silver-medalist kayaker Jessica Fox of Australia during a visit to the Team Great Britain house. Will and Kate requested the visit be arranged in order to allow them to say thank you to volunteers for playing their part in the staging of the games. 960 1280

John Stillwell/Getty Images  

The Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge join in with the crowd to do “the wave” at the Velodrome. 960 1280

Quinn Rooney/Getty Images  

Prince Harry talks with athletes, including Great Britain's Jessica Ennis (third from right) during a visit to Team Great Britain’s flats in Olympic Village, located in Stratford. 960 1280

John Stillwell/Getty Images  

Will and Kate hug in excitement after the British men’s cycling team breaks a world record during a qualifying round at the Velodrome. 960 1280

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images  

Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice watch the cross-country equestrian event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images  

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Victoria Barracks during a medal parade for the 1st Battalion Irish Guards Regiment in Windsor, U.K. 960 1280

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, rows a dragon boat across Dalvay Lake in Charlottetown, Canada. The royal couple’s trip to North America included touring more remote areas of Canada, such as Prince Edward Island, Yellowknife and Calgary.  960 1280

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The Duke of Cambridge takes a shot while playing hockey while his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, cheers him on in Yellowknife, Canada. 960 1280

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The royal couple, in cowboy attire, joined millions of Canadians taking part in Canada Day celebrations. 960 1280

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Dressed to the nines, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the 2011 BAFTA Brits in Los Angeles. 960 1280

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Prince William shows off his equestrian skills in the Foundation Polo Challenge in Santa Barbara, California. 960 1280

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attend Royal Ascot in Ascot, England. 960 1280

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, pose for a photo with members of the Canadian Forces flight crew after arriving in Calgary, Canada, during their first joint overseas tour. 960 1280

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Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Price Harry wave to the crowd at Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee. 960 1280

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wave to the crowd from the royal barge during the Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant in London. 960 1280

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Queen Elizabeth II share a laugh during a children's sporting event while in Vernon Park, Nottingham for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. 960 1280

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Torchbearer Scott Moorhouse, a Paralympic javelin thrower, hands the Olympic flame to Jay Kamiraz while standing with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. 960 1280

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Queen Elizabeth II takes center stage to say a few words during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games at Olympic Stadium. 960 1280

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a cross-country equestrian event during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park. 960 1280

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