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Joe Staiano, Seattle-based founder of responsible travel company Meaningful Trip and explorer of over 80 countries, shares the most spectacular trip of his life.

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If you are enjoying Christmas at home this year and haven’t been able to experience the holiday as a traveler in a distant land, try bringing other customs and global traditions into your home with a new recipe. 

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Italy is a prime place to visit in the winter if you are looking for a little snow. From low transportation and lodging costs to an astonishing lack of tourists, Italy may even be considered to be more enjoyable during the winter months. 

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Christmas in Iceland is bursting with ancient lore and traditions as it is one of the first places that married old winter solstice festivals with Christian celebrations and from that marriage came a magical holiday full of joy and mystery.

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While many travelers may be roller skating through Caracas to attend Church on Christmas morning, you could be ensconced in the jungle surrounded by tepuis enjoying authentic traditional celebratory dishes in Kamarata, Venezuela. 

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India may be a strange place to highlight as one of our 12 Christmas destinations, but even though the vast majority of the population doesn’t follow Christianity, most people enjoy taking part in spreading holiday cheer. 

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Even though we are big proponents of staying away from high traffic touristy areas when traveling, there are a few popular places that are worth braving the crowds for. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland in London seems like it could be one of those places, especially with its sustainability protocol.

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Get your taste buds ready for the delicious destination of Budapest, where honey cookies are always hot and fresh, sausages are dripping with flavor, fry bread is crisping in clay ovens, and chestnuts are roasting on an open fire.  

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If you're looking for a truly unique Christmas experience, head to Oaxaca, Mexico for Noche de Rábanos or Night of the Radishes, where you'll find humble vegetables that have been transformed into stunning works of holiday art. 

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The fourth destination in our 12 trips of Christmas is New Zealand, where snowmen are made of sand, Christmas dinner is roasted on the barbeque and Santa Claus’ sleigh is guided by a kiwi bird.

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