Where in the world is the Best Place to travel for Christmas?

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2012 photo

If you were to ask yourself, "Where would be the best place to travel to for the Christmas holiday?", many would immediately answer with: "Home." But besides going home, the world is full of places that people love to travel to for the holidays. And for Christmas, some of those places are closer than you think.

Many places around the world really go all out for Christmas and have become popular travel destinations because of it. Forbes magazine has a list of the ten most popular places to go for the Christmas holiday, and it may come as a shock to many that five of those destinations are in the continental United States. The fifth is in the territory of Puerto Rico.

Although New Yorkers aren't particularly known for their warm and friendly natures, they do know how to do Christmas right. The massive Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, Times Square all lit up, the city puts its best foot forward for the holiday season. Add to the festive feeling all the famous places to go and things to do in the big city that New York is known for and it's no wonder that it's one of the best places to head to for a Christmas vacation.

As if sports wasn't enough for the two big cities to be competitive about, Boston is one of New York's rivals for most popular Christmas destinations. Beantown's historic section takes visitors back a century or so to cobbled streets, gas street lamps, and an old-fashioned New England atmosphere just right for the holidays.

Another big getaway place is Aspen, Colorado. One of America's favorite skiing destinations, the mountain town hosts several holiday music events and is resplendent in rustic charm.

One popular place to visit around Christmas is Santa Claus, Indiana. This is the town that hosts the post office that answers all the mail sent to sent to Santa. But that's not all. The town also hosts theme parks, a Santa Claus museum, and other attractions for those who love a Christmas-with-Santa theme. (And the fun doesn't stop after Christmas Day. Santa Claus, Ind., is in Christmas mode all year long.)

And for those that would like to just get away from the anything resembling a snowy Christmas, a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, might fit the bill. The island starts their Christmas celebrating early and keeps on celebrating right on through to Jan. 6, Three Kings Day.

(Win a free six-day, five-night trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico.)

Paris, France, is one of the world's most visited cities. Around Christmas, it's one of the most popular as well. The same goes fro Rome, Italy, and Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Beautifully decorated Cologne, Germany, with its massive holiday markets on both sides of the Rhine, is also a favored destination, as is Santa Claus Village and Santa Park in Napapiiri, Finland, which boasts Santa's workshop in the land of real reindeer.

TravelandLeisure.com has a more extensive list of Christmas destinations that span the globe from New Mexico to New Zealand, from Canada to Brazil.

Although it is always a good idea to book your vacation early, there are still a few good deals to be had when it comes to traveling for Christmas. Cancun-discounts.com lists Funjet and Hotwire as good websites for last-minute deals. Also suggested is Travelzoo, which posts a weekly newsletter with great deals to destinations around the world.