Top 4 holiday destinations for 2017

The holidays may only come once a year, but for some, even that may be too much. If you're looking to do something different this season or want to escape the madness and avoid all the work that comes with hosting parties, here are four places you can go — both near and far — to get away from it all.

1. Somewhere warm. Don't need the snow to put you in the holiday spirit? If you're not a snowbird, head south and enjoy the warmth of some of the hottest places on record in December, including Cancun, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Brisbane and Cape Verde.

2. Somewhere cold. If Canada just isn't cold enough for you, or if you want to learn the tricks of the trade for surviving harsh winters in other countries, strap on your parka and head to a city with some of the other coldest winters on record, like Dudinka and Yakutsk in Russia, or Harbin in China.

3. Virtual vacation. We don't all have the means to travel the world, but that doesn't mean we can't experience new places and different cultures. Watching documentaries and travel shows is a great way to feel like you're right there in a new country. You can even feel good about helping children around the world by visiting and sending a Unicef Survival Gift that includes life-saving supplies like clean water and therapeutic food. Leave a positive footprint without ever setting foot in another country.

4. Your own backyard. Feel like you're traveling without all the hassle of visas and overnight flights by having a staycation. Go so far as to even pitch a tent in your backyard and cook your food on the campfire. But if it gets too cold, know that your warm home is just a few feet away.