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Whether it’s skiing or sunbathing, there’s something for everyone

Sometimes the easiest way to get away from all the chaos of the holidays is to get away from it.

Pick your mode of transportation, length of stay and have some fun. It’s your choice if you invite all your family members to join, or even tell them where you are.

In a car

For just a few hours effort and a tank of gas, a trip to southern Utah will bring you to beautiful scenery covered in blankets of snow. Choose any of the national parks in the area or head to Brian Head for a lesson on the slopes.

Palm Springs, Calif., offers a way to taste perfect weather and avoid the thought of winter, but the town is still decked out with plenty of holiday cheer along the walkable streets. Check out the aerial tramway for an overview of pretty much everything around.

Big Bear, Calif., is a short trip but feels so distant. A nice alternative to southern Utah — but with the the cold, wintery weather that you can really nuzzle into — the lakeside town can get any Grinch into the spirit. Find a cabin and hibernate with the best of them.

And then there’s the one that’s on every kid’s wish list. Disneyland is a fan favorite, but keep that in mind as your plan your trip. Expect crowds while school is out, but also expect amazing smiles on your child’s face if you — or Santa — plan this trip.

In a plane

Hopping on a plane opens up a world of opportunities for travel. If you’re looking for inexpensive, consider booking your flight on the actual holidays and you can snag a great deal.

Head to Vail, Colo., if you or your spouse is a snow bunny looking for some slopes. The resort area is awash in trails. Splurge on lessons for the newbies to really enjoy the trip. Looking for something just as thrilling and intense that requires less agility? Try tubing down a path with a goofy smile slapped on your face.

New York City offers the traditional cityscape for the holidays complete with outdoor ice skating, a larger-than-life Christmas tree, streets with shop windows decorated with holiday themes. Do a little shopping and take in a Broadway play.

Or forget the cold winter weather, ditch the jackets and long pants and find a comfortable plot of sand to nuzzle your bikini-clad rear into. Trips to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Belize or Costa Rica can be quite affordable and offer an escape from reality — both physically and emotionally.

On a boat

Some of the best locales are reached by boat. You can also count on meals, entertainment and activities being planned.

For an easy trip with little effort, consider a cruise for the holidays.

A trip aboard Norwegian Cruise Line to the Hawaiian islands will give you a taste of the kama’aina (local residents) life. Just make sure to explore beyond the tourist areas when the boat docks.

Princess Cruises offer trips to the Caribbean, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

“It’s not uncommon to see yuletide carolers strolling the decks, singing favorite holiday tunes or waiters wearing Santa hats,” the cruise line boasts. They also promise a traditional Christmas dinner aboard the ships

Many cruise lines’ events will have holiday themes and offer religious services aboard the ship. Check your cruise line of choice for more details.

Take a train

Hop aboard Amtrak to travel through the country, and its sights, without the work of driving and finding a gas station with a clean restroom. Although Amtrak no longer offers rail service in Las Vegas, it does provide bus service from downtown to nearby stations in Arizona and California.

Amtrak vacations offer stops and package deals throughout the country to hot spots including Glacier National Park, Washington, New Orleans and Yellowstone National Park.

Amtrak is offering 50 percent discounts on kids tickets.

If you want to just hit the rails with no particular plan, purchase a 15-, 30- or 45-day pass that allows you to move about the country as you please.

For those with less vacation time, consider a seven-day California Rail Pass for $159.

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