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Camelback Mountain cobalt123

The holiday travel season is upon us. One of the most popular traveling seasons of the year, December 2014 saw a staggering 70,200,000 people board planes in Canada and the United States. This number promises to grow year over year as the total enplanement rate rose by 2.5 per cent from 2013 to 2014 and grew the years prior by 1.4 per cent overall. While we have historical data for previous years, we can only count on early reports to gauge data for the 2015 holiday travel season. FlightHub, a Canadian-based online travel agency, and their CEO Matt Keezer have released their projected December and January bookings.

While traditional holiday destinations dominated the standings, we have chose to focus on flights to the American southwest. This is due to the fact that Winter months more or less restrict outdoor adventure to the South. The Southwest features some the stunning outdoor locales combined with unique urban destinations. With that in mind we chose three destinations that both performed well on FlightHub’s holiday list and offered a unique blend of adventure and relaxation.

1 – Phoenix, Arizona

First up is Phoenix, Arizona. This Arizona city is home to many snowbirds who travel, and in some cases move for months at a time, to the southwest to escape the harsh winters of the Northern United States and Canada. Phoenix accounted for 1.71 per cent of all of FlightHub’s holiday bookings and was the highest trafficked southwestern destination by a healthy margin, outpacing the second place American city by about 70%. For the sake of context, the top global destination, London, UK, accounted for 7.50 per cent of all bookings.

Read More Top Holiday Travel Sites

NASAMarshallThe truth is out there. I want to believe. These phrases ring like gospel in the ears of nerds and sci-fi addicts. While sub-orbital tourism exists thanks to companies like Virgin, these trips are mostly unobtainable for common people operating with even generous travel budgets. The fact is that the trip to a galaxy far, far away is still a distant dream for humankind. There are some destinations out there that represent the next best thing. Here are the three best Sci-Fi Adventure Trips according to FlightHub to get your alien fix without having to explain an awkward abduction story to your friends and coworkers.

1 – Roswell, New Mexico

The epicentre of the little green men movement nationally and perhaps globally, Roswell is famous for being the location of a crash in 1947 that skeptics believe was an alien craft. Quickly denounced by the US Air Force as a crashed weather balloon, a rancher uncovered a wreckage that spawned the modern myth of little green men and led to the creation of the popular term “flying saucer”. Today Roswell is home to countless alien attractions, museums, and shops. Those looking to make their way to Roswell can fly or drive directly or make a road trip out of it by heading there via Phoenix, Arizona, which was one of the southwest’s top holiday destinations according to a recent FlightHub review.

Click to read 2 more sci-fi adventure destinations

Wynn Resort Las Vegas_xiquinhosilva

Known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” Las Vegas is a myriad of lavish buildings and big lights. Filled with giant resorts and casino complexes, Las Vegas is a mecca for night owls and big spenders. Should you find yourself in the City of Sin, you might be overwhelmed at all of the entertainment options. Use this guide to help sort through the plethora of options and hit some of Vegas’ most exciting attractions.

See a Live Vegas Show

Entertainment is the bread and butter of Las Vegas. While there are numerous nighttime show options to choose from, one of the best new shows to hit the city is Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers. This vibrant musical spectacular features a cast of 66 singers and dancers, as well as a full orchestra. Topped off with exquisite set and costume design, this show is not to be missed during your stay. ShowStoppers plays at the Encore Theater in the luxurious steve wynn resorts, where you can pair a multi-course dinner with your show six nights a week.

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As the world becomes more and more connected, there are countless opportunities to create positive social change – especially through travel. Purposeful or meaningful travel can take many shapes and cover a wide spectrum. Something as simple as contributing to the growth of a developing community by purchasing local goods or services can make a huge impact. In addition, working directly to improve communities through sustainable volunteering can change lives and foster lasting growth. However, purposeful travel isn’t always black and white. If you’re considering a volunteer trip abroad, there are a few very important steps you should take in order to ensure you are creating lasting positive change.

What is Sustainable Volunteering?

In this context, sustainable volunteering refers to a program that considers the long-term social implications of the work its volunteers are doing. Let’s use construction volunteering as an example. Out of the following scenarios, what do you think is more sustainable for a developing community in Guatemala?

Scenario one: A single school built on the outskirts of the community with modern amenities such as air conditioning, computers, Internet and running water. Current schools are overcrowded – this school will help distribute the number of students by creating new classrooms. Architects and volunteers from the U.S. will be brought in through grant money to design and build the school. It will be designed off-site and will be introduced to the community after it’s completion as a surprise.

Scenario two: A series of additions will be designed and built on existing schools to increase classroom sizes and update the current buildings. Local architects and contractors will work in collaboration with volunteers from the U.S. to design and build these additions. Before construction begins, the community will be consulted, including local residents, teachers and even students on what is most needed to improve conditions.

Click for the answer and to read more about planning a volunteer trip

Campervan_Chris Boyd

After many years of traveling via plane, train, and humble automobile, my perceptions of travel really altered when discovering the wonderful country of New Zealand back in 2011. Unlike my regular journeys, I decided that this was the year myself and three of my close female friends were to travel via campervan. Yes, a campervan!

After checking in, boarding and braving an arduous 28 hour flight the tire finally hit the runway of Auckland airport. I made my way to the front of the aircraft and to my bemusement the heat of the New Zealand sun was beating down aggressively (which was a far cry from the dreary February morning I left behind in the UK). Feeling the sun’s warmth, the girls and I immediately perked up, swiftly disembarking the craft excited to go and pick up our new mobile home for the next two weeks. We managed to get a cracking deal on our camper, picking it up from the airport with the reasonable price tag of just over £1500 between four for the two weeks.

I have to admit when my good friend and colleague Ben Donovan, campervan enthusiast and managing director of major campervan accessory retailer Leisure Shop Direct, initially suggested that I chose a camper for my next break: I was skeptical. I had so many preconceptions about the idea, how it was more appropriate for the ‘older generation’ (I chose my words carefully). And that the cost would be through the roof. But after a small amount of research and the realization of the benefits, I decided to give it a go!

Click to find out why a Campervan Trip should be on your Bucket List