Christmas may have been and gone and a brand new year is upon us, but that doesn't mean the festive spirit isn't still fresh in the air. No matter who you are or where you may be, a small part of all of us will continue to hang onto the cold and fresh winter period, because it's just so cozy.
Some will think that's funny and others will believe it to be insane, but either way, it's a reality.
Today, we want to try and uncover why so many travelers decide to head on over to Europe for the holidays. Sure, it's a big continent with a great reputation, but actually digging beneath the surface and examining why that reputation exists is of vital importance to understanding the culture.
Winter is a special time, as we all know, but the Europeans truly do go above and beyond in more ways than one.
There is no one singular home of Christmas (aside from the North Pole) but we'd make the argument that Europe comes pretty close.
The traditional Christmas market extravaganza features a variety of stalls, huts and perhaps even food halls to go alongside a whole load of holiday songs and themed entertainment. With cities like Vienna, Munich & Frankfurt kickstarting the trend, it'll come as no surprise to learn that Germany was the first nation to implement this idea.
Alas, while Christmas may be over, the general market stalls still hang around for travelers to enjoy.
Cheap & Cheerful
You can get return flights from England to France or Germany to Poland for around $25 to $30 on a good day and that isn't an exaggeration. You could fly to an entirely different location within the same continent and barely be set back half a day's wage.
Plus, when you're finally on the ground, food and drink are much cheaper than your average holiday getaway in North America and beyond. If you're a beer lover, then you're in luck. If you're a bit of a foodie, then prepare to eat as you've never eaten before.
Then, on the cheerful side of things, 90 percent of the people you'll be meeting are absolutely lovely.
If you can find a city in Europe without a stunning piece of architecture, then we'll find you a flying unicorn.
While great architecture can be viewed in any and all times of the year, we'd argue that the festive touch most of them get makes them all the more appetizing. Plus, most of the cities in question tend to produce quite a bit of snow around the December period, and that isn't exactly going to throw people off.
Check Out Multiple Destinations
The great thing about Europe is that it's not only insanely easy to get from country to country and city to city, but it's also insanely convenient.
You can drive, get a bus, get a train or fly to wherever your heart desires when you're actually in Europe, and it's never going to take you all too long. If you book far enough in advance you can get some wonderful deals around the wintertime, so instead of just going to one place, why not make the most of it and really expand your trip?
The services in question are improving rapidly, too, which is always great to see.
Gun violence isn't something you're going to see much on the streets of Europe, and while that sounds a little bit broad, it's certainly progress when you compare it directly to what's been happening over in the United States for years now.
While terrorism has been highlighted as a growing source of worry throughout the continent, that appears to have subsided greatly within the last few years - and in the midst of the January/February period, it always seems as if the level of security around major cities increases with each and every passing year. That is, of course, great to see.