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At upscale Galeries Lafayette, in the city’s Opera District, the windows facing the street show fairytale scenes.
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Herbivore wrap from Caviar and Bananas

It’s time to get serious — about finishing your Christmas shopping. There’s only 10 days left and counting! If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the outdoorsman, frequent flyer or techie in your life, Rob Pralgo, Travel Channel’s Gear Guide, is here to help.

From bedbug-proof luggage to the latest in smartwatches, smart phone covers, camera lenses and HD snow goggles, he informs travelers of all the new gadgets they should not live without. Check out the coolest new travel gadgets on the market, and while you’re at it, you might want to pick up one for yourself!

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Think twice about that elusive 99-cent iPhone, people. Pushy crowds, endless lines and bitter cold can make you second-guess whether that deal is really a steal once Black Friday rolls around. Don’t even get us started on the whole sales-starting-on-Thanksgiving backlash. Here’s a better idea, several in fact, that can be ordered from the comfort of your own home.

At Travel Channel, we’ve been busy rounding up the ultimate gifts for all the globetrotters on your list – check out some of the best gear, gadgets and luxe travel essentials this holiday season below. Then enter for a chance to win some of our favorites as well as $10,000 cash in our Gift of Travel Sweepstakes!

Travel's Best Gifts

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Good luck on trying to find last-minute deals for any holiday travel this year. Pauline Frommer, editorial director of Frommer’s Guidebooks, says, “This is probably going to be the highest-priced holiday fares we’ve seen in the last decade.”

The average ticket cost for the US and Caribbean is already up 9.4% over last Thanksgiving. Prices for Christmas week are up more than 7% to an average of $337.

What’s the reason behind the airfare hike this year? Travel experts blame it on mergers and consolidated airlines over the past couple years, which has forced some carriers to cut back on flights to many cities. This is the first time that planes are flying at 85% load factor — essentially full — since 1945. And today, more people are competing for fewer seats.

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Photography by Getty Images

Is Santa Claus real? It may take a trip to Lapland, Finland, located in the Arctic Circle, to find out. Here, Santa Claus keeps an office — elves built it in an effort to keep his year-round digs a secret. More »

 

Instagram user pamelagt shows us that New Orleans’ Roosevelt Hotel really knows how to do Christmas! Keep sending us your holiday lights photos with the hashtag #TCHolidayLights to be featured in our 12 Days of Sparkle!

A high-density, vertical city with tourists and locals from everywhere on the planet, New York delivers — no matter who you are or when you visit. But the holidays are a particularly nice time to head to the Big Apple, when the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, the holiday shops at Union Square, and the ice-skating rink in Central Park put the city in the holiday spirit. Lined with iconic museums, Central Park draws class field trips, jogging locals, and Hollywood film crews all year long. At Union Square, students take to the streets on skateboards and New York’s premier chefs seek out locally grown produce from the farmers’ market. Shoppers can splurge on Chanel, Prada, and Gucci along 5th Avenue, or venture deep into SoHo, the West Village, or the Lower East Side for insider boutiques, where one might glimpse New York’s acting elite. Meanwhile, art lovers can bask in the grand museums of the Upper East Side or preview up-and-coming imagery at Chelsea galleries.

Throughout the city, expect to pay a premium for cramped rooms — a cozy 200 square feet is about the norm. But remember that in New York, it’s not so much about the room as the location, location, location, instead. For old-world grandeur, Midtown East and the Upper East Side are home to the Waldorf-Astoria, the Peninsula, and the Pierre, an elegant, historic hotel across the street from Central Park, which offers a taste of grand old New York to those staying in any of its 189 small — but freshly renovated — guest rooms. Hip downtown spots include such notables as the Gramercy Park Hotel and the Soho Grand, where guests can find an authentic but accessible taste of the trendy downtown scene. And the hotel still attracts its fair share of celebrities. Of course, you’ll also find outposts of every major hotel franchise — from the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental up by Central Park to the more down-to-earth Hilton,Westin, and Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

- Oyster.com Staff

More on the Holidays in New York City:
Best Holiday Shopping in New York
Best New York Hotel Holiday Decorations
Christmas in New York City

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