by Michael Villafana, PAW Writer

The Minnesota winter has not been as brutal as last year’s, at least not yet.  Still, many Providence Academy students will be traveling out of the state, and even out of the country this holiday season  in search of  warmer places.

“Many families choose to travel to Florida or Arizona during the winter months,” said Nora Blum, the certified travel specialist and marketing manager of Travel Leaders in Apple Valley, MN. “Some of the most popular winter destinations are Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean.”

Senior Maria Vogel, will be headed to one of those locations this Christmas. “Me and my family will be going to Cancun, Mexico” Maria said. “We are going because my extended family is getting together down there”. With Cancun’s average temperature in December being 75 degrees, Maria looks forward to flying down south. “I’m super excited for the warm weather and the sandy beaches”.

However, not every student is heading where there is salt water and palm trees. Junior Anna Rastetter, will be driving 13 hours to Ohio to have Christmas with her extended family. “Most of my family relatives live in Ohio so its fun getting to catch up with them,” Anna said. “Christmas is always more fun when you’re with family”.

Many students also have chosen just to stay home for the holidays. “My family will be staying in town for a comfortable Christmas at home”, said Senior Kailey McIntyre.

Both basketball teams and the boy’s hockey team will be representing PA in tournaments over the break. Boy’s basketball will be participating in a tournament in St. Cloud. Girl’s basketball will be playing at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Lastly, the boy’s hockey team will be competing in St. Cloud as well.

Travel Leaders offered some valuable tips if you are traveling this winter via plane. If you are traveling internationally, “make sure you are prepared with the proper documentation for all travel outside of the USA.  Passports are required for international travel and they need to be processed about 4-6 weeks prior to travel”, said Nora. Also, Travel Leaders of Apple Valley advises what not to pack in your carry-on when flying. Liquids over 3.4 ounces, sharp objects, fruits, tools and flammable items are just a few on the do not bring list. Avoid putting these objects in your bag, so you can get through security quicker.

Traveling during the holidays can be a stressful process, however if you are prepared, your trip can become worry free.

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