Christmas is a magical time for many people, but it is easy to become stuck in the same routine year after year. So, if you’re looking to add an extra drop of festive sparkle to your Yuletide this time around, perhaps it’s time for a change of scenery. As long as you get the planning right, this can be a stress-free way to combine your Christmas celebrations with a relaxing break to end the year.
Whether you are looking for a short break before the big day or an extended trip which allows you to wake up on the 25th in new and exciting surroundings, there are plenty of great destinations to choose from.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to spend Christmas basking in the warm glow of the sun rather than huddled under a blanket, Australia is the perfect place to find out. Swap your coat for your swimsuit as you make your way to Bondi Beach to join others who are spending Christmas away from home. There’s usually live music and an atmosphere which couldn’t be further from a British Christmas but is still oddly festive. The typical roast turkey also makes way and is replaced by BBQs that fill the air with delicious smells.
If you are not feeling festive in the build-up to Christmas then let us prescribe you a trip to the Nuremberg Christmas market. This is one of the oldest and largest in the country and the focus is always on handmade and unique products rather than mass-produced toys – perfect for finding presents that are different to back home. As the lights glisten on the trees and stalls, you can’t help but be overcome with a warm glow. Plus, as Germans tend to celebrate 6th December (St. Nicholas Day) more than the 25th, Nuremberg might be the ideal place in which to spend a festive, yet understated, Christmas Day.
If you really want to experience a culture shift at Christmas, Japan might be the destination for you. Although obviously not a Christian country, the people of Tokyo and other major cities still go all out with the decorations. The religious side of things may be removed but the meaning of Christmas is still captured in terms of giving, sharing and spending time with family. This would be a great choice for a couple’s Christmas abroad, as Christmas Eve is a night where people enjoy romantic meals and celebrate their love. You will also get to experience the quirky tradition whereby the Japanese eat KFC on Christmas Day.
If you want to embrace a traditional Christmas rather than escape one, there’s no better place to visit than Santa Claus’s home. The Finnish region of Lapland can offer everything you need for an enchanting festive period from snow to reindeer. This is especially magical if you are travelling with children, as they can go in search of the man in red and make sure he receives their Christmas wishes. However, if you’re visiting as a couple, adventurous activities such as husky-sledding, snowmobile riding and camping in an authentic Sami tent are all available. Plus, there’s a chance you could see the Northern Lights – things don’t get much more spellbinding than that.
St. Lucia, Caribbean
If you usually find yourself rushing around on Christmas Day, making sure everything is in order for everybody else, then perhaps it’s time you took a year off and focussed on yourself for once. It has been a turbulent few months for the Caribbean region, as the clean-up continues in the aftermath of the worst hurricane season in decades. Whilst the islands need tourism now more than ever, St. Lucia was lucky enough to escape severe damage and is, therefore, a great option if you are at all concerned about possible destruction. An all-inclusive resort such as Jade Mountain in Soufrière or Sandals Regency La Toc in Castries will provide a fantastic environment in which to relax, recharge your batteries and remove the stress that’s often associated with Christmas.
If you looking to get away this festive period, the TravelQuest team will be more than happy to help you plan your escape. We can offer first-hand advice and work with you to create the holiday you’re dreaming of. Call us on 0800 021 3237 for more information or to book.