Festive Flying: Planning A Christmas Abroad
Deciding to pack up for Christmas and get away can often be a tough decision. You’ll likely be leaving family behind who you’d normally see and you may have to give up on pigs in blankets and a nice thick slice of turkey for dinner.
It’s something you need to think carefully about, you won’t be waking up on Christmas morning in a familiar place, and you’ll most certainly miss out on repeats of Only Fools and Horses and Home Alone on the television. On the other hand however, it’s incredibly exciting.
It’s the season to be jolly and waking up on Christmas morning to a view of the Eiffel Tower, the Collosseum, or even better, the beach is truly magnificent, and certainly a new take on the Christmas period. But planning is key…
First of all there’s location. What is the reason for escaping to another country, would you like something more festive? Or a few days away from the bitter cold and potentially/probably miserable weather?
For those looking for a little sunshine, then there are plenty of resorts which are still warm throughout the winter months. The Canaries are particularly popular around the festive season with temperatures still in the 20s (°C) and the beaches still perfect for lying on.
However, for those wanting for even more festive cheer, to wake up to a white Christmas, then breaks in Prague, Helsinki, and Oslo are perfect, whilst a little further afield Quebec City will offer a Christmas you’ll never forget.
The Canadian city is like a postcard picture in the snow and walking through the Old Town – a UNESCO World Heritages site – is like being dropped into a fairytale. The Christmas period is full of entertainment with their Winter Carnival towards the end of January being the finishing touch on a special time for the city.
Naturally you may be used to doing things at certain times of the day at Christmas, you may be used to having your dinner at 3pm or opening presents at midday, but traditions are hard to keep up away from your regular surroundings.
Rather than replicating old traditions, why not start some new ones?
For some it may be a relief that they don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen chopping veg and cooking dinner. In this case relax.
However, make sure your travel insurance covers them. Basic levels of travel insurance may not cover breakable items or gifts so it’s important you get the right cover for you ahead of the festive period.
Additionally, some travellers forget altogether to get cover if they’re heading abroad to stay with family or friends, you still need cover, or you could end up handing over nothing but broken presents to loved ones, which could mean they aren’t loved ones for much longer!
Give Yourself Plenty Of Time
Whilst you have decided to do something different and go away for Christmas, the period is one of the busiest times of year for travelling. Like yourself, people are wishing to escape over the period, whilst many more people are going home to spend time with their family.
Be prepared for queues on the roads and in airports, particularly as you get closer and closer to the 25 December. This means give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
Not only will other vehicles slow you down on the road but there’s also potentially the weather to think about with snow and sleet causing chaos on the roads. By setting off early, you may arrive at the airport early, get through check in with ease, and even have time for a festive glass of sherry before boarding your flight.
Lastly, Find Some Christmas Activities
Unless you’re heading to a country where Christmas isn’t celebrated, in which case it’s unlikely you’ll find anything to do, it would be a good idea to go and explore all the festive activities going on.
It’s the perfect chance to enjoy Christmas from the perspective of another culture. For example Germany is full of incredible Christmas Markets, making visiting Berlin or Cologne a real treat. Likewise, the markets right across Europe, including Prague, Copenhagen, and Stockholm are well worth a look around ahead of the big day.
Elsewhere, where the temperatures are a little warmer, the likes of Tenerife and Lanzarote kick-start their Christmas on December 22 before Papa Noel arrives on the 25th. In resorts there will often be lots going on, particularly for children, bringing joy, happiness, and a fantastic Christmas to all. If you plan correctly of course…