Should you spend your Christmas holidays abroad?

Every year, millions of Brits go overseas for the Christmas holidays. But what are the advantages of spending Christmas abroad?

By Saga team

Published 3 May 2024

While the elusive White Christmas is the feature of many a song and postcard, in reality, the UK’s Christmas season is usually just cold, with plenty of rain, wind and sleet. Jetting off in search of better weather is a good solution – and the direction you travel determines the weather you get!

If you've never experienced Christmas Day on the beach or somewhere warm, why not make this the year to tick it off your list? Destinations like the Canary Islands remain mild even in December and January, or you could go a little further afield to Florida or the Caribbean for a Christmas to send postcards home about.

Alternatively, instead of heading south, you might like to lean in, pack a suitcase full of winter woolies and set your sights north. Try spotting the ethereal lights of the aurora borealis in Iceland, head to Norway for a truly magical Christmastime, or make your way to New York for a city break.

While a traditional Christmas by the fire is what we all know and love, it pays to do something different from time to time. Perhaps you’ve found the usual Christmas activities are becoming stale, or you’d like to experience something entirely different? Or maybe something has happened with your personal circumstances to make an at-home Christmas feel unappealing – whatever your reasons, change is always good.

Imagine leaving footsteps in the sand instead of welly boot prints in the slush, snacking on paella or samosas instead of pigs in blankets and sprouts, coming back to a peaceful hotel room instead of piles of washing up – there’s a lot to be said for changing it up and spending your Christmas holiday abroad.

If you’ve had your fill of timing Christmas dinner perfectly and you can’t face another early morning to get the turkey in the oven, the ideal solution is to just let someone else do it. This way you don’t have to exist on turkey sandwiches until New Year’s Eve; there’s no washing up and no food waste! If your house is usually the house everyone descends on once sleigh bells start ringing, you’ll be able to politely turn everyone down by saying you won’t be home, with no offense caused – and no extra beds to strip after the festivities are over.

If you love a big busy Christmas but don’t like having to cook for hordes of people and making up dozens of beds – or if the anticlimactic silence of an empty house compared with the hustle and bustle of the days leading up to Christmas stands you in bad stead for the gloomy January months – you can always ask family and friends to join you and make it a large group affair. There's nothing like being surrounded by the ones you love on Christmas Day, exchanging presents and sharing the memorable day together, and that doesn’t have to change if you’d rather spend your Christmas holiday overseas.

Of course, you might be hoping for the exact opposite. Perhaps you’re longing for a quiet, romantic holiday for a couple who haven’t spent time together at Christmas one-on-one for a very long time. Or maybe the kids aren’t coming to you this year, so you’d rather simply escape all the work that comes with Christmastime. Or maybe you’d like to spend Christmas on your own, with a good book and a roaring fire – whatever you’re after, consider this a Christmas gift to yourself!

If you're planning on going abroad for the festive period, it's always wise to book your holiday early to avoid disappointment. In fact, it might be worth booking for next year just after Christmas, while you’re still feeling festive – and you’re still clear on all the reasons why you might like to spend Christmas abroad. If you want other people to join you, it’s best to get them booked in early too, before other commitments start to creep in.

Once you have it firmly written in your diary, it'll give you something to look forward to, meaning your face lights up every time someone mentions the countdown to Christmas.

Like the idea of getting away over the festive period? We’ve got lots of Christmas holidays to choose from.

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