Xmas Decorations

The words 'Christmas' and 'New Year' evoke a festive season usually spent at home with our close family and relatives. However, these words also bring for many of us the images of Christmas preparations, shopping for presents, food, cleaning and a lot of stress that somehow doesn't go with the 'peaceful wishes' on the Christmas cards...

With Christmas time knocking on our door, many of us often decide to avoid the frenzied shopping time and instead take to the slopes or even relax on a hot sunny beach. If you haven't tried it, perhaps it's time to experience something a little bit different over this holiday season. Worried that you might be missing out on something special at home? Christmas time and New Year can be just as atmospheric when away on holiday. Whether you are in the mountains or in any exotic destination, the hotels would typically prepare the decorations and food to match the festive season, so you can feel at home whilst away from home.

Which destination to choose? Depending on your budget and mood, there are always several options. Many of us dream of 'white Christmas', so why not head for the wonderful mountain resorts in France, Switzerland or even Colorado? Also, Austria will never let you down with its authentic postcard-perfect villages amidst the sugar white mountain scenery. Enjoy your Christmas dinner and hot punch whilst listening to the wood crackling in the fireplace and start the next morning with skiing on the sunny slopes. The breathtaking views of the forested mountains with powdery snow glittering in the sunshine are sure to have you come back for more!

Okay, but what if skiing is not your thing? Then perhaps the hot sunny beaches of the Caribbean or the Maldives would tempt you with their exotic backdrop of swaying elegant palms and tiffany blue seas. Here you can unwind and forget the 'reality' for a while and let the hotel take care of all your needs. The gourmet food and drinks are always freshly prepared for you and there is no need to worry about that Christmas turkey in the oven. This is also laid out in style for you and your family on Christmas Day. It's probably hard to believe just how spoilt you can get on your Christmas holiday.

If you don't fancy going far or spend a long time away from home, a city break in Prague, Vienna or Venice is always a good option to treat yourself to just for a quick change of the familiar home scenery. Family days and short breaks in Lapland will entertain the kids no end with all the activities and personal meetings with Santa Claus.

To help you make the right decision, here are some advantages and disadvantages for you to consider before you travel on your Christmas break.

Advantages of travelling on holidays over Christmas period:

  • You have a long holiday period on your hand to treat yourself to something special.
  • Escaping from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping fever can be a true relief for many of us.  
  • Spending comfortable time at the hotel where everything is ready for us provides a nice change to the traditional Christmas at home where most of our time is spent in the kitchen preparing food. 
  • Many countries across the world celebrate Christmas differently, so this could be an enriching cultural experience. 
  • Being away from the British rainy winter weather can be priceless.

Possible disadvantages:

  • As this is peak season, going away on holiday over Christmas can be a lot more costly compared to other seasons or travelling off-peak.
  • Some of us might feel nostalgic when missing reunions with family and friends at home. 
  • As the season is in its height, holiday resorts and airports tend to be busier and the queuing longer. 
  • What if we just can't do without the homely Christmas atmosphere and home prepared food? 
  • Our hope to pocket that last minute bargain can leave us disappointed due to possible lack of availability of cheap last minute holiday deals at such a busy time.
About the author: Mark Kempster is the Managing Director of http://www.packyourbags.com - A well established travel company in the leisure and corporate travel market for over 21 years. Our focus is on the customer experience and price. Our staff are full trained and well travelled. Our online site has been built with the customer experience in mind.

You can read more about the traditions of Christmas here.