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5 of the best things about going away for Christmas

16 December 2019 08:33

A Christmas spent away from home could be the perfect present for you and your loved ones.

A Christmas spent away from home could be the perfect present for you and your loved ones.

Freshen up your festive season by spending the holiday away from the UK. Here we offer five reasons why picking up your passport could be your new favourite Christmas tradition.

1. Find your perfect Christmas climate

A white Christmas may be the dream, but the UK often delivers a slush-covered, black-ice riddled reality. Why not jot down winter activities you'd like to do and see where you could cross experiences off the list? A sled run in the Swiss Alps perhaps? Ice skating on Amsterdam's canals maybe? There's no shortage of short-haul destinations with sub-zero temperatures and snow-capped scenery to turn the Christmas spirit up a few notches.

If you'd rather get the gift of more vitamin D for Christmas, why not use the holiday period to chase some winter sun? Set off for the southern hemisphere where the most festive of days falls in the middle of summer. Expect images of Father Christmas in 'thongs' and 'jandals' – slang for Japanese sandals in Australia and New Zealand – and think less Queen's Speech, more barbecue on the beach.

2. Spend time with those you love most

Taking your celebrations to far-flung destinations will probably involve fewer of your friends and family, but include those with a special place in your life. There's nothing like sharing a holiday with those you love the most.

You could even suggest that everybody gives up traditional gifts to fund their trip. The time 15 of you stayed in a Swiss chalet or rented a villa in the Mediterranean will be remembered for much longer than jumpers, socks and perfume. With renewed relationships and memories made for life, a trip with loved ones is a gift that keeps on giving.

3. Try new Christmas food

Gathering round a table for a traditional meal with all the trimmings is one of the greatest pleasures of Christmas. But when you celebrate at home you're unlikely to broaden your taste buds beyond the familiar festive palette. Going abroad could be the opportunity to experience some delicious new seasonal flavours.

Head to the Christmas market in Frankfurt where stalls sell Quetschemännchen – figures made of prunes and nuts. It was customary for men to send the treat to girls who took their fancy – if they weren't returned to the sender, he knew he had a chance to win the girl's hand. Alternatively, visit Denmark where you can enjoy Risalamande, a kind of rice pudding containing a whole almond. Whoever finds it is rewarded with a marzipan pig, a chocolate heart or a toy.

4. Cut down on Christmas stress

Treat your trip as an excuse to shed the stresses of the season. Book a massage on the beach when you'd otherwise be stuck in queues for checkouts, and enjoy Christmas dinner in a hotel or restaurant.

Or why not maximise your time away from the frantic and festive with a yoga retreat? Mastering the downward dog on a sandy beach might be more fun than writing a seemingly endless list of Christmas cards. There are plenty of operators out there offering a combination of spa treatments and meditation training that allow you to take a digital detox away from home.

5. Take a new tradition home

Every country has its different set of traditions that come with their own history and unique charm. Whether it's Boxing Day barbecues on the beach in Australia, or decorating banana and mango trees in India, there's a custom that will enrich your idea of Christmas.

UK Christmas traditions have been shaped by different cultures for centuries. The idea of bringing a tree into your home to decorate originates in Germany and was made popular in Britain by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Father Christmas himself, is said to be based on the Greek Saint, Nicholas of Myra. Maybe you can adopt some traditions from other cultures and bring them back home with you.

Passport, presents, policy? Get cover before you go!

Remember your travel insurance before you leave tradition for the terminal. At World First, we provide last-minute travel insurance, so you can be covered when you celebrate Christmas with a difference.