For most of us in the UK, a traditional Christmas means sitting around the dining room table tucking into a hearty turkey roast before collapsing on the sofa to squeeze in as many mince pies and chocolates as is humanly possible.
But, that’s not the only option. Actually, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are moving away from this kind of Christmas and making their own traditions – often which involving going overseas in search of a little sunshine and relaxation.
If you’re considering shaking up your seasonal celebrations this year, you can find a little inspiration for doing so below.
1) A Christmas cruise
My number one recommendation is going on a Christmas cruise. Why does this make the top spot, I hear you ask? Well, I think the major reason is how special it makes your time away – Christmas cruises typically feature loads of great festive events (though you can, of course, give them a miss if you’re hoping to get away from Christmas entirely!). Plus, luxury is the order of the day, which means you can completely relax and indulge yourself.
Cruise directly from the UK (there are plenty of Christmas cruises from Liverpool in 2013) and you’ll be able to enjoy every single moment of your getaway, avoiding the hassle of airport queuing and long flights. And of course, you’ll also be able to escape to the sun, with the sun-drenched Canary Islands being a popular Christmas cruise destination.
Visit islands like Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife to enjoy the beautiful beaches, water sports and natural attractions, while you’ll also be able to visit places like Madeira en route.
2) A winter holiday
Another option is to book a standard winter holiday to the Canary Islands instead – a good alternative if you’re not into cruising (though if you’ve never been on one before and simply assume you won’t like it, I’d thoroughly recommend ignoring your preconceptions and giving it a go – there are few people who don’t like it once they’ve tried it!).
This will give you all the sunshine of a cruise, though of course you won’t get to travel to lots of different places (unless you arrange all the transfers and stays in several hotels yourself). You also won’t get all the Christmas events on the cruise itself, though as a way of countering that, you can make sure you’re aware of local festivities that are going on instead.
3) A cosy staycation
My final suggestion is a staycation. The obvious difference with this one is that you won’t be bathed in sunshine – but that’s not what all of us are looking for anyway! A staycation is, I think, a really good choice if you’re just looking for a breather away from the Christmas rush back home but don’t want to head overseas.
If you’re planning to go away with the family in tow, you might want to consider booking a cottage rather than a hotel for that cosy feel – though it’s worth remembering that you may well end up cooking Christmas dinner as usual! If you’re worried about that, make sure you do plenty of research in advance and book a table at a local restaurant.
A staycation like this is also quite an affordable way of giving the family a Christmas treat, especially as you can stay in and cook whenever you please, and eat out when it comes to big celebrations.