If you’re concerned that Christmas in the UK is growing monotonous and predictable, it might be time to start thinking about a festive season abroad. Exploring different cultural approaches to Christmas could be just what you need to reignite your passion for ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.

If you’re unsure about whether to take the plunge, consider the various reasons why spending Christmas abroad could be the best travel-related decision you have ever made.

Why Do People Spend Christmas Abroad?

Christmas is often a hectic time when friends and extended family can put an enormous strain on your spare time. By taking off for foreign pastures during the festive season, you can ensure that your precious time is spent with the people most important to you.

Experiencing how Christmas is celebrated by different cultures can be a very rewarding and enriching experience. While travelling at this time of year will open your eyes to the wealth of possibilities that exist during the festive period, it could also make you understand and appreciate the customs and traditions you take for granted in the UK. As they say: “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

Contrary to popular opinion, spending Christmas abroad can save you a significant amount of money. When you consider all of the gifts, food, drink, decorations and Christmas-related purchases involved with a traditional British Christmas, it’s not hard to see why more and more people are choosing to get away for the season.

Popular Christmas Destinations

If you’ve decided to travel this Christmas, there are some truly stunning places to visit.


Christmas is a big deal in Malta and Gozo and whilst there is religious significance, there is a very important social aspect too. Each parish or locality will host its own Nativity scene, carol services and plenty of parties! You’ll find dazzling Christmas lights in Valletta along with Christmas spirit in abundance and should you wish to attend a service, you’ll be more than welcome at one of the islands’ 359 churches (313 in Malta and 46 in Gozo).

New York

New York City really pushes the boat out at Christmas time. The start of the holiday season is marked by the unveiling of the famous tree at Rockefeller Center. And the hugely popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become a cultural phenomenon Stateside. New York is a shopper’s paradise at Christmas, but it also has a certain festive charm that other major cities of the World just can’t replicate.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are a fantastic choice for your Christmas break, particularly if you’re looking to enjoy a few things you just don’t get the chance to do back home in the UK, namely sunbathe on the beach! You can also look forward to some fabulous parades and processions, the biggest take place in the islands various capitals such as Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.


Vienna has a wonderfully Christmassy feel and look at this time of year. Check out the area just outside Rathaus, which is home to festive market stalls selling everything from handmade advent calendars to freshly-baked gingerbread.


Rio is home to the World’s largest Christmas tree, which stands 85 metres tall and dominates the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. One of the biggest attractions in Rio at this time of year is the Festival de Presepios, which features artworks depicting Jesus’ birth — all created by local artists.


If you love the way we do it at home and are simply looking to change the setting, Australia is the perfect choice for you as Australians celebrate Christmas in exactly the same way. Christmas day is all about quality family time, presents and enjoying good (BBQ’d) food . The only real big difference is it’s hot. Really, really hot – not a snowflake in sight! All this considered, it’s a popular time to travel, so try and plan your holiday as far in advance as possible to guarantee availability and the best price.

Buenos Aires

Christmas in Argentina involves almost non-stop partying. The celebrations start at midnight on Christmas Eve, and involve a lot of traditional music, food and alcohol. But you will need a strong constitution, as Argentinian festive parties have been known to carry on throughout Christmas Day.


If you’re looking for the quintessential Christmas experience, there are few places that can deliver the festive magic of Lapland. Drive huskies, meet Santa Claus, build snowmen, and gaze in awe at the Northern Lights; this hidden corner of Scandinavia is a real-life winter wonderland, and it delivers an authentic Christmas experience.

The World is filled with Christmas possibilities. Decide on the type of Christmas you want to experience abroad, and then start your search for the ideal location on that basis.


Treat yourself to a festive escape

Choose from a hand-picked selection of hotels and destinations all at unbelievable prices.