What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word Christmas? Understandably many of you will think about the Birth of Christ or perhaps childhood memories of Santa Claus (sorry folks if you are still clinging to the reality that Santa will be popping down your chimney), but we challenge you to think beyond these obvious answers. Did you know that Christmas was an awesome time of the year to explore the world?
For many of you Christmas travel has probably never even entered your thoughts, so hearing a suggestion that this is an awesome time to travel is probably not something you will believe. Hopefully after reading this post, you will be inspired to consider traveling the world at this time of the year. Let’s take a look at why Christmas travel is worth experiencing.
Why Travel at Christmas?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of where to spend Christmas, we want to share a couple of reasons why we think traveling at Christmas is one the best times of the year.
Holiday seasons are the time to spend with families, but the value in traveling at Christmas is so great that perhaps the positive outweigh the negatives. If you are still not convinced after reading this post, I have one more suggestion…plan a trip somewhere with all the family!
There are many misconceptions floating around about Christmas travel and why you should not do this, but after traveling for several years at this time of the year, we believe that this is one of if not the best time to travel.
Of course, we both work at a university where we have two weeks vacation at Christmas so it works great for us in terms of having time off work to travel, but we think that you can make it work too!
Price of Traveling at Christmas
Flying in December is NOT one of the cheapest times of the year to fly. However, Christmas Day IS one of the cheapest days! If you can arrange your travel schedules to fly on December 25, you can frequently find incredibly low fares around the world. Airlines are not offering quite as many great deals as they were a decade ago, but if you are willing to shop around you can find some substantial cost-savings.
We did a quick review of one-way flight prices using Google Flights from New York to Europe on December 23, 24 and 25 and there is quite a substantial saving if you choose to fly on Christmas Day.
If you are traveling to Paris for example, it is over $200 cheaper to fly on December 25 as opposed to Christmas Eve. Rome is $150 cheaper and Stockholm is almost half the price if you are willing to leave on Christmas Day.
December 23 – New York City to European Destinations
December 24 – New York City to European Destinations
December 25 – New York City to European Destinations
The overall consensus is that if you are willing to fly on Christmas Day, you can likely find a better deal than any other day around the holiday season.
We flew from Little Rock to Brisbane, Australia via Dallas on Christmas Day a couple of years ago and despite suffering delays and cancelations due to adverse weather conditions, we were able to benefit from a much cheaper round-trip price because our schedules were flexible enough to fly on this day.
TOP TIP – Our recommendation is that you spend Christmas Eve with your families and celebrate the festivities before flying out on Christmas Day and beginning your travels around the world.
Enjoy a White Christmas
It may be a stereotype that many of us pursue, but the reality is enjoying Christmas somewhere in the world with snow falling to the ground is a pretty spectacular scene.
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas… (Bing Crosby)
It may be a picture perfect Christmas card scene, but imagine waking up to the sight of snow packed mountains and the sound of bells jingling as you curl up again in front of the warm fireplace.
Enjoying a picturesque scene in the Swiss Alps or perhaps taking a stroll around the Christmas markets in Germany will inspire you to think about Christmas travel this year.
Relaxation After a Long Winter
The Winter months frequently seem to drag, especially when you wake up in the morning to go to work and it’s still dark outside, only to leave work at 5:00PM and you missed all the daylight. Utilizing the Christmas season as an opportunity to break up the normal routine is a great way to relax, regardless of your preference over where to spend Christmas.
How can you relax while traveling? The holiday season is one of the most hectic times of the year to travel and can cause chaotic scenes with bad weather and thousands of travelers trying to get home or away on vacation. But if you follow our advice and pick the best travel days during the season, you can avoid the crowded airports and still enjoy an amazing vacation.
When you return home after your Christmas getaway, you will be raring to go in January (maybe!) and Spring will be right around the corner.
Christmas Festivities Around The World
Christmas travel not only allows you to experience a new destination, it can frequently allow you to encounter the local festivities.
Walk along The Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris while exploring the local Christmas markets or enjoy the Winter Wonderland experience in Hyde Park in London.
Shop for Yuletide gifts in the enchanting surrounds of the Rhine Valley as you visit some of the most picturesque German Christmas markets
Whatever type of attraction or local festivity you are interested in experiencing, there is something pretty special about the Christmas season.
Traveling at Christmas is a great opportunity to maximize some great deals on flights if you are willing to adjust your schedule to travel on Christmas Day. At the same time, there is nothing quite like experiencing European Christmas markets while sampling some fine mulled wine.
If you have never traveled during the Christmas season, we challenge you to consider this in the future. You never know, you may enjoy this time of the year. Forget taking your main vacation in the heart of June or July and instead opt for a December trip of a lifetime to one of your bucket-list destinations around the world.