Thinking of doing some family travel abroad over Christmas?
Christmas is a time to get together with the whole family. A time to eat too much food, drink too much drink and play lots and lots of board games…… or is it?
As a family we made the decision to forgo all that tradition and swapped one special day for eleven amazing days! We wanted to see what it was like to experience family travel abroad over Christmas.
We ditched the stress of the season and the Great British winter and opted for Christmas in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.
Have you been thinking the same thing?
Here is our totally honest list of pros and cons when travelling abroad over Christmas.
Takes away the pressure
A surprisingly pleasant thing about going away over Christmas is that it took away a lot of decision making we would normally have to make about where we went over Christmas – whose house, what family and on which day. It’s not a big thing, but it was nice not to have to think about it.
Good weather – family travel abroad over Christmas
Some people think that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas unless it’s sufficiently cold outside and you can snuggle up at home under a blanket with the heating on watching Home Alone while eating a tub of Celebrations.
Well, i’m not one of those people.
Christmas was the perfect time to travel abroad to enjoy some winter sun!
The weather in the Canaries was perfect in December and much better than we expected. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day were all spent on the beach and there was not one complaint from any of us about being in our swimmers and shorts.
Package Holiday – family travel abroad over Christmas
Which means no cooking or cleaning! We went for a half-board option on this particular trip and I must admit it was lovely not having to worry about cooking and cleaning up.
No Big Christmas Shopping Bill
Because we were not hosting anyone or spending any time at home over the Christmas period, we didn’t do any big Christmas shopping.
We didn’t buy copious amounts of chocolate that you feel you have to eat just to get rid of and no expensive drinks or food. Good for the wallet and the waistline!
I don’t know about you, but I find the kids get so spoilt at Christmas.
I find we spend days opening presents from under the tree to allow the kids some time to play with each present they get. Otherwise I find they get totally overwhelmed (and so do I!) and gifts start to get left and put to the side as there is just so much choice!
When we decided to have a go at travelling abroad over Christmas we made the decision to take a very small amount of presents with us.
On Christmas morning the kids had their stockings from Santa, a gift from Mark and I and a gift from each other. And they thought that was the best thing ever! Then to top it off, the toys that they received while we were away were played with Every. Single Day.
It was perfect!
Another chance to get out and see the world. There is never anything wrong with that!
New experiences – family travel abroad over Christmas
Travelling abroad over Christmas gave us and the kids the chance to experience how another country celebrated Christmas and the traditions they follow.
We tried to do a mix of our own traditions and some new things to celebrate being abroad over the holiday season. That was just as exciting for us as it was for the kids, and I really enjoyed that aspect of being somewhere different.
We were lucky as we managed to get our holiday a little cheaper as the industry was still trying to recover from Covid. However, Christmas getaways can be pricey, especially ski holidays and the like.
We travel within our limits and book holidays we can afford. This might mean we are priced out of certain holidays at certain times of the year. (Unless we find a good deal and we are always on the lookout for a good deal!)
What we saw as a pro, I can see others might view as a definite con.
I found the idea of limiting presents a good idea. A nice way to get the kids to focus on what they already have and (most importantly) being somewhere different.
However, if having lots of presents is a big part of your Christmas traditions, then you may want to squeeze in another suitcase!
Limiting gifts can also mean you don’t get that Christmas morning ‘wow’ when the kids see all the gifts under the Christmas tree. This was something I thought the kids (and I) would both miss. However, on the other-hand, I found I spent more time making the gifts I did buy for the kids really thoughtful.
Christmas Traditions – family travel abroad over Christmas
Because of travelling abroad over Christmas you might find Christmas traditions you have with your family fall by the wayside. However, it could be a great chance to make some brand new Christmas traditions too!
Being Away from Family – family travel abroad over Christmas
Of all the cons this might be the hardest for some when thinking about travelling abroad over Christmas.
Unless you can persuade them to go with you of course. Then you have the best of both worlds!
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