The nation is divided when it comes to the Christmas holiday. For some, perhaps the home birds among us, the idea of Christmas day away from the comfort of their own homes is pure sacrilege and a betrayal of tradition. For others, there couldn’t be anything more exciting than an adventure away at the most wonderful time of year.
If you fall into the latter category and are interested in a last-minute deal this year, or even planning well ahead to a big Christmas 2020, you’ll find an abundance of travel options and amazing packages for you and the family.
To make it easier, here are five locations that will guarantee you a simply magical and fun family holiday.
There’s something about the city of love and lights that makes it a perfect destination all year round, but one that becomes extra special at Christmas. There are of course hundreds of things to see and places to go, from the traditional climb up the Eiffel Tower and winter stroll down the Champs Elysee through to a family trip to Disneyland Paris – which we all know will be as amazing as it sounds.
Sometimes you don’t need to think too far outside the box, and Paris is a classic that will never go out of fashion, plus it’s incredibly easy to get to. With anytime tickets going direct from London out to Gatwick, a quick flight to Paris will reduce the risk of any travel tantrums from the kids.
If you’ve not had the pleasure of visiting anywhere in Scandinavia, a trip to the likes of Sweden, Norway and Denmark is a must to see some of the more progressive societies in the world in action. Where festivities are concerned, a family visit to Copenhagen is a peaceful and stunning alternative to more typical options, with the festive markets of the Nyhavn harbour delivering their own bit of magic.
For a bit of local tradition, you can take the kids to Tivoli Gardens, the city’s 175-year-old amusement park. You won’t find any thrilling rollercoasters, but you will see a beautiful selection of light shows every single day during the Christmas period.
Tenerife, you say? There’s a good chance you’ve spent at least one summer vacation there, but probably never considered it for a Christmas stayover. Tenerife is a great option for families looking for a hotter Christmas in an accessible location. Despite being the coldest month of the year, you’re still likely to get temperatures of around 20 degrees, which will no doubt feel tropical after months of miserable British weather.
Santa Cruz is the place to be for a Christmas beach holiday, particularly the Playa de las Teresitas – a man made beach featuring sands direct from the Sahara Desert.
If Disneyland Paris seems a little to close to home, why not go one further and visit the original over in Florida? Orlando is in fact home to countless major theme parks, such as any of Universal Studio’s three major locations – making it a trip the kid’s will certainly never forget.
There is more to Orlando than amusement parks, of course, so make sure to add a trip to the likes of the Kennedy Space Centre and Daytona Beach into the mix. It’ll come at a cost, but Orlando is built to provide the ultimate family holiday, no matter what time of year it is.
We’d be foolish to miss out the most obvious Christmas holiday option. Particularly if your kids are still of the age where they’re in full Father Christmas mode, why not take them to where he lives?
You’ll find approximately a gazillion package and tour deals from operators offering the full Santa, reindeer, dog-sledding and tobogganing experience which, to be fair, you should probably get on board with if you’ve chosen to go to Lapland. It can get very cold and rather commercial in parts, but that’s why you head to Lapland – for the full Christmas experience.
So, five very different destinations offering five very different, but altogether enjoyable, family Christmas experiences. If you’re looking for more magic and adventure, a trip to Orlando or Lapland is probably the right choice. For a more refined holiday that still carries a festive feel, try Paris, Copenhagen or a sun-soaked beach stay in Tenerife.
Whatever you go for, you’re bound to have a Christmas to remember.