Thursday, 8 December 2016

A Last Minute Family Holiday for Christmas... ǀ Travel

For years my mum has talked about the family going away for Christmas; not just around the Christmas holidays but actually over Christmas itself and I've always shied away from the idea thinking that it would be strange to not be at home for Christmas Day but recently I've begun to soften a little to the concept.

There are many reasons why it might be nice to go away for Christmas: where we live in the North West of England, we don't really get snow so I can see the appeal of heading somewhere colder where you can get that magical Christmas experience; holed up in a log cabin surrounded by snow, with a fire burning merrily in the background...I could definitely get on board with that!

But what about going somewhere warm instead?  Some friends of ours went to Thailand last year over Christmas and although they found it strange initially, they now have some amazing memories of a Christmas spent somewhere exotic; and they didn't have to battle the grim British weather.


Last year in December we travelled to Oslo and it was absolutely amazing.  Although we were home in time for Christmas Day, it was brilliant to see the city dressed up and everyone getting ready for the festive celebrations.  Meeting a Nordic Father Christmas was also definitely one of the highlights for Meg and Eli.

There are lots of places which would be warm over the winter period and which are great locations for tots to travel.  But whether you are seeking the sun or that wintery feeling, it isn't too late to book that last minute family holiday for Christmas.  If the idea appeals to you, but you feel like it might be a little too stressful then worry not: here are my top tips for stress-free travelling over Christmas:-

Plan, plan and plan again...
A surprising amount of people travel around the Christmas period, either because they are trying to get home to friends and family or because they have been inspired to head to somewhere a little different this year.  You will find that airports are a lot busier than you might have anticipated so planning is key.  Make sure you have copies of all your travel documents, passports and anything else you might need to hand to ensure you can pass through security seamlessly.

Get insurance
Depending on where you are travelling from and where you are travelling to, the weather around this time of year can seriously impact on travel arrangements.  Flights and trains could be delayed or grounded, maybe even cancelled.  Nobody wants to see their travel arrangements thrown off kilter but by making sure you have the right kind of cover, you can at least be prepared in case something unfortunate should happen.

Pack light
I think I might find this one the trickiest of all but unless you want to pay a whole heap of excess charges then it might be better to leave any Christmas presents at home and open them on your return.

Keep the kids entertained
You can put together items to keep the kids entertained on long journeys fairly inexpensively these days, and it can be a real sanity saver if you've thought ahead and organised some things for them to do.  Tablets, iPads and game devices can all be brilliant but most kids will get bored of them at some point so having a few back-up items can really help (including snacks).


Consider flight times
It goes without saying that the cheapest flights are usually the unsociable ones but it might be worth thinking about paying a little extra to get a more reasonable flight time, especially if you haven't left time to recover either side of your holiday dates.  Occasionally the price differences aren't too bad and it's definitely something to bear in mind to help you keep your sanity and not come out the other side of Christmas feeling utterly exhausted.

So there you have just some tips to mull over if you are considering a trip around Christmas time.  I'd love to know if you've ever thought about travelling over Christmas before and any other tips you might want to share!


*This is a collaborative post*

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