I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but Christmas is just over two months away… I swear we were celebrating the holiday season two minutes ago, and you’re telling me I only have ten weeks to get organised to do it all over again?
2022 has gone by at a ridiculous speed, especially as the world finally opened up after the Covid pandemic shut down fun for two years, leaving many people with a serious itch to travel.
Now that Christmas is around the corner and you’re probably keen to leave your house and its surrounds for a little while, we’ve rounded up some beautiful locations that are perfect for a festive holiday! So whether you’re keen to escape the family or take them with you, travel near or far, here are some of the best spots to celebrate Chrissie this year:
9 Christmas holiday destinations to add to your travel list
Domestic destination ideas
If you’re after a luxe beach holiday, the Whitsundays is the perfect place to relax and get a visit from Santa. Sip cocktails, enjoy some seafood, take a dip in the ocean, and enjoy some of the Christmas festivities on offer, such as Carols by the Beach, the Airlie Beach Markets, and fabulous feasts at local restaurants and pubs.
You’ll want to get booking soon, and keep in mind some resorts may have minimum stay requirements. If you want to spend a day on a boat, for example, it’s also recommended you book that as soon as possible so you don’t miss out!
If you’re not from Sydney, it’s the perfect city escape to spend Christmas holidays, thanks to the many events, incredible restaurants and beautiful beaches. Depending on the type of stay you’re after, staying in the CBD is usually the best place, but you could also find a hotel or Airbnb closer to the beach if that’s what you’re after!
The Martin Place Christmas tree and fairy lights are always fun to see, and there are also events like Carols in the Domain or Sydney Carols in the Park. Families will also enjoy Share the Joy at World Square, featuring live entertainment, free face painting, carollers and more! There are also Christmas markets all around Sydney, including The Rocks and Carriageworks, to help you with those last-minute gifts. Oh, and don’t forget to book in for a Santa photo at the QVB!
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Christmas lunch or dinner options, with many restaurants open around the city.
It’s always best to book as early as possible, but you can probably get away with booking a stay in Sydney fairly last minute, depending on the location you’re keen on!
Take advantage of the warmer temperatures and visit Tasmania this Christmas. Perfect for those who love nature, good food and wine, art and stunning beaches. There are so many places in Tassie that you could visit, including Hobart, Launceston, Bruny Island, Cradle Mountain and Freycinet. Spend ten days, and you can do a lot of it!
Salamanca Markets in Hobart is the perfect spot to buy Christmas presents from the locals, and there are also events, such as Carols by Candlelight, that are great for getting into the festive spirit. Plus, if you stay after Christmas, you can also enjoy the Taste of Tasmania festival from December 28 to January 3.
If you’re planning on visiting places like Cradle Mountain and Freycinet, booking as soon as possible is best to avoid missing out on accommodation!
The Gold Coast is an excellent option for families with theme parks, beaches, shopping and fun events. Movie World White Christmas is an unmissable event for families with live shows, Christmas displays and more!
There are also plenty of local Christmas carol events and markets to grab any last-minute gifts. If you’ve got an Airbnb and are cooking your own Christmas feast, the Palm Beach Farmers’ Market will be held on Christmas Eve and is the perfect place to grab your final foodie bits and pieces.
If you don’t want to cook, no dramas; there are plenty of amazing restaurants offering Christmas Day lunch and dinner specials!
You can even book a Christmas Lights bus tour to check out all the houses that go all out during the festive season.
You’ll want to start booking ASAP to get a good deal on accommodation, so move quickly.
International destination ideas
Maybe you’re keen to get out of the country but don’t want to go too far away. Bali is an excellent option, with accommodation still looking pretty reasonable. However, if you’re considering it, we’d suggest booking ASAP to avoid overpaying for flights!
Bali is the perfect destination for those who love to be active, enjoy a beach club, are foodies, or simply want to relax.
Seminyak is a great place to stay as you’re close to plenty of incredible restaurants, cafes and beach clubs.
In Balinese culture, fireworks are believed to ward off evil spirits and are enjoyed often, including on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so make sure to get a view of the incredible pyrotechnic displays.
Christmas is a hectic time, so choosing Bali is a great option if you want to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere – with daily massages, of course!
If you want a white Christmas, there really is no better place to do it than in Lapland, where you can even stay in Santa’s hometown, Rovaniemi. It’s also the perfect place to view the Northern Lights, stay in an igloo and marvel at a snowy forest in a reindeer-pulled sleigh – doesn’t it sound like a dream?
Since it is October and you’re considering travelling in December, the flights will likely set you back a pretty penny, sadly. But if you’ve been saving for a while and dreaming of a white Christmas like no other, you can make it happen!
New York City
New York City is a magical place to be at Christmastime with so many activities you’ll need a holiday after your holiday! From the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, light festivals, holiday markets, incredible shopping, food and bars, you really can’t go wrong.
If you’re visiting during the festive season, it’s a great idea to book tickets to the famous Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. You should also make sure you go ice skating at one of the many rinks around the city and catch A Christmas Carol on Broadway.
This is another dream Christmas trip, and again, if you’re considering travelling overseas, make sure you book ASAP, as you’ll sadly be spending a few dollarydoos on that flight. There are various types of accommodation in the city, and you’ll be sure to find something that suits your budget.
Want to feel like you’re in Love Actually? Like NYC, London is another city that truly shines at Christmas, and there is so much to see and do. There are beautiful lights, decorations and trees across the city, with plenty of Christmas markets, ice skating and shopping.
Head to the Botanic Gardens after dark and see Christmas at Kew, a glittering trail of lights, music and colours. Big kids will love Hogwarts in the Snow, where they can go behind the scenes of their favourite Harry Potter movies, with the sets dressed for Christmas – talk about magical!
Hyde Park is transformed into Winter Wonderland, with fairground rides, ice skating, shows for the family and markets – definitely one to add to the list. You can even book a Christmas tour to check out all the must-see festive activities or enjoy a scenic drive through London to check out the lights.
Christmas markets tour in Germany, Austria and Hungary
Want to fit in a few places during the festive season? Intrepid offers an eight-day tour that caters to those who love Christmas with their Europe Christmas Markets tour, which starts in Germany and moves through Austria before ending in Hungary.
On the tour, you’ll experience various Christmas markets, enjoying different traditions, cuisines and wine!
Munich is famous for its Christmas markets, and this is where you’ll kick things off, enjoying authentic Bavarian food, beer, mulled wine and music, creating an unforgettable Christmas experience.
You’ll then explore what Salzburg has to offer, visiting castles and other historical landmarks before moving to Vienna. There, you’ll check out their famous Christmas markets, which feature hand-crafted toys, candles and paintings, to name just a few – a great place for those last-minute gifts for family!
In Budapest, you’ll visit more markets and check out all the beautifully lit-up streets, trees and markets the city has to offer.
The tour starts from $2790 and includes your accommodation, transport between countries and several activities, with the option to add on others. Unfortunately, travelling to Europe isn’t exactly very cheap at the moment, so this will be a big investment. Book ASAP to avoid any disappointment as flight prices increase!
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