9 destinations for festive holidays

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 go. organize to start all over again?

2022 has gone by at a ridiculous speed, especially as the world has finally opened up after the Covid pandemic interrupted the fun for two years, leaving many people with a serious travel itch.

Now that Christmas is coming and you probably feel like leaving your home and surroundings for a little while, we’ve rounded up some beautiful places perfect for a festive holiday! So whether you want to escape the family or take them with you, travel near or far, here are some of the best places to celebrate Chrissie this year:

9 Christmas vacation destinations to add to your travel bucket list

National Destination Ideas

National destinations for your Christmas holidays. Tasmania. Credit: iStock

The Whitsundays

If you’re looking for a luxurious beach holiday, the Whitsundays are the perfect place to relax and have a visit from Santa Claus. Sip cocktails, dine on seafood, dip in the ocean and enjoy the Christmas festivities on offer, such as Carols by the Beach, Airlie Beach Markets and fabulous parties at local restaurants and pubs.

You’ll want to book quickly and keep in mind that some resorts may have minimum stay requirements. If you want to spend a day on a boat, for example, it is also recommended to book it as soon as possible so as not to miss anything!

sydney

If you’re not from Sydney, this is the perfect city escape to spend the Christmas holidays, thanks to the many events, amazing restaurants and beautiful beaches. Depending on the type of stay you’re looking for, staying in the CBD is usually the best place, but you can also find a hotel or Airbnb closer to the beach if that’s what you’re looking for!

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, with live entertainment, free face painting, singers 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 photo of Santa at QVB!

You are spoiled for choice when it comes to Christmas lunch or dinner options, with many restaurants open in the town.

It’s always best to book as early as possible, but you can probably book a stay in Sydney at the last minute, depending on which location you’re interested in!

Tasmania

Take advantage of the warmer temperatures and visit Tasmania this Christmas. Perfect for those who love nature, good food and wine, art and wonderful beaches. There are so many places in Tassie you could visit including Hobart, Launceston, Bruny Island, Cradle Mountain and Freycinet. Spend ten days, and you can do a lot!

Hobart’s Salamanca Markets are the perfect place to pick up Christmas gifts for locals, and there are also events, such as Carols by Candlelight, that are perfect 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 to visit places like Cradle Mountain and Freycinet, it’s best to book as early as possible so you don’t run out of accommodation!

Golden Coast

The Gold Coast is a great option for families with theme parks, beaches, shopping and fun events. Movie World White Christmas is a must-do event for families with live shows, Christmas entertainment and more!

There are also plenty of local Christmas carol events and markets to grab those last minute gifts. If you have 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 last gourmet bites.

If you don’t want to cook, no drama; there are plenty of amazing restaurants offering Christmas Day lunch and dinner specials!

You can even book a Christmas lights bus tour to see all the houses that come out during the holiday season.

You’ll want to start booking as soon as possible to get a great deal on accommodation, so act fast.

International Destination Ideas

christmas holidays international destinations
International destinations for your Christmas holidays. Credit: Intrepid

bali

Maybe you feel like getting out of the country but don’t want to go too far. Bali is a great option, with accommodation that still seems pretty reasonable. However, if you are considering it, we suggest you book as soon as possible to avoid overpaying for flights!

Bali is the perfect destination for those who like to be active, enjoy a beach club, are a foodie or just want to relax.

Seminyak is a great place to stay as you are close to many amazing restaurants, cafes and beach clubs.

In Balinese culture, fireworks are believed to ward off evil spirits and are often enjoyed, including on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so be sure to catch a view of the incredible firework 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!

Lapland, Finland

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 of Rovaniemi. It’s also the perfect place to watch the Northern Lights, stay in an igloo and marvel at a snowy forest in a reindeer-drawn sleigh – doesn’t that sound like a dream?

As it’s October and you’re planning to travel in December, the flights will probably cost you a pretty penny, unfortunately. 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 at Christmas with so many activities you’ll need a vacation after your vacation! From the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, to light festivals, holiday markets, to amazing shopping, food and bars, you really can’t go wrong.

If you’re visiting during the holiday season, it’s a good idea to book tickets for the famous Christmas Spectacular with the Radio City Rockettes. Also be sure to go ice skating at one of the city’s many rinks and catch A Christmas Carol on Broadway.

It’s another dream Christmas trip, and again, if you’re thinking of traveling overseas, make sure you book as soon as possible, as you’ll unfortunately spend a few dollars on this flight. There are different types of accommodation in the city, and you’ll be sure to find something that suits your budget.

London

You wanna feel like you’re in it love in fact? Like NYC, London is another city that really shines at Christmas, and there’s so much to see and do. There are beautiful lights, decorations and trees throughout the town, with plenty of Christmas markets, ice skating and shopping.

Head to the Botanic Gardens after dark and witness Christmas at Kew, a twinkling trail of lights, music and color. Big kids will love Hogwarts in the Snow, where they can take a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite Harry Potter films, with the sets dressed up for Christmas – we’re talking magic!

Hyde Park transforms into a Winter Wonderland, with fairground rides, ice skating, family shows and markets – definitely one to add to the list. You can even book a Christmas tour to experience all the must-do festive activities or enjoy a scenic drive through London to see the lights.

Tour of Christmas markets in Germany, Austria and Hungary

Want to settle in a few places during the holiday season? Intrepid offers an eight-day tour that caters to those who love Christmas with their Visit of the Christmas markets in Europe, which begins in Germany and passes through Austria before ending in Hungary.

During the tour, you will discover various Christmas markets, enjoying different traditions, cuisines and wines!

Munich is famous for its Christmas markets, and this is where you’ll start 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 historic sites before heading to Vienna. There, you’ll find their famous Christmas markets, which offer handcrafted toys, candles and paintings, to name a few – a great place for last-minute gifts for the family!

In Budapest, you’ll visit more markets and see all the beautifully lit streets, trees, and markets the city has to offer.

The tour starts from $2790 and includes your accommodation, transportation between countries, and several activities, with the option to add more. Unfortunately, traveling to Europe isn’t exactly very cheap right now, so it will be a big investment. Book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as flight prices rise!