What happens when you think about spending the holidays elsewhere? Do you wish you could escape to someplace warm…or different? Or do you feel guilty, because you “should” stay home, drink cheap eggnog, and find a new spot for the Elf on a Shelf? A massage on a Thai beach or a gift bag with underwear? Sachertorte, bûche de noël…or fruitcake?
There are definitely pros and cons to spending your holidays elsewhere–“elsewhere” meaning whatever is appealing: Cruising the Caribbean? Skiing in Switzerland? Trekking through Tibet? The decision is personal, of course, and depends on your circumstances.
Maybe you’re an empty nester and aren’t up to decorating and all the fuss of the season. Perhaps you have an emotional reason to want to get away, such as a personal loss. Or you’ve always wondered what it would be like to wake up in a new place and spend time how you want.
What are some of the pros?
- New and exciting! An adventure can be a gift of its own
- Escape the holiday madness by simply sidestepping it
- Take advantage of the seasonal “work slump” and combine paid holidays with vacation to get a longer stretch of time
- When the kids are past the Santa Stage, travel to new places
- Use funds for experiences instead of another trip to be with family
What about the cons?
- Accusations of being selfish instead of following tradition
- Loneliness or feeling out of place in a different climate
- Possibly realizing you really do like wearing ugly sweaters
- Battling crowds at popular destinations (think Disney World)
- More expensive if it’s a “high season” destination
Planning for your holiday travel:
- Unless you’re going solo, make sure everyone is okay with spending the holiday away.
- Tell other family members or friends, so they can adjust to the idea.
- Begin planning at least six months ahead for popular destinations.
- Can you pay in advance? Might be a good idea.
- Don’t ignore decorations for your home–stay in the holiday spirit!
- Limit gifts for those who are going…the trip counts as a present.
Holiday trips aren’t for everyone. But if you’ve wondered what it would be like, you might want to give it a try. A new tradition may be in your future! Wondering where to go? Get some inspiration at Fodor’s Travel or Frommer’s Travel Guides.
These blog posts may be helpful: