Spending Christmas abroad can be very exciting. It certainly puts a new spin on the festive period.
Of course, travel can also be a rather involved experience. A set of unique challenges and opportunities come with the festive territory. Still, so long as you’re sufficiently prepared, Christmas overseas can be a breathtaking experience with minimal drawbacks, if any.
There are lots of things to remember when spending Christmas abroad. Keep reading for our musings that might help you
Review the Flight Information
Spending Christmas abroad can be an enchanting time. That said, a few practical considerations are required, particularly regarding travel logistics.
Flights can be disrupted during the festive period for any number of reasons. One year, it was the coronavirus that cancelled flights, but even things like plane malfunctions or hazardous weather can cause delays and cancellations. It’s worth accounting for these potential circumstances and having some backup measures in place.
Think about accommodation you might need should a flight home not be possible. Look for other flights that might be available to you at the earliest opportunity. Do all of this before disaster strikes, and you may be able to stop bad luck from ruining your Christmas entirely.
Many airlines have their own dedicated apps that you can check for the status of flights and any updates you need to know. Download them so that you have a constant feed to the latest information. At worst, it will help you work against any disasters. At best, you can be reassured that everything is well.
Enjoy the Destination
You can take the Christmas spirit with you no matter where you go and have a great time. That said, it’s inarguably that some destinations lend themselves to a festive setting better than others. Make the most of any new places that you might be visiting.
Do plenty of research to see if where you’re going is celebrated online. Many parts of Europe are picturesque in festive ways; places like Basel, Switzerland and Poznan, Poland, have all the ambience you and your loved ones require. Hopefully, you’ll be going somewhere famed for festive shenanigans and have plenty of ideas and inspiration for what you get up to. Develop a busy itinerary from there.
Consult your loved ones, too. Have they looked into these things as well? Do they have things they wish to do with you? Christmas is a time for spoiling each other and lots of love, so ensure everyone has room to add to the schedule.
Of course, many people like to go for a family walk at Christmas and then perhaps retreat indoors for the remainder of the big day. It’s a valid approach to the celebrations, but if you’re going abroad, it can be worth spending more time outside and exploring. Towns and cities often overhaul parts of their infrastructure for the festive period. They may also have their own cultural traditions that are worth exploring further. Engage with as much of it as possible.
Adapt the Christmas Dinner
Food is a vital aspect of Christmas. There are many exciting cultural differences to experience, but great attention should be paid to the food in particular.
In the U.S., turkey dinners are typically the gold standard. Elsewhere, though, you can encounter unexpected foods. Things like roasted lamb, duck, and goose are enjoyed in places like Greece and Germany. The French are said to indulge themselves in seafood during the festive period, too. It might seem like a strange switch at first, but there’ll be other Christmas’ if you find out you prefer more traditional cuisine. Why not give something new a go this year?
Taste and smell are remembered more vividly than most other things. You’ll undoubtedly have many Christmases, and adapting to the local cuisine for those abroad is a great way to ensure your memories of them stand vividly in your mind forever after.
Stay in Touch with People Back Home
Christmas abroad can be a nice pause to your regular life. Still, that doesn’t mean you should leave your loved ones back home out of all the fun you’re having.
Create your own photo holiday cards to stay in touch with everyone back home. There are many different avenues to explore here with your festive vacation photos, and Greenvelope can make sending your creations a lot easier. Collect your loved ones’ email addresses, word things how you like, and then customize the design template to your preferences. It’s a quick and straightforward process, and they’re easily printed. What you send won’t get lost in the mail, either.
Though you might post many photos on social media, there’s something much more personal about having a card in one’s hands rather than seeing something everyone else is in a feed. It’s a very touching way to share a bit of your festive escapade with someone who isn’t there.
Remember, Christmas is about everybody who celebrates it. There are strong religious feelings associated with the holidays, as well as a sense of global unity. Your vacation might be immersive, but be sure to reach out to those who aren’t with you.
You Can Enjoy Things Alone
Travel of any type can equip you with perspective. The Christmas period is also reflective, arriving at the end of the year when feelings of friends and family are strongest.
Of course, Christmas isn’t the same for everybody. Some people can find themselves alone this year and lost on what to do and feel. It can be a confusing, isolating, and lonely time. Spending Christmas abroad may be a good idea if you feel the same. You don’t always need to be visiting family overseas.
Many Americans negatively describe spending the winter holidays alone, but things may change slightly when spending Christmas in another country. It may even be a great way to escape those feelings of loneliness. After all, people can find themselves on a solo vacation, and if the timing lines up with the festive period, so much the better.
You could even go somewhere that doesn’t celebrate Christmas if that helps to take the sting out of the situation and focus on yourself. You can make many choices here, and each is valid in its own way. Just know that you can find contentment vacationing alone, even during the festive period.
Consider Inviting New People
You may not wish to spend Christmas alone overseas. Others may have that in common with you, too.
After all, people can be abroad during the festive period for various reasons. They could be work-related, or there may even be migrants or refugees new to the area. You may have common ground with some of these individuals. There may also be people who are lonely at Christmas and who are native to the country you’re visiting.
Regardless of status or familiarity, it could be a good idea to invite well-meaning strangers to your accommodation when spending Christmas abroad. Even if there are language barriers, it can be a great way to integrate into the culture and immerse yourself in your new environment. Travel is often about mixing with the locals, as well. No doubt the invitees will appreciate your hand of friendship, too.
Ultimately, the festive period is about sharing and being more giving. You can live up to those ideals by inviting a few strangers. Others are hosting you abroad, so it can be fitting to return the favor.