Although the festive season might feel like a long way off, if you want to get away with your family over Christmas, you need to plan. These types of holidays are always popular, especially for those who might not enjoy the idyllic festive backdrop of snow-covered mountains or rolling hills. It’s easy to see why, as being in the heart of somewhere that encapsulates a wintery, festive wonderland will certainly help to get you into the Christmas spirit and will be a fun experience all the family can enjoy. If this sounds like something you’d love to do with your nearest and dearest this year, here are a few tips to help you start planning for it:
Work Out Your Budget and Start Saving
The first thing you need to do is decide how much you can afford to spend on a winter holiday like this. Getting away over the Christmas season can be expensive because it is such a popular time for people to go on holiday, so be prepared for this. When you have figured out how much you can and are willing to spend on your winter wonderland escape, you should start putting money away for it as soon as possible. If you have a separate savings account that you use for things like family holidays, that’s great. If you don’t, you might want to consider opening one for this purpose, as it will help you to keep track of your money much easier.
Pick Your Destination
There are so many great destinations to choose from for this kind of holiday, but some of the best ones are in Europe. The Alps go through France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, Germany, Monaco and Slovenia – any of these destinations would make excellent festive escapes, most of which provide the quintessential settings for this time of year. For a more cost-effective European destination, however, you might want to consider Bulgaria. This is a fantastic destination for skiing holidays but sometimes gets overlooked, which it certainly shouldn’t. Take a look at these ski chalets in Bansko to get an example of why this is such a brilliant winter holiday destination, and perhaps make this the number one destination on your list.
Find Deals on Flights
While flights are likely to be most costly during this time of year, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find great deals. It’s always worth looking at different deals for holiday flights, and there are various websites dedicated to this to make it easy for you. You might need to be flexible when it comes to times, as the cheapest flights tend to be late at night or in the early hours of the morning. This might not be ideal for families with young children, but take the time to scope out a few different options to get the best-priced flights that are suitable to your family’s needs.
Consider Weight Limitations on Baggage
When booking your flights, you should also factor in the weight limitations on the baggage with that particular airline. Even if your family is going away for just a few days, if you’re going to be away over Christmas, you’ll need to think about how much the gifts are going to add to your luggage. It might be worth paying the extra for your hold luggage rather than just taking carry-on baggage to accommodate these extra items, as well as any souvenirs that you might want to bring home with you as well. Always weigh your suitcases and other luggage before you leave to make sure you haven’t gone over the limit; otherwise, you might face additional charges.
While staying in a gorgeous chalet is all part of the charm, you’ll still need to find ways to keep everyone entertained during your stay. If you are going to a ski resort, then having some fun on the slopes is a must – but consider what other activities are available in the local area, too. Whether it’s visiting a traditional Christmas market, hiking along a trail, or something festive that is happening at the resort or the local town, it might be worth booking ahead so you don’t miss out.
Plan Ahead for Meals
Finally, if you are going away over Christmas, shops and restaurants are likely to be closed on the day itself. Some resorts offer catered chalets so your meals will be prepared for you, but if you are choosing a self-catering option, remember to get enough food in from the local shops before Christmas Eve. If you want to book a meal out at a restaurant, book well in advance to make sure you get a table, as locals and tourists alike will probably plan to go out with their families and friends in the run-up to the festivities too.
If you think your family would enjoy a fun winter wonderland escape this year, use the tips above to help you plan the perfect trip.