As the holiday season rolls around and thousands begin their annual voyages, traveling for Christmas can start to feel more like a Chevy Chase movie than a wonderful time with loved ones. Fear not, your next holiday season doesn’t have to be so hectic if you’re willing to plan ahead. So sit down, buckle up, grab those reading glasses, and let’s make Christmas getaways easy again!
Oftentimes, Christmas getaways have become synonymous with the rich and wealthy taking a ski trip to Aspen or spending a week in the tropics. Frankly, that’s just silly. I look nothing like the Kardashians and no one cares what swimsuit I’m wearing. Christmas getaways don’t have to be a faraway or dreamy destination, and they don’t have to be expensive! We’re going to break down five easy steps you can follow to plan your own Christmas getaway this year and we’ve included an awesome checklist for FREE to help you do it!
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Pick the Right Location
Listen, we know how hard it can be to find cheap flights (unless you used our 15 Tips to Find Cheap Flights that is!) They get even harder to find during the holidays as everyone is rushing home to see family. So instead of looking for tropical or faraway destinations, look closer to home for your Christmas getaway. We recommend somewhere that you can easily drive to within a half-day (about 5 hours).
Immediately you’ve cut the cost of airline tickets and only have to worry about gas for the road trip. We’ve had great luck in the past looking at lake towns, or even large cities near home. In the winter, these cozy hideaways offer cute downtowns, lots of activities, and the right-at-home feel you long for. As for the large cities, you still get the dazzling holiday displays, endless activities, and even small crowds because the business travelers headed home. Plus, since the crowds are smaller you can usually find amazing deals in both the quaint and large towns!
Call for Deals
Oftentimes as the holidays approach, overzealous family members call and book large blocks of hotel rooms. As other commitments come up and people are unable to attend, these unused rooms remain empty… or so you thought! Turns out the hotels are happy to make a few extra bucks and will fill those rooms with the next bidder. If you’re late to the game, try calling the hotels directly to see if they have any openings. You’ll be surprised by the discounts they offer just to fill the room!
If you’re trying to plan every step of your Christmas getaway, the same principle applies to tours in the area. From Sea World to dog sledding, almost everywhere offers a Christmas time sale. A quick call to their bookings department will tell you exactly what their deals are, and how you can score some savings!
Pack the Decorations and a Gift
Speaking from personal experience, I know how hard it can be to celebrate in a hotel, condo, or anywhere that isn’t “home”. This is so much easier if you bring along a string of lights, some stockings, and a box of ornaments. Heck, if you don’t want to bring along the decorations, buy them during the trip. For just a few dollars you can decorate the entire room and make it feel so much homier!
If you intend to celebrate during the Christmas getaway, we recommend packing a small gift for everyone to open. No need to pack up huge boxes especially if you’ll have to haul them home. One small gift per person can tide everyone’s spirit over! If you’re still looking for the right presents for your loved ones check out these 21 Perfect Gift Ideas! Alternatively, you can shop directly through our Amazon Influencer page here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/theagapeco
Remember Why We Celebrate
We know how easy it can be to get caught up in the trap of Christmas gifts, budgets, and pleasing everyone. Let that go. You have already been given the best Christmas gift you’ll ever receive. Two-thousand odd years ago Christ was born to be our savior. Your debts have been paid, your sins justified in the eyes of the Lord, all because of who this little baby would grow up to be. Make it a point of your Christmas getaway to reinforce why we celebrate and all we have to be thankful for!
On that note, we have a few Bible books that are perfect to read around the holidays. Both Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 tell the story of Christmas from end to end. Maybe it would be fun to read each and then compare them! Matthew is a little shorter but breaks into the genealogy of Jesus. It also provides fewer details of the story and basically gives a quick overview of his birth. Luke offers a slightly more in depth and easier to understand tale of events preceding and following Christ’s birth. Both are helpful in their own ways!
Focus on Making Memories
We speak a lot about enjoying the little things in life and Christmas time (no matter where you celebrate) is one of those things. On your Christmas getaway focus more on the time you have with your family than on wondering what to do next. Pack a deck of cards, go explore on a whim, rent a DVD, just be with each other. Ultimately, that is what will make your trip the perfect Christmas getaway!
Things don’t, and won’t, always go as planned. Don’t cry over spilled milk. We’ve learned that life is much more enjoyable when we take it in stride! Instead of getting angry, try laughing at the unfortunateness of the event. Because who knows, it may become a funny memory instead of the dreaded moment nobody wants to talk about. So what? Maybe your food took a while to get to your table and you’re mad at the waitress or kitchen staff— don’t be! (They’re the ones working on the holidays after all!) Instead, take that extra time to play a game, put down the electronics, reminisce on old Christmas memories, or talk about what you hope to accomplish in the next year.
There you have it, everything you need to know to Plan the Perfect Christmas Getaway! What are your plans for the holiday? Will you be traveling? If not, what are your plans instead? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget your checklist!