Drive experiences of getting away for Christmas – sun, Santa and salad for dinner

The change of scenery at Christmas is a favorite overly festive movie like The Holiday and Christmas with the Kranks – with varying results.

The change of scenery is a favorite trope of festive films like The Holiday and Christmas with the Kranks – but with varying results.

“I would never do it again,” Belfast native Katie Fischer said. after visiting a friend in the Aussie sun for Christmas a few years ago.

“It was the longest time I could stop working to go on a trip like this.

“I missed home too much and it didn’t feel like Christmas at all – dinner was cold! It was potato salad and all.

“I didn’t like being away from my family. It was pretty obvious that I only had a limited number of them with my grandparents and they didn’t have a lot left, I don’t think I would want to miss another Christmas with them.”

Alex has also jet-set Down Under for the festive season to visit family, admitting the summer vibes “have taken the pressure off of delivering all the Christmas magic.

“The expectations were different and everyone was able to disconnect.

“But I missed the winter ritual of warming up by the fire with a Baileys hot chocolate,” she said.

Some Irish are simply aiming to ‘avoid the season’ by moving away, with Alannah heading to Canada this year to visit family.

For many people, she says spending the holidays abroad is a way to “relieve yourself from spending Christmas alone”.

Traveling abroad also allows people to take advantage of some deals, as Alannah has booked a €600 return flight from Canada – the same price as a one-way ticket from Toronto to Dublin in the days before the 25th December.

The top party destinations for the Irish are the resorts of Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Morocco, a representative from Irish travel company Sunway said.

“Christmas cruises and multi-generational all-inclusive trips are particularly popular this year as people haven’t traveled for two years.

“Bookings are back to 2019 levels this year after falling due to Covid. The winter sun is particularly appealing as you have guaranteed sunshine in places like the Canary Islands.”

Festive trips to Lapland were also sold out this year, with organized families booking them almost a year in advance.

Great deals in Ireland are also available on Airbnb for the festive season – as apartments, cottages and rare finds appear across the country as people retreat to their hometowns.

For $150 per night from December 23 through Stephens’ Day, Airbnb is offering a beautiful cottage in Bantry with a king-size bed, rustic wooden beams, and a pool.

Another Christmas getaway is tucked away in the Clare countryside for just €77 a night to stay in a cozy little house from Christmas Eve to Stephen’s Day.

“As the cold sets in, we often see an increase in searches for sunnier climes,” says Amanda Couples, Airbnb’s general manager for Northern Europe.

Airbnb revealed to that their main places of travel for Irish people are Malaga, Alicante, Edinburgh, Nerja, Playa de las Américas, Paris, Alvor, Cape Town Quateira and Split.

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