Cold Turkey: How to Avoid Spending Christmas Wrapped Up


Whatever way you slice it, Christmas Day often means forcing down overcooked turkey, quarrelling with your in-laws and trying to avoid heading outside for fear of being mauled to death by an angry polar bear.

While you try to choke down another Brussel sprout and politely listen to your octogenarian uncle tell the same story for the fifth time, your gaze is drawn to the window and your thoughts are filled with images of what Christmas would be like in another country.

Before Uncle Percy digs you in the ribs for not listening, you wonder if the festive season in Spain, Australia or somewhere else with seemingly perpetual sunshine has more to offer those who’ve grown tired of bone chilling weather and dreary anecdotes.

There’s only one way to find out.

Rather than spending another Christmas tied to the dinner table with family you only see once a year, spin your globe and book a ticket to one of these decidedly more exotic destinations – your bank balance won’t thank you, but your sanity will.


Tenerife is one of those destinations that’s easy to get to and a pleasure to visit. For the purposes of this article, we tried something slightly different by using the meet and greet parking at Stansted (rather than driving round in circles looking for a space) to look after the vehicle.

From there, it was just over four hours to reach the most populous of the Canary Islands. The great thing about Tenerife, of course, is its agreeable climate (even in December), which is a welcome change from the wind, sleet and snow synonymous with the festive season in Blighty.


Fair dinkum, chuck another shrimp on the barbie and grab yourself a Tooheys before settling down to make more chums with your offensive Australian stereotypes! We’re joking, of course, but Sydney is a great location to spend Christmas.

After all, the city has some of the best beaches in the country (for our money, we reckon Manly is a cut above the rest), allowing you to kick back and relax in the Aussie sun while your family back home try to avoid arguing through the Queen’s Speech.


Certainly not a traditional spot for celebrating the festive period, but Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It really is the jewel in Southeast Asia’s crown, with its friendly locals and awesome natural landscapes.

Where else can you explore tropical jungles and navigate swampy rivers before heading to a modern city (Ho Chi Minh, to be precise) for a spot of dinner and a few too many drinks in its bustling city centre.

What do you think?

Do you have a favourite destination to escape the drizzle of a British winter? Please let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear from you.

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