Should We Go Big or Stay Home for the Holidays This Year?

Bermuda Travel

With trips to Mexico, St. Lucia, and Hawaii coming up before December, we’re starting to think about the holidays. Should we go big or stay home this year? Since I started writing a few sponsored posts for Contiki, I haven’t been able to get off of their site or get a few destinations out of my mind. It’s become a starting board for me; a place where dreams begin and the wheels start turning for new adventures. Thailand has moved up on my list as well as Australia. Darren only has so much vacation time; maybe we should utilize it for a Asian or Australian vacation. Do we need to be in our home to enjoy the holidays? Let’s weigh the options.

Fireplaces Decorations at Home

Norman and I playing at Christmas

If we stay home for the holidays, we can decorate and make it feel truly festive with lights, a tree, and stockings hung by the chimney with care. Oh wait; we don’t have a chimney, but we do have an abundance of decorations for our house in Charlotte that would make our place in California look like a National Lampoon’s Christmas. We could save the excessive amount of money it would cost us to fly during the holidays and the stress of planning a vacation. We could avoid taking extra vacation days and save them for a cheaper, easier time of year. We could make a traditional Christmas dinner and invite our good friends to share it with us. Doesn’t that all sound like a reasonable, good plan?

I don’t know if Darren and I, and even Athena for that matter, are very good at taking the reasonable, good route. We live for the extremes and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is more our pace. Besides, there are tons of ways to spice up the holidays while traveling.

Trees in Thailand

Maybe we could spend the holidays and New Years in Thailand and cross that long-standing item off our our lists. Rather than turkey dinner and stockings, we could find cheap Thai food at a market or visit age-old temples and ruins rather than practice age-old traditions like putting up a tree. Affordable massages and spas sound like refreshing Christmas gifts and add to the experience gift rather than the norm and we could trade in a Christmas tree for an entire Thai forest.

Beach in Australia

Getting friendly with koalas and kangaroos in Australia sounds like an equally appealing option as well. The average temperature in Sydney, Australia in December is 25 degrees Celsius, which sounds just about perfect for the famous Manly Beach. Rather than decking the halls with boughs of holly we could be decking the beach with towels and scuba gear. I’m up for a white sandy holiday; how about you?

We’re always excited when planning a visit to a new country and the possibilities are endless for unique experiences when traveling during the holidays. Stepping off the plane onto new soil, for us, is a natural high and the best gift the holiday season could bring.

We’re establishing routines and traditions of our own as a family. Maybe it’s time to break away from the traditional holidays and start something that is more suited to our family and our lifestyle. What do you think? Will you be spending the holidays and New Years at home or somewhere else?

***This post is sponsored by Contiki, but all thoughts, ideas, and beliefs are my own.

42 thoughts on “Should We Go Big or Stay Home for the Holidays This Year?

  1. This is always a battle. As a Canadian expat living in Australia, I’ve been aching to go home for a white Christmas (and take my NZ born hubby & son with me). BUT, it is sooooo expensive to travel at that time of year and my it’s a very busy time for hubby at work so it’s always been put off. We always opt for a stay at home Chrissy with extra pressies (if you come to Oz, you have to use those terms…lol).

    Liked by 1 person

    • You totally understand where I’m coming from. I’d love to bring Athena to a eastern Canadian winter with snow and “frozen” but expense, time, cold, dividing our trip between the two families (my husband’s and mine)…. It all sounds stressful.


  2. Ya know, After giving this a bit of thought, this is what I came up with.
    Being at home for the holidays serves as a good reminder of why we built a bucket list and are traveling all over the place. Sometimes you just gotta suck it up and enjoy those awkward times at home to appreciate the bucket list.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The holidays is where you make it. I feel that as long as you’re with the people you love most the location becomes secondary. By the way, who can argue about awesome company and Thailand? Enjoy it wherever your wings take you. 🙂


  4. We’re always trying to figure this question out – stay home, visit family, go abroad? Lately, though, we’ve been using the time to travel – to visit friends and relatives on the mainland. We stay with my folks for a bit, visit friends, visit Scott’s folks for a bit, visit more friends, and basically make the rounds. Holidays are a lot more fun spent in the warmth of people who love us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, but the holidays at home are not exactly at home. My husband’s family and my family live in different places so that becomes a struggle as well. Then, finding time for friends becomes even more difficult. And it’s not exactly like travel to eastern Canada in the middle of winter is easy, especially with a child. If all of my family was in California, there would be no question what we were doing for he holidays, but travel might be the better option for us.


      • It is hard. We end up doing Thanksgiving with one set and Christmas with the other but that’s probably only going to last until we have kids! I wouldn’t want to take a young child into freezing weather. I guess as long as you have each other, you have warm holiday company!


  5. If you’ve got the means then travel. I’ll always opt for travel. I visited family last year (which involves a lot of travel from Dubai to Canada) and I came back after the 3 weeks craving another holiday as I didn’t have the chance to rest at all. While family is great for the holidays, you’ll probably get more rest and relaxation away. Just my two cents worth.


  6. You’ve got to do what feels right for you and your family. I have spent a few Christmases abroad now, and I have to admit that the day just doesn’t feel the same without my parents there, no matter where I am and who I’m with. For me, Christmas is about family time, not decorations or presents, and I always miss my family the most around the holidays. On the opposite argument, I LOVE Sydney (and in fact I will be there over New Year), so I highly recommend a visit, whether December, or another time. I have visited in both spring and autumn and they are equally great times to visit.


  7. I would have to vote for being home with our extended family to enjoy the holidays to enjoy their company, instead of putting our own desires ahead of theirs… Ask them how important it is for them, and then make the decision…

    Blessings in Christ, bruce


  8. I like to be with my family during the holidays. There are 11 other months in the year to travel is the way I look at it. I’ve already had to miss 3 Thanksgivings because I was living abroad and it was really hard. I have been to France for Christmas but that was also mostly to visit family which is hard to do with the price of plane tickets at that time of year. I love to travel but my family means too much to me to go gallivanting off somewhere where I can’t share the experience with them. To me travel is just as much as experiencing it with the people you are with. It’s not just about trying to cross items off a list for me. Obviously if you go somewhere your husband and daughter will be with you. But I like to take the time during the holidays to catch up with extended family I don’t usually get to see. But to each their own. 🙂


  9. Normally, I would have said travel, but you brought up some good reasons to stay home for the holidays.
    I will be at work (as usual) somewhere offshore Africa during the holidays so can’t travel OR stay home!


  10. A couple of things. The latest Thai government has changed a lot of things which I don’t think will affect your travels. But, they might. OTH, the country needs tourist money. As far as Christmas goes, in Bangkok, around the huge malls they do celebrate Christmas. Sort of. Plenty of plastic snow and strange-looking Santas and elves. Since we travel to do our work, we are always happy to be home. Holidays or not. Amelie 88 said it best. It’s not about crossing things off a list. It’s about enjoying what you do, settling in and learning about the place you are visiting. And, experiencing it deeply. Or, as deeply as you can in a short time.


  11. I love the South Pacific and the interval between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the perfect time to go. Either Australia or New Zealand, I’ve done both. Australia 3 times and NZ twice.


  12. The best christmas our little family ever had was when I booked for us to leave the UK on christmas eve morning – We flew to Switzerland,climbed into our hire car and made our way to a little town call Ringgenberg. Our rental accommodation had a bomb shelter in it and the most magnificent view of Lake Brienz. Snow was plentiful. Christmas Day we took our children up in a cable car to Piz Gloria revolving restaurant on the summit of the Schilthorn 2.970 metres up. To have christmas dinner – the altitude made our legs feel funny and the revolutions made us feel a tad sick – we overlooked breathtaking mountain ranges and rang the UK to wish family merry christmas. On Boxing Day we took our children skiing and tobogganing int Grindlewauld a chocolate box village high in the mountain (again involving another cable car) Eating spring rolls and drinking hot chocolate in a peruvian cafe in switzerland. There was an indoor pool at the owners house where we played with the kids, saunaed and swam. Finally we left on New Years Eve and flew into London around midnight. I have never forgotten this magical, wonderful christmas and life has not allowed for it recreation but it was ours completely – christmas designed by the Stringers. Build the christmas of your family’s dreams Lesley – you won’t regret it! 🙂


  13. We have loved every Christmas spent at home with our kids. Wouldn’t ever trade them. But our favorite may be the honeymoon holiday we spent in Cancun. Feliz Navidad!!


  14. When we were surrounded by family we were too busy working and whatever to spend time with them except for the holidays and other special occasions. Then we moved and had to travel back home to visit on the holidays. Those visits made for great memories. Memories are all we have now since nearly all of the ‘older’ folk are gone. Your daughter will have terrific memories of some fantastic and beautiful places and people, but she also needs memories of home and family. Don’t forget those.


  15. i would always opt for traveling. then again, do whatever it is that you guys feel comfortable in doing. if darren doesn’t travel much, then it might be worth flying off somewhere for the holiday just you three as a family.


  16. Hi guys, you’ve got a lovely blog here. Well done. 🙂
    You should go wherever your instinct tells you to go, and don’t think of what others think. If you want to go to the sunshine, go for it, if you want to stay home, do that too, or do both. Why not?

    I travel a lot and after many years (Yikes!), I’ve discovered that I like Xmas at home with my German family, and the New Year, somewhere else. I like the snow and cold you see! I don’t like warmth in the winter as I’m a winter child, and the less snow we have these days, the more I appreciate it LOL!

    I like Xmas in Germany ‘cos of the Xmas markets, the glühwein, the constant parties all over the place in Berlin, etc. As for the New Year, I always leave it to the last minute and see what comes up! Thanks for sharing guys and for coming by to my blog. 🙂


  17. Well as an Aussie living in Thailand I’m quite happy to stay here for Christmas !
    There are plenty of trees and lights up around Bangkok in December, ( ) and plenty of restaurants with Xmas dinner menus too if you really need that sort of thing. That time of year in Australia is just TOO hot for me, while it is pleasantly “cool” here, perhaps up to around 30 C during the day.


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