Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift By
Posted 30 Nov, 2013 | No comments
Posted in: Places

More and more people are deciding to spend Christmas away from home, with hot destinations proving particularly popular with many Brits. Last year, some 1.9 million passengers booked onto British Airways flights to pass the festive period in Dubai.

It looks like the situation will be similar again this year, but what are the factors that are contributing to this trend? We explore the motivation behind opting for an alternative Christmas abroad.

The climate

Winter falls during the coldest and darkest time of the year in the UK, which for some people presents the perfect opportunity to snuggle up. For others, it is a difficult period and heading for a sunny destination is the perfect antidote to cold noses and frozen toes.

The average temperature in Dubai during December is a balmy 26 degrees Celsius, meaning there is no need for woolly hats and gloves, just shorts and flip flops. While this may not seem very Christmassy, it certainly sounds appealing.


Many people find the festive season very stressful, what with presents to buy and meals to cook. Booking a package holiday is a great way to sidestep all of the hassle and relax instead of worrying that the turkey is over or under done.

Christmas presents for all of the family can be expensive, but nobody is going to expect anything extravagant when you have travelled to Dubai instead. Picking up a good deal could save you money of material gifts in the long run and create wonderful memories that will be enjoyed forever.

You will be able to return to your job after the festive season feeling truly relaxed and ready to take on the New Year. Giving yourself a break is the best Christmas present you could ask for and you will feel the benefits for a long time.

Maximising holiday time

We are travelling more and further than ever before, but one limiting factor for many people is getting the time off work. As most people have a few days away from their jobs over Christmas anyway, you can often get longer off without using up too much annual leave during this period.

Scattered relatives

It used to be the case that the majority of families lived close to each other, but these days Brits are scattered all across the world. This can mean travelling long distances to meet up with them or facing the prospect of a quiet Christmas at home with few people sitting around the table.

Instead of one set of relatives making the effort and coming all the way from where they live, why not meet in the middle? Choosing an alternative destination means that everyone has done their bit and it is new and exciting for all of those involved.

Experiencing a new culture

Most families have Christmas traditions and the problem with this is that they can become repetitive and the years merge into each other. If you are abroad you get the chance to experience the festive period in a whole different light, whether it is through the habits of the locals or expats.

The memories

Even if you only decide to have a Christmas abroad for one year, it will be an experience that remains in everyone’s memory forever. It will also help to shake up the usual routine and may see you adopting customs you saw in Dubai into your celebrations at home.

Have you ever spent Christmas abroad? If so, where? If not, would you? Share with us below!

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra and in many cases you receive a special discount. We appreciate your support!

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Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift

Written by

Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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