Whether it’s camping with the family at a favourite spot, renting a holiday house with friends, or sneaking away on a romantic retreat, more and more of us are choosing to spend the Christmas and New Year period away from home.
For many people, the decision to plan a Christmas getaway might stem from a desire to escape the chaos of the city at this time of year, or to avoid the inevitable stresses that come with organising a Christmas event at home. Others may want to reconnect with far-flung friends and family members at a more central meeting point that is easier for everyone to get to. Some people might simply want to do something a little bit different every now and then.
Whatever the reason, if you’re currently on the road, or thinking of doing things a bit differently this festive season, here are a few tips to help you plan a truly memorable Christmas away from home.
- Consider your options
What kinds of experiences and activities are you after? Are you yearning to spend time outdoors – perhaps bushwalking, fishing or bike riding? Or are you looking to treat yourself to a little bit of a luxury – finding a place that specialises in day spas and five star meals or maybe checking into some beautiful winery accommodation in Victoria:
Head outdoors – Camping has become a hugely popular Christmas tradition for families around Australia, with many returning to the same site year after year. Camping over Christmas is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, escape the chaos of city life, and spend quality time with friends and loved ones in a new and natural environment. Due to the immense popularity of camping over Christmas, it is wise to book a camp site as early as possible – it is not uncommon for families to book up to 12 months in advance to secure their favourite sites!
Rent a holiday house or apartment – This is a great option if you are looking to gather far-flung family and friends together in one central location, while still keeping some of the comforts and conveniences of home. Or, it might be a case of wanting to be closer to the beach over the Christmas period. Or, you might simply want to host your usual family get-together in a house other than your own for a change!
Treat Yourself – You might want nothing more than to escape with a loved one to a luxury hotel or picturesque vineyard over the festive season. This is a great way to get away from it all, give yourselves a well-deserved treat, and rest assured that absolutely everything is taken care of. Keep in mind that some winery accommodation may be closed for a small part of the Christmas period, so be sure to find out which dates are available beforehand.
Go all out – Go one step further and celebrate the festive season with a Christmas or New Years function package at a venue of your choosing. This way you’ll get to leave all the cooking AND the cleaning up to somebody else! If you have your heart set on a particular venue, it pays to be flexible with dates, as some venues may not actually be open on Christmas Day. Once again, be sure to do your research and find out which dates are available.
- Consider the climate
If you’re looking to escape the heat over the Christmas period, the southern areas of Australia generally have a cooler, more comfortable climate during the summer months. It can still get incredibly hot on occasion, even in the southern states. It pays to be prepared for hot weather at this time of year, no matter where you end up going.
- Look at what is available
As we have mentioned, it is important to note that many venues and businesses will be closed for a period of time over Christmas, including Christmas Day. If you are planning a Christmas function, for example, you may like to look at holding the function on a date other than December 25th.
- Book in as early as you can
December and January are notoriously busy months for Australian camping grounds, hotels and other accommodation providers. The entire country is either on school holidays or annual leave, and it seems like every family and their dog is on the move at this time of year. It pays to book your Christmas getaway or function well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Stay safe
Finally, the most important thing you can do is stay safe over the Christmas and New Year period. Camping during summer, for example, exposes you to potential risks such as snakebites and bushfires. Make sure you have a plan of action in the event an emergency
If you are doing a lot of driving this Christmas, be sure to take care on the road. Vehicle accidents are common over the Christmas period, with the national road-toll reaching a peak at this time of year. Don’t push yourself, don’t drink and drive, drive to the conditions, and be sure to take regular rest breaks on long trips.