Sometimes, Christmas is a cheery time for some with the holiday marketed as the most wonderful time of year. For many of us, however, it’s a time of year to hide and seek out the best Christmas escape destinations
After all, the idea of tender get-togethers is only an optimistic thought on paper as the reality is quite different. Usually these gatherings turn into clashes with family members over politics, incessant questions about your dating life, not to mention that one relative who gets a little too drunk. Do you really need to end your calendar year with that drama?
If you’re looking to get away, and avoid family over the holiday season, read on to discover five destinations where you can escape from the crisis and enjoy some bliss.
Where Are The Best Christmas Escape Destinations?
1. Hong Kong
Only about 1% of China are Christians, so you won’t see much relating to the Christmas season in China. While Hong Kong might be a slight uptick, it’ll still be a huge reprieve from North America’s dedication to the annual festival.
Hong Kong is among the best Christmas escape destinations as it’s one of the coolest places you can visit. The architecture is incredible, there are fantastic restaurants (with an impressive 74 recommended in the Michelin guide) and you’re a short boat ride from Macau: the Las Vegas of the East.
If you’re making the long journey, you might as well stay for New Year’s. Hang out in Hong Kong harbor at midnight to see one of the best fireworks displays one can witness.
2. Tel Aviv, Israel
If you’re looking to get away from it all – ‘all’ being the family, Christmas spirit and cold weather – then Israel is a great option. Of course, parts of Israel will still celebrate Christmas. Hanukah, however, is the main course around that time of year and it’s usually earlier. Yes, the story of Christmas takes place in Israel but less than 3% of the population there celebrates. It’ll be a nice reprieve to see people going about their normal business in late December and going to work on December 25th.
Head on over to Tel Aviv where you won’t see much of anything relating to Santa Claus or red-nosed reindeer. Instead, you’ll find a beach, great restaurants and an incredible party life for single people. The raucous parties don’t usually start before midnight.
Melt away the stress of the holiday season by laying out on a beach in the Caribbean. Sure, they still celebrate the holidays there but usually people are too laid back to put too much effort into it. That’s the lifestyle you need to adopt.
The beauty is that if you’re in North America, the Caribbean is just a short flight away. While the islands are mostly similar, you can opt for places like The Bahamas and St. Martin if you’re looking for something with crowds. Alternatively, islands like Nevis or Anguilla are some of the best Christmas escape destinations if you’d prefer somewhere tranquil and luxurious.
Tune into Facebook to read about your family drama, traffic back home and shoveling snow while you sip on a cocktail beachside.
If you don’t mind embracing the cold, Alaska is another remote place to get away from it all. They’re not dreaming of a White Christmas there because it’s white most of the year. However, there are still a lot of cool things to do and see – none of which include your family.
If you’re not entirely sure where to venture out on your own, a good way to explore the country is with an Alaskan cruise. Norwegian Cruise Line has a fleet of ships that can sail you through the fjords and glaciers, while also giving you the opportunity to be with and meet other people. Their cruises usually include open bar and free Wi-Fi. So while you’ll be venturing away from the norm, you won’t be too removed from your regular reality.
5. Vienna, Austria
If it’s just family that you’re looking to avoid but not the holiday season, one of the best Christmas escape destinations to find the Christmas cheer is in Vienna, Austria. Not only is the city an architectural marvel in normal times, it really gets dressed up for the holidays.
Take the Viennese Christmas Market, for instance. It is one of the city’s main highlights during December and has a rich history which dates as far back as 1298. It also has a rich menu of events with more than 20 happenings to choose from. The main market takes place in front of City Hall with over 150 stalls and a huge skating rink. See if you can find a date on Tinder, take her for a skate and sip on some Christmas punch in the market afterwards.