Christmas vacations flight prices

While the sun is out and the days are long, planning a Christmas vacation doesn’t feel like a priority. Most of us are focussed on our summer getaway and any thoughts of dodging the festive period with a well-timed trip only kick in with the cold and gloom of November. But by then, it’s too late to bag a bargain, as prices sky-rocket. Christmas is famously not the time to get a late deal on flights, leaving you facing soggy sprouts and the Morecambe & Wise Christmas Special all over again.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! The trick is to book your yuletide break early. Typically, vacation operators will have a number of Christmas flight options reserved at a reduced, sensible price, but only for a fixed period. They are obliged to give up those well-priced allocations three or four months before Christmas. After that, prices for trips with flights included only go up.

So book before the summer is over – before the end of August ideally – to take advantage of these reduced rates. Secure a snowy adventure, a sunny cycling break or something truly adventurous, and swerve the traditional celebrations this year, all without taking out a second mortgage.

Take a passage to India

Christmas in India delivers a dose of sunshine and warmth, and a multi-faith culture that’s worlds away from the trad Christmas back home.

Sunny, lush southern India makes a perfect alternative Christmas getaway, with temperatures hitting a toasty 27°C during December. Visit the historic port of Cochin and the Western Ghats, where deliciously cool hill stations such as Munnar are surrounded by tea plantations and shady forests.

You can spot elephants and leopards in Periyar National Park, drift along the Keralan backwaters on a traditional houseboat and chill on the beach in Kovolam. This relaxed part of the country is friendly, lush and less hectic than the north. Here, colour comes courtesy of ornate temples, bags of spices and brightly clad kids with sunny smiles – not tinsel and glitzy tree decorations...

Northern India is another great option over the festive season. It’s sizzling in spring and summer, but temperatures fall to the low 20°Cs during December – comfortable for exploring, and hot enough to blast the winter blues away. In just 10 days you can take in the Golden Triangle – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – and squeeze in a game drive at Ranthambore National Park, atmospheric Varanasi and people watching by the River Ganges. You’ll be transported spiritually as well as physically, swapping festive stodge for the freshest spices, flashy decorations for searing sunsets and Santa for saffron-robed sadhus.

Find out more about Christmas small group trips to India with flights included here:
Southern India small group vacation
Northern India vacation

Go with the snow

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Sadly, the magical dusting of snow that makes the festivities come alive is often missing in the UK, but you can get your wintery fix by heading to Scandinavia.

Northern Finland never disappoints on the winter scenery front, with fir trees caked with shaving-foam clouds of snow, silvery lakes and winter cabins with welcoming fires. Explore the wilderness on snowshoes, try cross country skiing and learn to master a sled with your own team of six dogs. Snowmobile safaris are also on the festive menu, and you can come face to face with a Christmas card cliché: reindeer! Meet them, feed them and learn about life as a Lappish reindeer herder, and the culture of the indigenous Sami people. Come evening, the only lights you’ll see are of the Northern kind, rippling across the frozen sky, and not the fairy variety!

Discover more about Christmas vacations with flights included to Finland here:
Finland winter activity vacation
Finland snowshoeing vacation

Our top Alternative Christmas Vacation

Finland winter activity vacation & Northern Lights

Finland winter activity vacation & Northern Lights

Discover this Finnish winter activity wilderness week

From US $3079 to US $3499 8 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2023: 9 Dec, 23 Dec, 30 Dec
2024: 7 Jan, 14 Jan, 21 Jan, 28 Jan, 4 Feb, 11 Feb, 18 Feb, 25 Feb, 3 Mar, 10 Mar, 17 Mar, 24 Mar, 31 Mar, 7 Apr, 14 Apr
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Alternative Christmas or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Swap turkey and trimmings for two wheels

For many of us, Christmas is a time of over-eating and inactivity, but a cycling trip turns this sluggish seasonal stereotype on its head. Pedalling round most of Europe over the festive season could be a grim, soggy affair, but countries further afield offer perfect conditions for cycling, with sensational sights and smiling locals lining the route.

Tiny Sri Lanka punches above its weight when it comes to ancient temples, crumbling ruins, beaches and wildlife and its compact size makes it ideal for exploration by bike. Cycling brings you closer to the friendly local people, too, who will shout hello as you pedal through each village. Late December is lush and warm, with the central Highlands typically a cycle-friendly 21°C. The weather, the welcome and the mood-boosting benefits of cycling every day – this is one Christmas break you won’t have to recover from in January.

Jordan is another excellent Christmas cycling destination. Nights might be nippy, but by day the temperature is around 15°C, and the landscape greened-up by occasional showers. You won’t be cycling on sand, either, but cruising over smooth roads to Petra, sleeping under the stars in Wadi Rum and hopping out of the saddle to snorkel in the Red Sea.

These small group cycling vacations with flights included will get you in the Christmas spirit:
Sri Lanka cycling vacation
Cycling vacation in Jordan

Walk away from it all

Trump the traditional Boxing Day walk with a trekking vacation abroad that works your muscles and expands your mind.

Northern Cyprus is far less visited than the south of the island and its lovely landscape is peppered with well-preserved sites. Walk through pretty mountain villages and harbour towns, past crusader castles and atmospheric caves, enjoying the sun, sea and warm weather, with temperatures in the mid teens.

For a bigger festive challenge, choose a Christmas trek in the Himalayas. The route to Everest Base Camp passes river canyons, pine forests, Tibetan villages and rocky, lunar landscapes overshadowed by glaciers. This is a high altitude trek, with time factored in for acclimatisation as you push slowly up the trail, so you’ll need a couple of weeks. it’s worth it, though. Gazing on Everest and following in the footsteps of summit-seeking climbing parties is a Christmas present that will be making you smile long after the last mince pie’s been scoffed.

Find small group walking vacations with flights included at Christmas here:
North Cyprus walking vacation
Everest Base Camp trek
Written by Joanna Simmons
Photo credits: [Page banner: Vaida Tamošauskait?] [Food: Frank Smith] [Places: Joe Bloggs]