The large majority of my family leaves during the Christmas holidays. It seems now that the younger members of my family have now for the most part grown up, Christmas just isn’t the same. We don’t spend much money on each other, besides maybe my immediate family. I’m mostly focused now on building my investing portfolio and learning the ins and outs of the stock market.
I’ve never left during the holidays, and it’s always left a burning question in my mind. Should I?
The benefits of taking a holiday…. During the holidays!
Christmas is an expensive time of the year. Cooking dinner for the family can get insanely expensive, and buying gifts for everyone can leave your credit card maxed and your wallet empty. As such, a lot of families are now hopping on an airline and heading somewhere warmer for the holidays. There are a ton of benefits that come from this, and I’m going to go over some of them in this piece!
No Host? No Problem
One of the best parts about leaving for the holidays is the fact nobody needs to host the freaking dinner. It’s expensive, it’s exhausting and it’s at some points just downright annoying. I’ve hosted a few Christmas dinners, and I really can’t remember one that didn’t end up costing over $200. Plus, having to clean the house, cook the food, clean everything up and inevitably throw away a ton of food just isn’t appealing to me anymore. A 7 day all inclusive resort that provides food for you whenever you’d like? Now that’s what I’m talking about. It may not be as good, but man is it easier.
Too much of the same thing
The holiday season is pretty predictable. Start your shopping in October (or for you procrastinators, December 24th), have multiple family gatherings over the course of the 20th to the 27th, clean everything up and don’t think about next year until October again. It can be nice to break the routine, and heading somewhere can do just that. Although the costs are typically higher than going during the offseason, a Christmas away can be a pretty nice change of scenery for a stagnant holiday season. This is especially true if you don’t have any youngsters in the family.
The excitement of Christmas generally tends to fade as you get older. The excitement of heading somewhere where the temperature difference may be 40 degrees? Well, that’s something I can get excited about every single year.
It’s not much of my forte, but if you’re someone who likes to take in different cultural areas around the world, the holiday season is one of the best times to do so. Depending on where you travel, you can soak in a little or a ton of the different cultural activities during the holidays.
Relaxation at its finest
Depending on where you go, whether it be a resort of simply getting a hotel package in a different country, the relief of simply having next to no obligations is something that is extremely soothing on the mind. No presents, no dinners, no traffic, packed malls. I mean I could probably go on for the rest of this article talking about things I love to avoid at Christmas time. Instead, enjoy a drink, eat whenever you’d like and in general enjoy yourself with whichever family members have decided to come with zero stress.
Escape the weather
At least where I am at, Christmas is freaking cold. I’m talking -40 degrees Celsius cold. There is the odd time we’ll get some weather that is somewhat bearable, but it’s very rare. If you’re located in a cold climate, escaping it for a week or two can be a great relief. Sure, you won’t get that white Christmas everyone really loves, but at least you won’t be cooped up in the house all day praying for winter to end. You’ll just have that to deal with when you come back!
Experiencing things is a gift in itself
Consumer goods are the bread and butter of Christmas. Companies rely on customers buying the next best thing that will typically be junk in 6 months. Your kids have probably moved on to new toys, new gadgets or have grown out of the clothes you bought them.
What will never grow old is the experiences you have during a vacation to a foreign country. Your kids will never remember the fact you got them an IPad for Christmas when they were 12. What they will remember is the experiences you have while away from home.