Christmas packing tips
Travel Tips

Packing tips for a Christmas holiday abroad

We love the festive season, but if the thought of Christmas with the family in the UK leaves you cold, then why not consider spending it abroad this year? There are so many great Christmas holiday destinations to choose from – including both hot- and cold-weather choices – so whether you fancy ramping up the Yuletide magic in Lapland or escaping it all in the Caribbean, there’s plenty of choice. You’ll need to think carefully about what to pack, especially if you plan to be away over the main event, so here are our tips for your seasonal adventure.

Capsule wardrobe

Whether you’re planning for a traditional Yuletide getaway or sun-drenched break, packing light is always the best way. If you’re going somewhere chilly, pack as you would for the winter at home with a few extra sweaters and coats to layer up or down as the temperature dictates. If you’re going skiing you’ll need the appropriate gear, including thermals, fleeces and jackets. Those hitting the beach will need lightweight trousers, a few smart tops for evenings out, pretty sandals, a shift dress and a sarong plus swimming costume.

Something dressy

Depending on where you’re staying, the hotel might lay on a special Christmas Day meal or seasonal soirée so it’s worth packing one smart outfit to get into the spirit of things. For men, think blazers with casual trousers or lightweight suit; for women a favourite little black dress and embellished heels. But if you’re jetting off to a tropical climate then your favourite summer dress or open-necked shirt and shorts will do just fine.

Gifts for each other

If you’re going to be away on the big day itself, you might want to take a few gifts with you. If it’s just you and the other half, save presents for when you return or treat yourself to something when you arrive? Go for small treats such as jewellery or aftershave and take advantage of your duty-free allowance at airports to buy your loved ones their favourite perfume or tipple at prices cheaper than home.

Gifts for the family

If there are kids involved, taking vast quantities of presents with you gets tricky, so wrap and pack small items such as soft toys and stocking fillers or buy them something when you’re away. Pack folded wrapping paper and labels in your luggage to save buying them at your destination. You can also order online and get gifts delivered to your hotel.

Festive treats & decorations

You may be able to get your festive food of choice at your destination, but you may not. If Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a tin of Quality Street or pack of mince pies, take some with you! Make sure you check online to find out all the current restrictions for hold and hand luggage or you might end up losing your bag of sprouts at check-in!


You may be heading overseas because you want to escape all the trimmings associated with the festive season. But if you want to bring Christmas with you, why not pack some tinsel, beads and lightweight paper decorations to adorn your hotel room with. If you’re travelling with the kids, don’t forget to pack their stockings to hang up on Christmas Eve. Pre-load your smartphone with your favourite seasonal songs and tunes to add to the ambience.

Holidays abroad can offer a wonderful change of scene and can provide a stress-free way to enjoy the festive season – just make sure you bring a few of your usual traditions away with you!

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