Christmas is a time so deeply rooted in traditions, both big and small. From the way we decorate the tree and the food we eat. To the gifts we give or the people we spend it with. This is why it can feel difficult, or even wrong, to depart from these traditions in any way.  However, here at, we beg to differ.  We think that breaking up the holiday blues is best done by mixing it up a bit.  Why not take a family Christmas vacation abroad?, Latitude21 Resorts, Latitude 21 Resorts, Christmas abroad photo at the beach

Hear us out. The problem with the traditional Christmas we celebrate in the exact same way every year is that it lacks variation. This creates Christmas memories that are often blurred together between the years.  Wouldn’t it be special to have a Christmas that really stands out amongst the rest? Christmas is globally recognized, so it can be easily celebrated anywhere in the world! Even if it does mean ditching the traditional Christmas fir tree for a more exotic, oceanside palm! Here are our top tips for pulling off a Christmas abroad that the whole family will be sure to remember forever…

Who will you take?

The first step of planning your family Christmas vacation is deciding who’s going! Are you opting for a small, intimate Christmas away from the chaos of the big family celebrations? Or, are you braving a big, multigenerational family holiday with grandparents, cousins, nieces, and nephews? If it’s the latter, take a look at our blog Tips To Plan A Multigenerational Family Vacation. Both are great options for different reasons!

Where will your Family Christmas destination be?

Now you know the who, it’s time to decide on the where. Would you like to spend the festive season in the depths of the Hawaiian jungle? Or perhaps amongst the glowing lights and street food of the Bavarian Christmas markets in Germany? Would you rather celebrate tucked up in a snowy ski chalet, or lounging on a beach in the Caribbean? Here at, our personal favorite destination for Christmas (and most other times of the year, for that matter) is beautiful Mexico!

Mexico is the perfect Christmas destination. Mexico provides a much-needed escape from that chilly winter weather back home. And it allows you to delight in the novelty of a hot, sunny Christmas! However, Mexico is also a country steeped in christmas traditions of it’s own. You’ll still be surrounded by joyous celebrations of the merry holiday throughout your time there; expect life-size Nativity scenes, singing and music, and plenty of decorations in and around your Mexican Christmas experience.   For a more traditional Mexican Christmas experience, consider vacationing in beautiful Puerto Vallarta or sunny Mazatlan.

Another reason Mexico is our favorite destination for Christmas is because it offers true balance; the availability of activities and sightseeing that you’d expect from any great family vacation, as well as the landscape for the relaxation and family downtime that is essential over the Christmas period!

How long will you go for?

Remember, the Christmas season is a very popular season for travelling. So be sure to plan well in advance and get those all-important dates in your diary!

Top tip: Christmas really is one of the busiest times for the travel industry. Make sure you get your bookings in for flights and accommodation early! Use Skyscanner to find good flight deals. And take a look at our rentals page for an amazing range of accommodation options!

How does gift-giving work when spending Christmas away from home?

The Christmas tradition of exchanging gifts is perhaps one of the most important ones. And probably one that you’ll want to keep regardless of where you’re spending these happy holidays. First, it’s best to come to a group family decision on ‘how’ to do presents on your vacation. Maybe you’ll set up a ‘Secret Santa’ where each family member only buys a present for one other family member. Or perhaps you’ll set a limit on a number of gifts for each person.

What’s the best way to get the gifts to your destination?

We advise doing the bulk of your Christmas shopping well in advance of your vacation. This way you can have everything bought before your time away. When you’re shopping for gifts, think about how much room you have in your suitcase, and how you will pack the presents. If you’re really concerned about having enough room to fit all your presents, contact your airline and see if you can purchase another item of hold luggage. This way you can bring an additional suitcase with all the family gifts packed inside. Eliminating the worry of trying to fit everything into fewer suitcases. Don’t forget NOT to wrap those gifts until you arrive! Customs may need to inspect your bags when you get to your destination!

What are the best gifts you can buy when celebrating Christmas on vacation?

As well as treating your loved ones to items from the usual wish-list, you can also take advantage of the benefits of spending your Christmas abroad with some other thoughtful gifts! Take inspiration from some of gift ideas for the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico…

  • Search for some of this year’s stocking fillers in a local market, like Cancun’s Mercado 28. Find brightly-colored ornaments, jewelry, candles, and Day of the Dead paraphernalia, as well as hand-crafted dream catchers and Mexican souvenirs.
  • Try finding an item of the local cuisine. Such as a bag of locally-made coffee, or chocolate, or a bottle of locally-brewed alcohol. All of these make a great small present!
  • Why not give the gift of an incredible experience this Christmas? Organizing a fun-filled day to spend together often makes for a far better gift than something wrapped up under the tree!. For your Christmas vacation in Mexico, why not spoil your family with a:
    • Sunset horseback ride through the natural paradise of the Riviera Maya
    • Scuba-dive into the Underwater Museum at Isla Mujeres
    • An exhilarating skydive over Playa Del Carmen
    • Or a soothing day at the spa in Cancun., Latitude21 Resorts, Latitude 21 Resorts, Christmas pineapples chilling at the beach

How will you feel festive when spending Christmas abroad?

No matter how much fun you’re having on your vacation, it can sometimes feel a little difficult to get into the Christmas spirit when you’re in a different country, away from the usual traditions of home. However, there are some things you can do to really feel the festive cheer…

  • No big Christmas tree to put the presents under this year? Create a new tradition and create a mini Christmas present scavenger hunt in your resort – the kids will love it!
  • Use Skype or Facetime to connect with family who are back at home.
  • Keep some home traditions: snuggle up as a family in your luxurious vacation rental and watch that Christmas movie that you watch together every year. Or make your favorite Christmas dish together.
  • If all else fails, stick on a playlist of your favorite Christmas songs! That is bound to get you all in a merry mood!
  • And of course, make some new traditions!

While it may seem like a daunting diversion from your annual Christmas, we guarantee you won’t regret moving the family festivities abroad. Try it one year, and you’ll want to spend every Christmas on the sunny beaches of Mexico! Check out our blog for other travel tips, itineraries, and much more!

Here is a link to some of’ favorite Mexican properties for a Christmas abroad:


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