Christmas season is that time of the when expats look towards ‘home’. Flight tickets go like hot cakes. I have yet to visit home during the festive season, tickets are too expensive. My family and I usually go off into the country. We usually begin planning in January, in order to get the best value for our money. The thing is not everyone is like that though… True story, a friend of mine called last week for tips on a last minute Christmas getaway. I shared my insight about overseas vs staycation breaks. Her words not mine ‘everyone needs a Maria in the life.’ In that vein, I’d like to share with you destinations that are near and dear to me as last minute Christmas getaways.



4 Getaway Tips


Before you book your break you need to know, even with last minute need to have a plan, especially at Christmas. My suggestion is:


  1. Always have a planner in the group
  2. If you don’t drive, look for destinations with good public transport connections
  3. For self-catered staycations order food from a major grocery chain to be collected from the branch closest to your holiday home
  4. Don’t forget your creature comforts from home that will help you settle better into your holiday home (mine is usually a pillow and/or headscarf



4 Last Minute getaways


If like us you want to get away, shake things up, try something new this Christmas, why not look at my getaway destination inspo?


Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Lincoln is beauty in the winter, especially if it’s a white Christmas. Some attractions close for the winter, but there are beautiful nature parks and gardens centres. Trust me you will want for nothing if you go into Lincoln City Centre. All the major high street stores are there. Alternative there’s the Stepp Hill which has a variety independent and specialty shops, some of which are housed in oldest buildings of the city. You can expect to find vintage clothing, old bookstores and quaint cafes.

Other attractions include Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle.

Lincoln gives you best of both, gorgeous sprawling green vistas and city shopping.

Inverness, Scotland

I could be wrong but if you are going to get snow anywhere in the UK, it’s likely to be Scotland.  Inverness is on the north east coast of Scotland. It’s a cosmopolitan city and with the highlands in close proximity. Inverness has a beauty broody beauty with river views and mountain springs.  It was early spring when we visited over a decade go, but  think there would be certain charm to spending Christmas there. Attractions include; the bronze age Clava Cairns (Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Bulnuaran of Clava) , Inverness Castle, the Victorian Market and Loch Ness of course.

During the festive season attractions include Winter Wonderland and family friendly Hogmanay celebrations to ring in to the New Year.

Dublin City, Ireland

You know you are out of London, when people smile and strike up a conversation about anything. This was our experience of Dublin, stopping to ask for directions which lead of a conversation. That was when I realised how big cities can affect you personality.

A decade ago, Hubby and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Dublin. We stayed in Belfast and drove to Dublin for sightseeing and lunch. I can only imagine how jolly it would at Christmas. There are flea markets, music at St Anne’s Church, The Santa Experience at Ilac Shopping Centre. Just remember you can’t go to Dublin and not visit the Guinness Storehouse Dublin Castle.

Copenhagen, Denmark

‘Mam I think you will find that the doors are closed’, said the Ground Stewardess. It was a sunny Spring evening in 2002, my friend (same one mentioned at the start) made me miss my flight to Copenhagen because she was late. I was so stressed I broke out into hysterical laughter. We eventually got a flight the following day, and the beauty of the city quickly washed way the previous day’s stresses.  We stayed around the corner from Copenhagen Central Station which was a prime location to walkabout and explore the city.

Over the Christmas season there’s a Christmas market which runs until 31st December. Other attractions in the city are: Tivoli Gardens, Little Mermaid statue, Nyhvan waterfront and the Botanical Gardens. If you are not teetotal … there’s also the Carlsberg Brewery.



Have you got a Maria in your life? How do you plan your holidays? Have you ever gone a Christmas mini break? Where did you go? Where would you suggest?  Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

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Feature image credit: visit Copenhagen


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