What is better than gathering with the family for the holidays to share in wonderful traditions and meals? Actually, doing that in another city or country might be better. A lot of families opt for holiday travel and not just to see grandma. These are the official family vacations that will have them celebrating Christmas far from home. That’s not a bad thing.

If you’re thinking about traveling during the holidays, then you might consider one of these amazing destinations.


You can’t escape Christmas without a viewing of or mention of “A Christmas Carol.” This is the time-test classic that has Ebenezer Scrooge looking for the true meaning of the holiday. It was a story written by Charles Dickens and set in London. Does this mean London invented Christmas? Not exactly, but it is definitely a town who likes to make Christmas happen everywhere from the decorated shops and pubs to all the festivals and markets. There’s also a good chance of snow on Christmas in London and you can’t beat those Christmas “crackers.”

Nuremberg, Germany

Christmas in Germany isn’t just on the 25th of December. It is celebrated for the entire month of December. Every town pulls out the stops to put up festive decorations and there will also be an ongoing Christmas market where you can find all kinds of treats for your Christmas dinner and presents for under the Christmas tree. Don’t miss the Glühwein which is the German mulled wine.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Everyone knows Santa lives up at the North Pole. The closest you can get to Clause central would be a trip to Reykjavik. They celebrate Christmas with lots of lights and fireworks. They also embrace the Yule Lad folklore which has thirteen different variations of Santa Clause. That is a lot of present potential! You also get those Northern Lights on full effect.

New Orleans

When you think New Orleans, you think Mardi Gras. That is the big celebration of the year but the Big Easy also brings the fun for Christmas, too. The Réveillon dinners that mark the holiday season have been a tradition in New Orleans since the 19th century. These are essentially excuses to have enormous feasts with friends and family and they just don’t happen on Christmas but on all the days leading up to the 25th. If you stick around for New Year’s Eve, then you’ll find a huge celebration in Jackson Square with plenty of music and fireworks.

New York City

Like London, it seems like all of New York is decorated for the holidays. You’ll appreciate the store windows and of course the giant Rockefeller Center tree. There is also ice skating in central park and the Radio City holiday show. Be sure to take the subway out to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn to take in all the neighborhood decorations. Everyone should do New York for Christmas at least once!