With the holidays fast approaching, most of us are already dreading the amount of extra stress. For a lot of people nothing sounds more appealing than foregoing the presents and fancy dresses, and jet-setting off somewhere for the holidays. Luckily there are a ton of places to travel to during the holidays that almost always guarantee cheap airfare, and a tourist-free frenzy. We like to call this the ‘off season’ of Europe. Travel more west, and prices will be madly gouged in December and around the holidays. For the sake of everyone being able to afford a holiday getaway (everyone should try it at least once), I’ve come up with the 5 cheapest holiday destinations.
1. Dublin – $725
Ireland has long been a historically cheaper country for Americans to travel too. In the winter months, prices get even cheaper. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll freeze your arse off, but at least you’ll be in some warm charming old castle and away from the holiday stress. Dublin has a variety of things to do in the city itself. Rent a car and you can drive through the charming old farming towns. You can expect cold temperatures, and low to mild snow fall. Christmas Eve pints are huge in Dublin, and every pub is guaranteed to be packed. So grab yourself a cold one and relax with some amazing company. Or, visit a Dublin Christmas market where there will be food, gifts, and tons of lights.
2. London – $770
London is a great choice when it comes to deciding where to travel for the holidays. One of the cheapest tickets you can get is in the winter where the temperature is similar to Dublin. Be prepared for cold nights, but be excited for a beautiful festive London. There is so much to do this time of year in London, and nearly everything is decked out in Christmas cheer. For some time on the ice, check out ice skating at Somerset House. It’s absolutely dreamy. Harrod’s will have the most gorgeous holiday decorations, and it’s worth it to take a stroll through the stores and admire it all. There is also a holiday fair at Hyde Park called Winter Wonderland. London really is one of the most magical places to be for the holidays.
3. Moscow – $840
I won’t lie to you. There will be snow, and it will be cold as f*ck. However, Moscow has been on my list as a dream holiday destination for so long, and it should be on yours too. Nothing compares to Christmas in Moscow. Did you know you can hang out with huskies in Kuzminki Park? I mean COME ON. Do I even have to mention a visit to the Bolshoy Theater to see The Nutcracker? There is a huge Christmas market in Red Square where people have been known to travel from other countries just to see. The snow on the ground just makes everything more magical this time of year. Do yourself some justice and rent an old soviet era apartment in the city. Of course the Russians are also known for their hearty meat and potato meals, which you just can’t beat this time of year.
4. Copenhagen – $900
If you can’t get enough of the Scandinavian home trend, then you my friend are bound for Denmark. I am always quite surprised at how cheap plane tickets are to Scandinavia nearly all year around. Copenhagen and Stockholm are two of my favorite layover cities for their amazingly cheap airlines. My guess is you could easily find a plane ticket for under $900 this time of year. If you’re planning on (yet again) freezing your butt off in Copenhagen for the holidays (hey, there has to be sacrifice somewhere), then you cannot miss a stroll through Tivoli which is the oldest amusement park in the world. You’ll find plenty of Christmas spirit, decorations, sweets, and fun rides. It does snow in the Danish town, so do bring your warmest coat!
5. Stockholm – $910
Just slightly more expensive than Copenhagen, is Stockholm, Sweden. Much like its Scandinavian sister, the climate is pretty damn cold and you will need to prepare for snow here. The Swedes love their holiday season and really go all out! Every year they set up an astounding 130 ft Christmas tree in the middle Skeppsbron waterfront that has an impressive 5,000 lights. It really is a sight to see. The Grand Hotel overlooks the waterfront and would be a beautiful place to stay for anyone seeking that Holiday magic. If you want to leave for Stockholm early, you can catch their ‘Saint Lucia’ tradition on December 13th where Swedes places candles in the windows of every house, office, and shop. Just imagine walking around being illuminated by candles and Christmas lights. It’s a great time of year to visit Stockholm.
Honorable Mentions Include:
Bergen, Norway – $880
Helskini, Finland – $885
Belgrade, Serbia – $985
Munich, Germany – $990
Any one of these five places plus the honorable mentions would be a great travel destination for the holidays. Most importantly, they are all under $1,000. The first five I chose definitely have the most Holiday spirit, and the most to do around Christmas time. To get low prices for these, I suggest traveling anywhere from December 19th and through January 4th. You might be able to score even lower prices through budget airlines, and especially through Copenhagen and Stockholm. I know a lot of people have an aversion to the cold weather, but I promise if you can get past that you will have a really really great time. There are virtually no tourists this time of year either.
There you have it! The 5 cheapest holiday destinations. Have you ever considered traveling for the holidays? If yes, why? If not, why not? Leave me a comment below!