This post will start expiring the second you start reading it.
[Now that I’ve caught your attention… what I hate the most about flight booking is how quickly things change. By the time I’ve spotted cheap flights, bullied (!) the yank into agreeing the trip, him having signed the time off work, the flight prices have changed. Now it may only be a day or two after the initial desire to book, already the flights have increased in price. // Once, just ONCE(!), did this happen and the flight prices had gone DOWN when I went to book several days later. I was livin’ the dream that day. // ANYWAY. I’m disgressing.]
Am I the only one who hates Christmas? The enforced joy and the ridiculous busyness of shops just everywhere?! I hate that the usual 5 minute route of purchasing a loaf of bread becomes a full blown obstacle course. Children running wild in shops with hands full of chocolate Santas and grandmas barging people down with their trolleys as they stock up on Christmas puddings. I’m being melodramatic and stereotypical, but it’s definitely not my favourite time of year in England.
Now, take me to Germany or France and my view completely changes! Other European countries just seem to do it right, don’t they? (and I don’t just mean Christmas, I mean everything).
I’ve found a few cheap getaways to help you escape the pre-25th December rush. Book quickly because I guarantee in two weeks they’ll be double the price!
London Stansted to Berlin Schönefeld
13th – 14th Dec 2017 (fly out 7.50am, fly back 9.25pm) with Ryanair
Currently = £57
German cities are absolutely perfect for the Christmas markets – they truly do streetfood so well (schnitzels and bratwursts galore!!) and I can’t get enough of the beer. Perfect for a one night getaway to help you forget your Christmas stresses.
London Southend to Paris Charles de Gaulle
22nd – 24th Dec 2017 (fly out 2.45pm, fly back 4.55pm) with Easyjet
Currently = £101
This is usually more than I’d pay for flights for a cheap getaway, but Paris is simply glorious this time of year. A perfect opportunity to snuggle up in scarves and woolly hats, drinking warm wine and eating yummy cheeses, walking the beautiful Parisian streets amidst twinkly lights.
London Luton to Amsterdam
14th – 16th Dec 2017 (fly out 3.10pm, fly back 3.30pm) with Easyjet
Currently = £53
Spend some time de-stressing in the delightful cafes ‘The Dam’ has to offer, indulging in yummy streetfood and seeing the canals in the snow (if you’re lucky!) – what a perfect place to hide away for two nights.
London Stansted to Prague
6th – 8th Dec 2017 (fly out 8.55am, fly back 7.20am) with Ryanair
Currently = £53
Spend a crisp two nights in this delicious city – think roast pork knuckle, schnitzels, chunky potato soups and as much goulash as you can cram in. The Christmas markets in Prague are wonderful – visit Old Town Square to sample some of the amazing streetfood on offer and indulge in as much Czech beer as you can!
London Stansted to Geneva
Daytrip alert! 24th Dec 2017 (fly out 7.15am, fly back 9.35pm) with Easyjet
Currently = £49
Day trip to Geneva on the day before Christmas? Are you willing to take the risk? What’s the worst that can happen. Your return flight gets cancelled, you simply just spend a beautiful day in Switzerland. Rent a car on Christmas Eve before everything closes down for the day and drive into the Alps on the 25th!
London Stansted to Salzburg
15th – 17th Dec 2017 (fly out 6.20am, fly back 10.30am) with Ryanair
Currently = £41
Fancy skiing? Drive into the nearby mountains, hire some skis and whizz downhill as fast as you can! Want to harness the festivities? Visit the Christmas markets and chow down on caramelised almonds and strudel. Austrians also love their spas, so look up local spas, or better yet find an AirBnB with a hot tub/sauna included – ideally on a deck overlooking some mountains.
London Stansted to Budapest
6th – 8th Dec 2017 (fly out 11.45am, fly back 9.25pm) with Ryanair
Currently = £47
One of my favourite places to go, and yet I visited in summer! Hungary has some of the best foods – chunky soups and meaty stews – I love goulash! With food similar to Prague, there is plenty of pig knuckle and dumplings to devour. This food was delicious in summer and at Christmas it will be a welcome respite from the cold weather. Imagine sinking into warm thermal baths. There are many winter activities – the markets, ice skating, boat trips with delicious foods. Also look out for the famous Nutcracker Ballet in the Hungarian State Opera – perfect to get you in that festive spirit!
So what are you waiting for? Get booking your exciting Christmas adventure that you can brag to your family about on Boxing Day!
I just want to share one more delightful getaway for you – but this time it’s after the Christmas period. I found some great bargains with the airline Norwegian (not one I’ve personally used before but definitely will look to in the future). You can fly from London Gatwick to Bergen on 7th January 2018 (that’s a scary date to write!) returning Tuesday 9th January for £80. Bergen is a beauty – go and see it for yourself!