THE big festive flyaway is nearly here – as more than four million people prepare to jet away and spend Christmas abroad.
There is still time to be among them, whether you fancy a bite of the Big Apple, fun in the theme parks of Orlando and Tenerife or dream of a Caribbean cruise. Trisha Harbord has ten ideas for a fabulous overseas holiday.
Tenerife is known as the island of eternal spring and its warmth could make it the perfect escape from a bone-chilling British Christmas
THE capital of the Canary Islands has a turkey and tinsel break just over four hours away.
All the family will love Loro Parque, voted World’s Best Zoo by TripAdvisor customers.
Many hotels are decked out with trees, baubles and lights and serve traditional food and drink. It’s a warmer home from home.
Seven nights’ B&B at the 4H El Tope Hotel, Puerto de la Cruz, flying from Stansted on December 20, costs from £587pp.
From Birmingham on December 23 it is priced from £599.
Getty – Contributor New York is the city that never sleeps – and neither will you if you celebrate Christmas in its glittering heart[/caption]
THE glittering city is magical during Christmas, made even brighter with its festive concerts, shows, markets and stunning window displays.
Take a ride in a horse and carriage through Central Park, view the city from the Empire State Building or join a movie tour to see where those Christmas scenes in Elf, Home Alone 2 and Miracle on 34th Street were filmed.
Four nights’ room-only at the 4H Hudson New York, from Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic on December 23, is from £999pp.
Alamy In southern India, they love to celebrate Christmas – but it’s hot and spicy and unlike anything you have experienced before[/caption]
WHY not party on the beach on the south west coast of India, relaxing in glorious 30C temperatures.
Palm trees are strung with fairy lights, and fireworks explode into the sky as Christians and Hindus come together to celebrate Christmas. Burn off the festive calories on a jungle adventure of canyoning, trekking and cliff jumping.
Seven nights’ B&B at the 4H Golden Tulip Hotel, from Heathrow on December 20, from £1,469pp or on December 24, from £1,357pp.
Alamy The French know how to make Christmas special – and nowhere is it more so than in Paris[/caption]
KNOWN as the City Of Light, Paris really lives up to its name at Christmas.
See the twink-ling buildings from a Seine river cruise, a sightseeing bus or the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
Head for the festive markets across the city with the largest, The Christmas Village on the esplanade at La Defense, boasting 300 wooden chalets selling crafts and food.
Five nights’ room-only at the 4H Hotel Sacha, including flights from Luton on December 22, from £375pp.
Give the kids – and yourself – a magical Christmas that the whole family will remember forever
MICKEY Mouse and the gang can help you celebrate the festive season like nowhere else.
Meet Sandy Claws as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes over Walt Disney World. And Universal Studios transforms the World Of Harry Potter with lights and baubles.
Fourteen nights’ self-catering in a four-bedroom Highlands Reserve Villa in Kissimmee, flying with Norwegian from Gatwick to Tampa on December 15, from £899pp.
Buy Disney and Universal combo tickets from attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk.
Getty – Contributor Why not swap a white Christmas for a white-sand Christmas?[/caption]
CRUISING around the Caribbean will mean a stress-free Christmas.
You won’t have to worry about a thing during a full-board fly/cruise. With carol singers and tree-lighting there is plenty of fun – and Santa still shows up. Royal Caribbean’s Independence Of The Seas sails from Fort Lauderdale in Florida, calling at Cozumel in Mexico and the Bahamas.
Five nights from December 24, including flights from Gatwick, costs from £1,617pp.
Alamy There are few places you can escape from Christmas, but in Mexico, you’ll certainly escape the Christmas chill[/caption]
BE one of the first to celebrate the festive season in the adults-only TRS Coral Hotel in Costa Mujeres.
You’ll be chilling on a white beach, lapped by crystal waters teeming with reefs and marine life. TRS Coral shares some facilities with its sister hotel, the family-friendly Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa. They include a Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre and two Ibiza-style beach clubs.
Seven nights’ all-inclusive in a Junior Suite at the TRS Coral, flying from Heathrow on Dec 23, is from £2,184pp.
Alamy What could be more fitting at Christmas than a trip to Wenceslas Square?[/caption]
THE home town of Good King Wenceslas always looks stunning at Christmas.
Markets spill over with crafts and food and the Old Town Square features a huge decorated tree and nativity scene. Sip Svarak, a version of mulled wine, and tuck into sausages and sticky pastries.
Take a cruise along the Vltava River and watch the moving apostles on the Prague Astronomical Clock, a 600-year-old national treasure.
Two nights at the 4H Green Garden Hotel, from Gatwick, Luton or Stansted on December 25, from £139pp.
Getty – Contributor Now that’s what you call a magnetic attraction – the Northern Lights are regularly seen in Iceland[/caption]
FOR the best lights switch-on, head to Iceland and a chance to see the dazzling Northern Lights.
You can spend three nights in capital Reykjavik with a package including a “chasing the lights” tour.
Extra tours include a visit to geothermal spa the Blue Lagoon and a boat trip to see the incredible Eyjafjordur humpback whales.
Three nights’ B&B at the Hotel Klettur, from Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Belfast, Edinburgh or Manchester on selected dates over Christmas, from £245pp.
MOST READ IN TRAVEL
Remembering the fallen in Compiègne — where the Armistice was signed twice
LOCH OF LOVE
The Inn on Loch Lomond makes for cosy getaway with stunning views
Discover wild animals on magical trip to see Northern Lights in Finland
You'll love Gran Canaria's amazing grub and endless restaurant options
SO RON IT'S RIGHT
Discover Madeira on a magical trail and learn about Ronaldo's home island
NO MORE QUEUES
This is how to beat queues at Disney World and get on ANY ride in 30 minutes
Aud Eva Bergo Looking for a guaranteed white Christmas? Look no further[/caption]
YOU can have a true white Christmas with 30 per cent off a holiday to the traditional Scandinavian village of Beitostolen.
Off piste, try tobogganing, dog sledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Stroll through the village and dine at the grotto-like Hytta Mat & Vinhus restaurant for traditional cuisine.
Seven nights’ half-board at the 4H Radisson Blu, from Gatwick on December 23, based on two adults and two children under 12 sharing a standard room, from £915pp.