As the days get shorter, and the nights get colder, one thing is certain… the early months of winter are sneaking up on us. As 2016 comes to an end, we are doing something different. For the first time in two years, we are not traveling during Christmas break. I must say this is somewhat bittersweet for us, and I had to resign to this conclusion with initial feelings of resistance and some disappointment, which have now morphed into feelings of relief. We have several valid reasons for deciding to forego a Christmas holiday trip this year. Actually, as I look back at our travels, two of the worst trips we’ve had were the ones we did over Christmas breaks.
Our first Christmas trip was a southwest Caribbean cruise. Flying across the country in the dead of winter and the height of holiday travel is always challenging. We experienced delays that resulted in us running full speed across the Atlanta airport to catch our next flight so we could make the cruise on time. While the cruise was great, we found ourselves in a small floating city (a.k.a. a cruise ship) with about 1,000 wild, screaming kids, which was overwhelming for many passengers, including us. It didn’t occur to us how many families would be traveling this time of year. On the flights back, we experienced a mechanical issue with a plane, missed our connection, and ended up spending the night in Salt Lake City, therefore having to waste a vacation day at work as we made our way back home.
For our second Christmas trip, we decided to learn from the past and book at an adults-only resort. Of course the price on this skyrocketed for the Christmas season, but we found one that was within our budget and in closer travel proximity. This trip ended up being our worst trip on record. We had to catch our departing flight from Denver, but the interstate was closed the day we needed to drive there! Once we finally got to Denver, weather and mechanical issues caused us to miss our connection in Phoenix, where we ended up spending the night and therefore missed the first day of our vacation.It took us three days of traveling to arrive in Puerto Vallarta. When we finally arrived, we got one and a half days of vacation under our belts before my husband got food poisoning from food at the resort. It was just a mess overall and although we tried to make the best of it, really we couldn’t wait to go home!
Let’s face it, it is an incredibly hectic time of the year to travel. The airports are busier than ever and the weather generally is less than ideal. If you miss one flight, you could be stuck for days, as airlines get back logged with holiday travelers. On top of this, we both really resent the fact that airlines and hotels jack up their rates over the Christmas holiday to double or even triple the normal prices just because they can. And, if you’re asking yourself why we don’t just get in the car and drive somewhere, let me tell you…. We are geographically challenged in this respect! There really is nothing within a 4 to 5 hour radius of us, and the places that are in that radius are either ski resorts which will also jack up their rates for the holiday season, or places that we are burnt out on visiting (because they are the only places nearby). Combine that with the treacherous winter weather hazards that come with living in the Rocky Mountains, and you can see why we don’t want to hit the roads. So, after a great year of travels in 2016, we are simply saying ‘no’ to a final trip over Christmas.
But, that doesn’t mean we are slowing down in our travels! We are actually ramping up for a much anticipated year! And, during the week of downtime, I’m looking forward to doing some much needed updates and maintenance to my blog too!
Happy Holidays!!! Have you had a bad holiday travel experience you would like to share? If so, comment below!
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I don’t think I would ever be brave enough to face an airport coming up to Christmas! Hopefully your next festive trip will be a more successful one! 🙂
Between the chaos of everyone traveling for Christmas, the inevitable winter storms, mechanical issues, delays, hours long customer service lines, and overall grumpy people, you aren’t missing a lot. I thought Christmas was supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year”!?!?
Yes, it is super busy around the holidays! I love finding cheap travel options on random days of the year, whenever possible.
Us too! It’s ridiculous how the rates get jacked up for the holiday travel season.
I always face an airport at Christmas time. It is never fun but I’m usually flying (non-stop only!) to meet relatives so if I miss a day, it’s all good. This year is Phoenix, not tropical but way better than my hometown weather 🙂
Phoenix won’t be bad! We were stuck there for a day during our Christmas vacation last year. It does make a difference if you’re visiting family.
Taking a break from traveling, especially during this hectic time, is helpful for maintaining sanity. On the plus side you can truly enjoy some well needed tranquility with your family. The stress of wondering whether planes, trains, and buses will arrive on time, and making it through hazardous winter weather takes away from the holiday cheer.
Nailed it! That element of stress really can take away from the joy!
Oh it does annoy me how holiday companies and airlines jack up their prices during the festive period, but I get it, it’s a business and they know people will still get away regardless of the cost but it does limit your options! Travelling at any time of year (although awesome) can be stressful enough anyway let alone during this busy time and to miss flights and have to contend with lots of screamers … well, that just adds to it. So, this year, you can enjoy cozy nights, bottles of wine and reading lots of amazing blogs to decide where you want to travel in 2017! Wishing you, Darin and your furbaby a fantastic Christmas! xx #feetdotravel
Basic principle of supply and demand, right!? We have lovely plans filled with relaxation and getting a few things from our ever growing to-do lists checked off over the holidays this year! As for you and Sy, cannot wait to follow your new adventures!!!
Travel for the holidays are hectic especially with the challenge of weather and then aircraft maintenance problems. What an experience and now you can sit back and enjoy a roaring fire for the holidays! I love travelling for the holidays overseas for the cold winter days and this is a first for us to be home for the holidays. To me I associate snow with Christmas. It will be a quiet one here with our flip flops and white sand. Thanks for Sharing 🙂
I would love to have flip flops and white sand again for Christmas this year. Instead, we will have snow, bitter cold temperatures, and howling wind! Boo!!!
Me and Phil have never travelling during the holiday season, what a nightmare, had your share of stress with the weather and delays! But sounds like you’ve made the right decision to take some time out! Merry Christmas!
It will be a nice break. I have a huge to-do list and looking forward to getting a jump on it for the New Year!
I don’t travel much any more around the holidays for the same reasons. Expensive and hectic. Although when I lived in Florida it was a nice time to visit the Keys. Enjoy your fire place and a cup of hot cocoa this time!
That is exactly what we will be doing! I loaded up on hot cocoa and peppermint schnapps at the store yesterday 🙂
Oh it sounds like you’ve had some holiday travel nightmares! Nothing is worse than delays which cause you to miss days of your long-awaited and hard-earned vacation, and then food poisoning on top of that!! Honestly, I like the thought of just hanging around home for the holidays, relaxing, catching up on sleep, etc. It’s just way too hectic to travel during the holidays. Although this is my 3rd year abroad for the holidays! Though I’m not traveling. 🙂
Yes, those two holiday trips of ours haven’t been fun! We are looking forward to a little break and catching up on things this year. Between FT jobs, travel, school, and life, we are looking forward to a break! Enjoy your holidays abroad!!
Now that you’ve mentioned these, I’m a bit nervous about our upcoming holiday vacation! I really hope that the weather cooperates. It is true, a lot of flights are being delayed and cancelled due to bad weather. It never occurred to us to book an adults-only resort but now I’m wishing that we have done that too. Oh and I definitely agree with you on the price surge of hotels during the holidays. It’s crazy! That’s why we booked at hotels we have points on. I think the points didn’t change that much. I’m hoping this upcoming holiday vacation will be stress-free!
I hope you have something fun planned for the holidays! I’m sure it will be great!! Using points is a good idea too 🙂 Have a wonderful time – can’t wait to hear about it when you return!
Traveling during holidays can be hectic and expensive. In fact, this is the first year I will be travelling for Christmas and NYE, first time I am going out of Europe and I am prepared for everything. I hope you will have a lovely Christmas!
You will have a great time. Just remember, patience is a virtue this time of year!!! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas too. Safe travels!!
Honestly I never planned any trips during Christmas period – somehow it’s a time to be with my family and have some rest after all trips 🙂 And this year – just happen that I will be out of Indonesia between Christmas and New Year 🙂 So will be new experience for me 🙂
That will be great! Enjoy your time with family, resting, and experiencing Indonesia!!
I hate the fact that the prices are jacked up at this time of year. We are missing Christmas with our kids but flying back to Australia mid January when prices are a little cheaper. We can get cheaper flights in the middle of the year but that is the South Australian winter and we don’t think we can cope with the cold after so long in the tropics!… so we will just pay the extra!
Celebrating with them in January will be really nice! I get why they do it from a business standpoint, but from the consumer side of things, it is so irritating! Enjoy a great delayed holiday with your family!!
[…] – it’s hard to believe we are at the year’s end! As you may have seen, we are not traveling over Christmas break this year. Looking back at the year, it was more than full of new places and adventures and we […]
We avoid the holiday season and opt to stay at home for these very reasons. We love travelling but like to do it when it’s not so frantic and also when the prices are what they should be. We are lucky that our families are close by but unfortunately others are not. #feetdotravel
I agree, it’s better to do it when it’s more reasonable all the way around! Our family will all be here, so that makes it much easier! Merry Christmas to you!!
Merry Christmas to you too! 😀
I don’t think that I could ever travel over Christmas! I can imagine the airports would be hectic and I would missing family too much! I hope you enjoy your time at home 🙂
We never go anywhere over Christmas either – I resent the ridiculous cost of everything plus in the last few years my husband has qualified as a nurse and doesn’t get any time off (he always seems to work Boxing Day!)
So we will be enjoying Christmas at home in the UK!
Congrats on his achievement! That’s really cool, but we know directly how those rotating shifts seem to conflict with holidays at times. Enjoy your time at home!!
*looks warily at flight to Jamaica scheduled for the 23* I am now terrified that we’re going to miss our flight. We actually went through some things similar to this during our honeymoon, cancelled flights and stuff, but Christmas travel actually makes me MORE nervous as we’ve never done it before. I think we’re planning to get to the airport hours before we have to leave, so fingers crossed!
Anyways, these are all great reasons to stay home for Christmas, and honestly, I don’t blame you one bit. If it weren’t for the fact that we have 11 days off over Christmas, we’d stay home too. I hate that the prices are so high and everything is so busy, but I guess that’s what happens when people (especially Americans) get so few days off a year. Eep!
Enjoy your holidays! I hope you both take it easy and have a relaxing time. Cheers!
Yes, I totally get it! I get 1.5 weeks off at Christmas which is why we started traveling over the holiday (previous jobs didn’t give me time off) and part of why staying home this year is hard. But, I’m sure we’ll survive. Have a great time and safe travels. Can’t wait to hear about it!!! Merry Christmas!!
I haven’t been travelling during the Christmas period for the same reasons! Too many screaming kids, missed flights and prices as high as the Eiffel tower. It’s best to save up money for travels in the calmer times in January and February so totally agree with your point of view!
Now that I think about it, I don’t think I have ever flown for the holiday season. Luckily our family is within driving distance so we don’t have to brave airports and increased flight prices. Traveling is best when the airports aren’t as busy anyways.
Don’t blame you for taking a well deserved break over Christmas. Sometimes taking a break from travelling can be a good thing – it helps you recharge and look forward to your next trip even more! I always avoid travelling at Christmas and focus on spending time at home! Thanks for sharing
I definitely don’t blame you staying at home over the festive period! Merry Christmas and enjoy planning next years trips 🙂