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The 5 Best Destinations for Christmas Family Holidays

by Poppy Weldon

With winter always approaching faster than you’d expect, many UK families are starting to think about where they can go for some much-needed sunshine and adventure. If you’re looking for an unusual, sunny and exotic destination for your Christmas family holidays, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent are ideal places to go. With their incredible array of experiences be they wildlife, foodie and or cultural, there’ll be something for everyone. Here are five top winter holiday destinations to consider, along with some tips for planning your trip.

1. Thailand for Christmas

Thailand makes a perfect Christmas destination thanks to the weather, the abundance of interesting things to do and places to stay, and its relative ease to get and explore.

The weather in Thailand is at its best between late October and early February, with very little rain and slightly cooler temperatures than the rest of the year. This high season does mean it’s also the most popular time to go so we recommend booking early to make sure you get the flights and hotels you want. 

  • Best time to visit: Late October to early February
  • How far in advance to book: Book early to get the flights and hotels you want
  • Flight time: Approximately 12 hours direct from the UK

Suggested things to do:

basket weaving-IMG_9869 copy

2. Vietnam for Christmas

Vietnam offers a great mix of culture and beaches, and is especially good for families with children who love train rides. The reunification railway is a brilliant experience for all ages and lets you see the stunning countryside whilst skipping domestic flights. It also offers excellent value direct flights from the UK and across the country with Vietnam Airlines.

  • Best time to visit: Good weather all over the country in December
  • How far in advance to book: Book as far in advance as possible to avoid issues with availability
  • Flight time: Approximately 12 hours direct from the UK

Suggested things to do:


3. Cambodia for Christmas

Cambodia is a great destination for families who want an exciting Christmas with a difference. Siem Reap is the perfect place to impress the kids – skip stockings at the end of the bed for sunrise on the lake and floating villages. Ditch Charades for cycling through tomb raider-style temples. And swap Xmas lunch for quad biking through the tropical countryside at sunset.

  • Best time to visit: Good for Christmas
  • How far in advance to book: At least 6 months in advance, or 9 months if you want to ensure you get a room at Song Saa or Shinta Mani Wild
  • Flight time: Approximately 15 hours in total, including a stop in either Bangkok, Singapore or Dubai

Suggested things to do:


4. Sri Lanka & The Maldives for Christmas

Sri Lanka and the Maldives offer a perfect mix of adventurous and relaxing experiences, and are especially good for children who love wildlife. The south coast beaches can be a little unreliable in terms of weather in Sri Lanka which is why we suggest you combine a visit in December to the country with The Maldives, just a 1-hour flight away. 

  • Best time to visit: December – Our winter, sunny beach break to escape UK winter weather
  • How far in advance to book: Book as soon as possible for the best value and availability
  • Flight time: Approximately 10-11 hours direct from the UK

Suggested things to do:

Family Sri Lanka Breakfast

5. India for Christmas

Large parts of India have good weather across December and a range of cultural, wildlife and relaxing experiences. Focus on Rajasthan south of Jaipur and you’ll get comfortable temperatures and blue skies and an opportunity to experience rural Rajasthan and its amazing forts, palaces and village colours.  Avoid the Golden triangle though unless you’re a fan or cold mornings and fog. 

Kerala though is perfect for a Christmas holiday.  Hot temperatures and Christian influence provide perfect contrasts for a Christmas break.   

Kerala doesn’t get booked up quite as quickly as other great Christmas destinations but to give yourself choice and time to plan, we recommend booking 8 months in advance.   

For a sneaky option at Christmas, why not consider Glenburn Estate?  Lower than Darjeeling it’s not quite as chilly and you get great Himalayan views.  Combined with the plains of West Bengal and Kolkata this is a great contrasting Christmas option.   

  • Best time to visit: Large parts of India have good weather across December
  • How far in advance to book: 8 months in advance
  • Flight time: Approximately 13 hours connecting flight from the UK

Suggested things to do:

  • Miniature Painting in Udaipur
  • Cruise the Keralan backwaters
  • Enjoy the Himalayan views from Glenburn Estate in Darjeeling
  • BONUS – for an added bit of luxury, why not take advantage of the direct flight from Cochin to Male to end Christmas on a spectacular note

Have a look at Eddie’s guide to family holidays in India for further inspiration.

Ed Delhi tuk tuk

No matter where you choose to go, booking early is key to securing the flights and hotels you want for your Christmas family holiday. So start planning now, and give your family a winter holiday to remember!


If you want to talk to an expert about planning your Christmas family holiday adventure, call 020 7924 7133  or email us with your questions. We’d love to chat.

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