Late December ushers in perfect weather
As the festive season approaches, the desire to go on holiday intensifies, bringing joy to budget-conscious travellers.
If you’re yearning for a Christmas getaway without breaking the bank, you’re in for a treat!
From tropical paradises to cultural gems, there are plenty of places to allow you to experience the magic of Christmas without breaking the bank.
Get ready to unwrap the gift of affordable wanderlust as we explore some budget-friendly havens that promise a festive escape like no other!
Here are 10 cheap holiday destinations for Christmas, where you can revel in the spirit of the season without the financial strain.
Average Temperature: 21°C – 29°C
Cancun is a purpose-built resort city located on the Yucatán Peninsula, overlooking the Caribbean.
The region immediately to its south is referred to as the Riviera Maya, encompassing the nearby Cozumel island.
Essentially, they constitute the same travel market, boasting a collective of nearly 1,000 hotels.
All these accommodations are conveniently served by the expansive Cancun Airport, offering affordable flights from various locations.
The locale has been witnessing a growing presence of all-inclusive resorts.
Late December ushers in perfect weather and with a plethora of hotels vying for business, securing holiday room rates below £100 per night is readily achievable.
Package deals to Cancun enjoy widespread popularity, especially for early birds seeking optimal deals.
A 3-star accommodation may equate to a standard city hotel room, whereas 4-star options invariably consist of splendid resorts featuring pools, often situated along the coastline.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Average Temperature: 22°C – 28°C
The Dominican Republic, nestled in the Caribbean, is renowned for its expansive all-inclusive hotels, known for their affordability.
Punta Cana is situated on the eastern tip.
Alternatively, the north’s Puerto Plata is another cheap holiday destination to visit.
Both resort regions boast approximately 200 hotels each, with dozens being all-inclusive resorts strategically designed to cater to visitors for the entire duration of their stay.
Late December sees comparable weather and resort prices in both locales, making either a suitable choice for those seeking an economical and warm destination for a week-long getaway.
The allure of the Dominican Republic is further heightened by the enticing prices offered in flight and hotel packages, with early bookings typically securing the most favourable deals.
Average Temperature: 16°C – 22°C
Among Spain’s Canary Islands, Tenerife is the most English language-friendly.
It is located just west of Morocco and shares a latitude similar to central Florida.
Although it is not as hot as some of the other Christmas holiday destinations, Tenerife still offers great weather, making it a highly favoured option for Europeans seeking a warmer climate during the festive period.
Due to it not being the prime beach season, Tenerife’s hotels remain quite affordable during the Christmas holiday period.
Overall, the cost of living on the island is reasonable.
This becomes even more attractive if you are in search of a destination with reasonably priced airfares from other European locations.
The region around Los Cristianos and Playa de la Americas is particularly accommodating for English speakers, offering the most consistently warm weather in the area.
Average Temperature: 2°C – 7°C
A Christmas getaway to Bologna is a great option, especially when you consider the enchanting Santa Lucia Christmas Market.
It is a haven for acquiring delectable Italian treats and charming handmade decorations for your Christmas tree.
While in Bologna, take a stroll through the city to appreciate its architecture.
A must-visit is the Basilica of San Petronio, the main church and the 10th largest church globally, ensuring you won’t overlook this captivating structure as you wander through Piazza Maggiore.
Given Italy’s renowned culinary prowess, a visit to Bologna’s food market is imperative.
Among the oldest and most popular in the region, it offers an array of cheeses, pasta and other delectable delights.
Although prices may surpass those at local supermarkets, the high-quality products are undeniably worth the investment and make for excellent souvenirs or Christmas gifts for loved ones.
For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Bologna provides a fascinating escape from the winter chill.
With exhibits spanning Celtic, Roman, and even Egyptian eras, a few hours here will transport you through time.
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
Average Temperature: 15°C – 23°C
Situated at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, Sharm el-Sheikh serves as the equivalent of Cancun or Mallorca for the region, albeit with slightly milder temperatures in December.
This purpose-built resort destination has long attracted European visitors and others seeking a getaway.
Despite its remote location and historical resilience against nearby turmoil, the current trend sees many of its enthusiasts opting for alternative destinations.
In the past, Egypt faced security challenges, deterring a significant influx of tourists.
At one point, beach resorts were offering accommodation for under £30 per night for two people.
But the country has experienced a period of stability for several years now, and European visitors are gradually returning to rediscover the allure of Sharm el-Sheikh.
And prices are still budget-friendly, with four-star hotels costing around £90 per night for two people during December.
Average Temperature: 0°C – 4°C
Opting to spend your Christmas holidays in Budapest promises a delightful experience.
The city boasts both a Christmas market and a Christmas fair, creating a captivating winter atmosphere for exploration.
Among Budapest’s top attractions are its renowned thermal baths.
Picture yourself immersed in one of these baths outdoors, surrounded by freezing weather – a heavenly sensation and a perfect prelude to relaxation as the year draws to a close.
Budapest is a treasure trove of beautiful sights, including the awe-inspiring architecture of the Parliament building and the Fisherman’s Bastion.
Be sure to charge your power bank, as the city’s picturesque landscapes will likely prompt you to capture numerous moments.
Following your sightseeing adventures, indulge in Hungarian treats and warm up with mulled wine at the Christmas markets.
Explore the array of handmade gifts and crafts available, suitable for yourself, your family and your friends. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit and enjoy a memorable Christmas in Hungary.
Average Temperature: 21°C – 33°C
For decades, Goa has been a renowned haven for hippies.
But during the Christmas period, Goa has become increasingly popular with families, including many from different parts of India.
Goa boasts over a dozen distinct, laidback beach towns, each catering to its unique group of enthusiasts.
Despite December being the busiest time of the year, room rates remain quite reasonable.
Four-star hotels in Goa generally offer a commendable experience and excellent value during the Christmas season.
For two people, prices are around £130 per night on average.
Choosing the right hotel in India can be challenging but there are delightful options available during the festive period.
Average Temperature: 24°C – 31°C
Phuket is Asia’s top beach destination, with over 1,000 hotels and resorts.
This island comprises approximately 12 distinct beach areas, each exhibiting its unique characteristics.
Patong Beach is the largest beach area but its large crowds can be off-putting.
For a slightly more tranquil experience, Karon and Kata, neighbouring beach areas, offer a respite.
Additionally, various enclaves feature luxurious hotels and resorts catering to those seeking an upscale experience.
Despite being a favoured Christmas destination for northern Europeans over the decades, Phuket remains surprisingly affordable, even during its peak season.
While beachfront or nearby hotels command higher prices, those willing to venture a bit on foot can find excellent value even during the festive season.
Christmas hotel rates start from £20 per night for two people, making Phuket a great December getaway.
Average Temperature: 4°C – 9°C
When picturing the Emerald Isle, the bustling streets of Dublin with the iconic red walls of Temple Bar and numerous bridges often come to mind.
But a budget-friendly option this December is Galway.
Galway’s Christmas market is a nostalgic journey to childhood, featuring the 32-metre Big Wheel welcoming locals and visitors alike in Eyre Square at the heart of the city.
Witnessing the beauty of Galway from this elevated perspective is a must-have experience.
While in Galway, a stroll along High Street during the holidays is reminiscent of magical settings like Diagon Alley from Harry Potter.
The vibrant lights, amiable locals and spirited Irish holiday atmosphere create the perfect festive ambience.
For those seeking more exhilaration, head to Blackrock for the Christmas Day Swim. Beyond being a fun activity, this event serves as a charitable endeavour, allowing participants to dive into the water while raising funds for a good cause.
Average Temperature: 26°C – 30°C
Unlike other holiday destinations, December is one of Bali’s rainy months so Christmas visitors can anticipate a few downpours per week, although these showers are typically brief.
Despite the occasional rain, Bali remains a highly sought-after Christmas holiday destination.
The renowned surf beach spanning Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak on the west coast is the busiest and most popular area.
However, there are numerous quieter beach spots, along with the upland town of Ubud in the central hills.
Those seeking a more upscale experience might explore the tourist enclave of Nusa Dua in the south, characterised by large chain hotels frequently hosting honeymooning couples.
Although room rates for 2023 have seen a slight increase from 2022, they remain remarkably affordable, given the quality of most accommodations.
Bali’s abundance of hotels means that securing a good deal, even at the last minute, is feasible.
A festive escape doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.
These budget-friendly havens not only offer a reprieve from the winter chill but also provide a unique opportunity to celebrate the season in diverse and memorable settings.
Whether you’re dreaming of a sun-soaked beach retreat or a cultural exploration, these 10 destinations cater to every taste.
So, as you plan your Christmas getaway, remember that the magic of the season isn’t confined to extravagant spending.
Embrace the joy of exploration, the warmth of new traditions and the camaraderie of fellow travellers in these affordable gems.