Contemplating A Sunny Christmas Abroad

Christmas is a celebration tied to tradition (and its lesser cousin, routine).British readers may have fond (or less than fond memories) of the exotic Christmases of Australian soap operas, with wall to wall southern hemisphere sun. Though thanks to transmission delays, Australians always seemed to be celebrating Christmas in February, so what did they know?

Terrible soap operas aside, the thought of a Christmas abroad is an odd one for many in the colder reaches of the northern hemisphere. And that’s precisely why you should do it! Whether you want to take your entire family along for the ride or you just want to escape them, a break in the routine will really change your outlook on the Christmas holidays. Can you image sunbathing after opening your presents? Feeling the sand between your toes as you stroll on some picturesque beach? Taking a dive into the crystal clear ocean after having loaded up on turkey? You owe it to yourself to try Christmas away from the panic of dinner and slighted relatives at least once, so here are our best places to be for the Christmas period.

For the Christmas Party Animal: Barbados

Barbados has all the best of the tropical sun as well as a very traditional outlook when it comes to the Christmas holidays. All those things you love about Christmas at home (minus the cold weather of course) are out in force: expect illuminated houses and streets coloured red and green, traditional decorations and festive outfits. There are also Christmas parades, and if you’ve been to Barbados at any of time of the year, you’ll know Barbados knows how to put on a parade.

Expect all the colour and festivity of Crop Over (and the Grand Kadooment parade in particular) with a Bajan edge. In fact, the Bajan tendency towards long festival periods is true of the winter too. At the end of November, Barbados celebrates its independence, so expect to see the national blue and gold in festive contests before a neat segue into Christmas. Christmas similarly sees the island playing host to concerts, seasonal plant-life and celebrities. If the endorsement of Mariah Carey and Simon Cowell isn’t enough for you, let me reassure you that the same mix of great sun, sea and sand is there to ensure that Barbados is one of the best choices for a warm Christmas.

For The Late Christmas Spender: Mauritius

Thousands of miles apart, Mauritius offers much the same sun, sea and sand experience as Barbados. So what sets it apart? For starters, there’s less Christmas here. Oh, the hotels and malls pay enough attention, but Mauritius is a multi-cultural nation, full of the temples, mosques and churches of religions that live exceptionally harmoniously. They all recognise the value in celebrating all the major holidays, and you’re just as likely to have fun during Divali or Eid.

In an increasingly secular society, the binding establishment is the shopping mall. You either like this face of Christmas or your heavily distrust it. But should you enjoy the side of Christmas that sees you spending money on the people you love, Mauritius’ ubiquitous Duty Free shopping will be a paradise of last minute present buying.

For the Christmasphobic: Egypt

Sometimes, it’s not just the dreary Christmas weather you want to escape. For those who simply want to escape Christmas itself, there aren’t many options that don’t involve finding a bunker and waiting for the fallout to dissipate after the New Year has left. Truth is, you may see a Christmas tree or some trace of tinsel in Egypt this December, but anything you do see will be pure tokenism, letting you focus on the many reasons to holiday in this fantastic, historical country. Whether it’s a picturesque cruise down the nile, a diving holiday in Sharm El Sheik or a visit to the pyramids, Egypt has plenty to offer, any time of the year.


Steph Wood is a copywriter working for Tropical Sky, who offer All inclusive holidays to Caribbean destinations and more.

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