Photo credit Tim Arnold and Valentin Petkov

Cheapest places to holiday in December

December kicks off the global festive season, so it’s the perfect time to pack up and go on an adventure. You get the best of weather extremes, with Christmas markets shimmering beneath first snow falls on one side of the world and the hot, summer sun hitting the beach on the other.

Prices do rise for flights and accommodation, however, the team at Travelscoop is always on the lookout for fantastic deals, so your Christmas holidays won’t break the bank.

Let’s take a look at some of our favourite destinations, to help you choose where to go on holidays in December.

Christmas Markets and City Breaks

Though you may need to rug up, December brings all the festivities you can possibly cram into a city break. Take a look at our Christmas Market page to get a taste of all the market breaks on offer.

Budapest, Hungary

The second December hits, it’s party time in Budapest, with a rich program of festivals sure to make all your Christmas dreams come true. At the top of the list are the Christmas markets, namely the one at Vorosmarty Square, which is a glittering haven of fairy-lights, gifts, food and revellers.

Soak in warm thermal baths while starring up at the stars, enjoy the ballet and Advent concerts, take a party cruise on the Danube and make sure you keep an eye out for a visit with Santa.

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Prague, Czech Republic

Prague’s Old Town Square is magical at any time of year, but at Christmas, it truly is a ‘Winter Wonderland’. Enjoy carols echoing through narrow alleyways and colourful market huts selling glassware, jewellery, lace, ornaments and traditional handicrafts.

As you stroll around with your hot mulled wine, you can sample sausages, cakes and pastries, visit animal stables and gaze in awe at fairy-lit Christmas trees. At this time of year, the opera and ballet season is in full swing and you’ll find live entertainment in cosy, underground bars and clubs.

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Las Vegas, USA

Though it can get a little chilly, sunny skies means Vegas in December is pleasant, regardless. The reason it’s a great month to visit, is that the glitz and glamour is ramped up with displays and fantastic entertainment, including the National Finals Rodeo events.

Christmas-themed events include incredible winter displays throughout the hotels, shops and casinos, so it’s basically all the bells and whistles of a typical Vegas holiday, with some seriously extravagant extras!

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Ski Holidays

Can’t wait to get your skis out and hit the slopes? You’ll be happy to hear there are plenty of options for early snow and many of the resorts are cheaper before Christmas. Keep your eyes on the snow conditions and chances are you’ll find great, last-minute deals when you want them.

Tignes, France

As far as reliable ski destinations go, Tignes takes the cake. The season lasts for most of the year and you can access some of Europe’s best slopes via lifts, for beginners, intermediates and expert skiers. The resort is split into five areas, each with its own character. Therefore, you’ll find accommodation from luxury spa hotels to self-catering apartments for groups and families, to suit a range of budgets.

Verbier, Switzerland

The four Valleys is home to Verbier, one of Switzerland’s premier ski resorts. If you can get there before Christmas, you’ll enjoy the scenic terrain without hordes of holiday tourists. This is the spot for those with a penchant for lively nightlife, after enjoying more than 400km of runs during the day. Accommodation ranges from elegant properties with panoramic views and spas, to cosy, value for money B&Bs.

Hafjell, Norway

When you want to take the family skiing and feel like you’ve got the slopes to yourselves, Hafjell is a fantastic choice in December. Located close to the town of Lillehammer, the resort offers skiing for every level, with trails through the woods, flat, wide slopes for the kids and sensational mountain views. Norway’s third-largest ski resort offers an array of cabins, hotels, apartments and chalets with easy access to restaurants and attractions.

Beach Holidays

If you’re on the hunt for warm weather, endless sunshine and long days at the beach, plan your long-haul trip for December. Though it’s peak season, when you go before Christmas you might just find a great bargain. Plus, in terms of spending money, the sand and sea are free and that’s the only place you’ll want to be!

Sydney, Australia

December in Sydney really does highlight the city’s incredible location. The Pacific Ocean glitters under perfect blue skies, along the famous beaches of Bondi, Coogee and Manly. You don’t need much, other than your bikini, flip-flops and towel, but if you want a touch of glamour, Sydney’s nightlife is at its prime during the summer season.

Take a cruise on the harbour, catch a show at the Opera House, visit Taronga Zoo and get your Aussie happy snaps from the stunning vantage points in the Royal Botanic Garden. Choose to splurge on accommodation in Darling Harbour or at the Rocks, or pick a central backpacker’s hostel, for budget-friendly prices.

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Phuket, Thailand

The start of the dry season heralds sunny days on the tropical beaches of Phuket, without the unrelenting humidity. Plus, though it’s always heaving with tourists, if you go before Christmas you’ll get in before most of the festivity-seekers arrive.

If you’re going on a romantic couple’s getaway, head to Bang Tao Bay for divine resorts and the chance to find a secluded spot on the beach. Karon and Kata offer a haven for families, away from the main hustle and bustle. Of course, if you love the hustle and bustle, Patong, near the infamous Bangla Road, is the choice for you.

Search for Phuket holidays.

Cancun, Mexico

‘Not too hot, not too cold’, describes Cancun’s near-perfect weather in December. White sand and aqua seas make all your photos look like postcards, while you shop, dine and play in Mexico’s top holiday destination.

If you manage to drag yourself from the sand, you can visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum, take a bird watching tour, swim with dolphins and party until the sun comes up, in one of the city’s legendary nightclubs.

Search for Cancun holidays.

Whether it’s snow, sun, beach or Christmas fun, December brings the festive mood to any holiday you choose. Keep checking your inbox for our weekly deals, as we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear about the best ones!

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