When October rings around and the shops are full of tinsel, baubles and Christmas trees, it starts to look a lot like Christmas! Whether you enjoy getting into the spirit of Christmas early or prefer to wait a while, there’s a lot to love about the holiday.
Depending on your own family traditions, it could mean a huge bowl of prawns, a leg of ham and fruit and nut chocolate on the table shared with a dozen of your nearest and dearest. Or, it could be cracking open a couple of casual cold ones with the kids on the veranda.
Whatever you do, it’s a good excuse to catch up with family as a lot of businesses close over the Christmas period and schools wrap up for another year.
Even though the price of Christmas presents for the family could be adding up around this time, now is the best time of year to book a holiday.
Many people travel over the Christmas period to rush to see family or head away on a holiday while they have to take their annual leave, but over-60 travellers have the benefit of not having to go on holiday at this time, and can spend it with family instead.
After the ‘typical’ travel peak season of Christmas being done and dusted and you’ve enjoyed the holiday season with family, then it’s time to head away. The rest of the family is returning to work and school and let’s face it – sometimes after a hectic family catch up, we need a holiday!
So we’ve established the period after Christmas is the best time to travel, but why book now? Travel companies, especially cruise companies, are eager to get rid of their early 2018 holidays as everyone’s going to be too busy over the Christmas period to book a spontaneous holiday. It means that holidays on offer around this time are sometimes cheaper, or loaded with more extras such as on board credit, flight deals and other bonus inclusions. If you're looking to go on a cruise, here are some of the things to look for when booking.
We asked the Travel at 60 community if they travelled over the Christmas period or after, and most said they spent Christmas at home with the family before heading away on holiday afterwards.
Debbie says she loves having her family at home and then in the new year goes away on holiday. Gail agrees, saying, “Spend time with family [at Christmas], holidays when grandchildren are back at school.”
Others are combining their love of travel with their family celebrations. Josephine says she’s having Christmas at home and then taking a family cruise around New Zealand, and Marjorie says “Family cruise [to New Zealand] celebrating my twin daughters’ 50ths!”
Other over-60 travellers are having more action-packed holidays.
“Travel Oz for Nov, Christmas at home with All family at my daughter's house, Queen Mary for 2 weeks in March, Constellation Journeys around world for 3 weeks in April [sic],” Sue says. “It's all happening. Wouldn't miss Christmas with my family though!”
Rebecca is going on a whirlwind adventure too, but isn’t missing a family Christmas. “LA, Vegas, NY then Xmas and New Year [in the] UK with family, then home. Bring it on – 7 weeks of travel,” she said.
This article originally appeared on Starts at 60.