It’s July the 15th and the hottest day of the year, I’m sat in my shorts and T-shirt in the noon day sun writing this blog about planning for Christmas. Why? you may very well ask, have I lost the plot completely? hopefully not, the answer is simple if you don’t get organised you either miss out or pay over the odds, neither of these options ever sit well with me or I suspect you!
Don’t get me wrong things are always a tad pricey at Christmas but what is certain, they won’t get any cheaper. This applies to a whole range of things from that favourite restaurant, (already taking bookings at my local) hotels in the UK or holidays abroad. Christmas doesn’t get anymore ‘peak season’ so don’t expect that last minute bargain if you hang on to the last minute hoping something will turn up. All that will do is leave only very expensive 2nd or 3rd choice options or worse still no option at all and that leaves the final nightmare scenario – spending time with the in-laws.
So for travel arrangements the deal is book early and bite the bullet on the price, at least by booking early it gives you more time to save up and budget, keep in mind all the positives: firstly you’ll have the brag factor on your return, all your friends that didn’t plan ahead will agree that they’ll do the same next year, you’ll save money on all the things you normally have to attend at home, you can only take small token presents due to the weight restrictions on the plane, you’ve topped up your vitamin D to get you through the next 3 months, the list is endless…
To do Christmas on a budget you’ll need to mess with the calendar, some people don’t buy presents at Christmas but buy them in the January sales instead, likewise if you celebrate Christmas early then just have a normal weekend over the Christmas period you can save a fortune, holidays to the canary islands are around half price in early December than later in the month.
Another good idea is to go on a Christmas markets tour, these are reasonably priced breaks (as they are in late November to mid December) you can buy cheap, quirky, local handcrafts and other gifts for all the family. Get into the Christmas spirit as all the towns and stalls will be bedecked with seasonal decorations and the stalls will be manned by friendly locals dishing out gluhwein, plus you can bring back a load of cheap booze to quaff over the yuletide festivities – Voila!
Note, these tours are also popular so plan now and book early.