How to Celebrate Christmas While Traveling

Not everyone is home for Christmas and there can be a number of reasons why you're traveling over Christmas, including for work, travel experiences, emergencies, studies, and the like. This doesn't mean that Christmas has to be an event that passes by without recognition, and it's still possible to celebrate Christmas while traveling. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of a Christmas on-the-go.


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    Find out whether there are Christmas celebrations happening where you are. If you're still in your own country, this shouldn't be too difficult to find at local churches, community centers, municipal parks, etc. If you're traveling overseas to another country and you're in a country with Christian traditions, there should be a lot of similar opportunities available, subject to local traditions. And when attending church services and Christmas events, even if you don't speak the local language, it's still a great chance to soak up the atmosphere and see how other parts of the world celebrate Christmas.
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    If you're in a country that is not predominantly Christian, there are still often Christmas celebrations but you'll need to find out where the Christian communities are holding these. An online search is a good place to start, as is speaking to locals.
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    Even if you don't find any local celebrations, this doesn't prevent you and your companions from celebrating Christmas in your own way while traveling. You can still make the day festive by doing special Christmas related things including reflecting on the occasion.
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    Gather your friends/family. It's a lot more enjoyable if you can celebrate with someone else at Christmas time. This might include your travel companion(s), people you've recently met and made firm friendships with, family and friends you know in the country you're in, etc. Just do your best not to spend the day alone but to share the occasion with at least one other person.
    • If you are alone that day, look at ways to be around people, such as attending church services, having a restaurant meal, etc.
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    Consider taking a Christmas memento with you. If you know you'll be traveling at Christmas time, it can be heartwarming to have a small memento from home that represents Christmas, such as a fabric ornament, a card, or a Christmas message from your family. Take it out on Christmas Day and display it or wear it as appropriate, to give yourself a little personal Christmas cheer.
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    Try to link up with family back home. With Skype, emails, and other technological marvels, it's very easy to keep in touch by video for Christmas and to say your hellos and greetings, however short. Making this connection will help make it feel like a true Christmas.
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    Give yourself a gift. It's Christmas, so give in to your desire to buy something or do something that you've been holding off on. This can help to make the day feel more special and can reward your anticipation about something that you might not otherwise get or do.
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    Enjoy the opportunity to celebrate Christmas somewhere different. If you're celebrating Christmas overseas, it's worth enjoying the fresh take on Christmas. Take photos of the displays and other Christmas elements, and take time to walk around seeing what other people are doing.
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    Take a note from Scrooge. Find a way to do something good and important for someone else, a friend or relative, or perhaps a person you don't know so well in your Christmas location. You will not go to bed feeling you haven't had your Christmas. Guaranteed.


  • Realize that many people celebrate Christmas without snow and cold weather.
  • Go surfing, water skiing, and enjoy a seafood lunch for a change; just remember to slap on the sunscreen.
  • However, even where this occurs, there are usually some places that remain open, such as restaurants and cafes located in international hotels, stores and food outlets in specialized tourist quarters, and restaurants run by people who don't celebrate Christmas, such as Chinese restaurants.
  • It might seem unusual to you but for people in many countries, it's the normal Christmas season and it's a great opportunity to enjoy something new, such as Christmas in the heat!
  • Many restaurants will close on Christmas Day, depending on their location and local laws.


  • Be aware of Christmas hours when traveling.
  • Avoid making too much of Christmas or you can risk feeling particularly down on the day if nothing "Christmas like" happens for you.
  • Closures are commonplace for stores, museums, zoos, galleries, theme parks, banks, and many businesses. This could impact your ability to travel, get cash, find help, etc., so it is important to plan ahead if you're in a country where this will be an issue.

Things You'll Need

  • Gift
  • Restaurant
  • Skype account
  • Email
  • Whereabouts

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