I do love a Christmas break away. It started with a weekend city break to Berlin. The next year, it turned into an 8-day break covering Berlin, Cologne, Bruges and Brussels. Last year it extended again to just over 2 weeks, and I managed to visit 7 new cities.
And this year? Well, this year I’m hoping to extend it again and stretch it out to 23 days. Oh yes, in the world of full time work and limited annual leave, 23 days will be a dream! I’m still in the stages of having the leave approved, but my hopes are high it’ll go through ok. Which leads me to the planning phase…
With such a long time (compared to previous trips) I’m keen to make the most of it and venture further afield. I do love exploring Europe, and think December is a great time to visit, but I won’t have this length of time off of work often and want to take advantage of it. Plus, weekend breaks to Europe are a lot easier to take than a weekend break to Vegas.
So, what are the options? Well, everything really! It’s been agreed that Europe is off the cards, but aside from that we can’t really decide. One idea is to head to USA and city hop, visiting Las Vegas, LA, New Orleans/Nashville, New York, Washington DC and hopefully squeeze in a visit to Niagara Falls before flying home again. Alternatively, we could head down under and spend a bit of time in Australia. I’ve already spotted a train journey I’d love to take from Perth to Sydney, and with a family member currently travelling in Australia it would be nice to pop over and say hi. Or do I take myself completely out of my comfort zone and discover South East Asia? I’ve already planned a route through Cambodia that could be teamed up with a week or so elsewhere.
The opportunities that have been opened up with this time off have put so much on offer I’m having real difficulty deciding. There are a few main factors I have to take into account this year. I’ll be heading back to work for 3 or 4 days before having 10 days off for Christmas, so will need to consider jet lag. I’d also love somewhere we could explore a few different places that are actually different – last year we visited a few different countries and cities, but they were all fairly similar and by the time we arrived in Munich we weren’t in awe at the things we should have been, as we’d just spent two weeks looking at similar things! I also need to consider distance, in that I don’t want to spend half of the time off on a plane. I’m ok to fly, but I don’t always enjoy it and would always opt for a different mode of transport if it’s available. Trains in the USA are nuts and take a whole day because it’s such a large country, so it’s likely we’ll have to fly between cities – not a deal breaker but something I’ll take into account. And of course, cost – I haven’t won the lottery yet, so will need to bear in mind how much it’ll all cost.
Although there are no firm plans yet, I am so so so excited to get back out exploring. I would even be happy to find an Air B&B in a European city and get a real feel for a city rather than stopping by for just a few days. So many options, but thankfully I’ve got a little bit of time to decide!
Do you have any tips, trips or recommendations for me? I’d love to hear them!