Where For Christmas 2011?

By: Robert Thomson

Christmas and New Year are two of the busiest times of the year for the travel industry, with many people taking flights to visit relations and friends, along with others who simply want to get away to spend the festive period abroad.

And for those who are choosing to go on holiday the Christmas break comes at a perfect time to give a choice of a sunshine break in warm winter destinations such as Tenerife, or for the more energetic taking to the slopes for skiing.

Skiing is particularly good with snow and open log fires to really celebrate the traditional Christmas Card theme, while for those who want to relax the Canary Islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote have temperatures in the 70's farenheit, beaches and all that coulb be expected on a summer holiday - in December and January.

For skiing, when you look at a map of North America and Europe there are some great destinations to choose from. The Italian Dolomites, the Alps for France and Switzerland and the Pyrenees for Andorra in Europe, and for Canada and the U.S. the best ski resorts are Whistler, Lake Louise and Banff in Canada, and for the U.S. Aspen, Lake Tahoe and Vail.

For the warmth and sunshine, a Tenerife map will show plenty of coastline with blue flag beaches, and a similar story is true of the other Canary Islands of Lanzarote and Gran Canaria.

And if you visit a High Street British Travel Agent and tell them you are after a Christmas sunshine holiday, it's a Tenerife map they're most likely to start looking at, or one of the other Canary Islands - Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. The Canaries are close to North Africa while still being in Europe, and their geographical position means the weather there is good all year round.

Travel agents are well versed in catering for those who want to get away for Christmas and the New Year with no less than three million Britons holidaying then, and it's worth asking for some recommendations after they look at the Tenerife map and what's available in Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. Ask them for their thoughts and advice if you're not sure of where you would like to go.

Alternatives they might suggest which are further afield than the Canary Islands includes the Caribbean. Barbados is the obvious answer for those with money, but also worth considering is St. Lucia.

Other locations outside of Europe for a sunshine holiday include Dubai - particularly good if you like shopping - Thailand and Goa. With parts of Thailand having experienced heavy floods in recent weeks check a map for resorts which haven't been affected. Egypt is another possibility but keep up to date with the news and check your respective government's travel advice before booking.

If you want to get away before the festivities begin but want to be home for Christmas, for those who want to get away but aren't necessarily beach lovers, New York is a perennial favourite before Christmas for some great shows, sightseeing and of course shopping. In Europe there's several well known Christmas markets on the continent, and from the UK organised trips are done by coach companies, and they offer from one to three nights inclusive breaks.

And if you have young children or grandchildren where better to take them for the magic of Christmas than Lapland? Most travel agents will have details of day trips and overnighters, but they're not cheap, and for those that do go on Lapland trips to see Father Christmas it's once in a lifetime trip.

Lapland, Tenerife, Barbados, Lanzarote or Dubia - there's a good choice and a break before or during the Christmas festivities can make the prospect of 2012 more bearable perhaps!

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If you're considering the Canaries for a Christmas and New Year holiday in Tenerife, Lanzarote or Gran Canaria, a map of Tenerife is available at www.tribunemap.com

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