Sun, Sea and Snow: The Rise in Spending Christmas Abroad

Do you dream of spending Christmas in a snow-covered winter wonderland or a tranquil, tropical destination? If either scenario sounds heavenly to you, then you’re with the two thirds (67%) of Brits who want to go away for the festive season (42% abroad and 25% in the UK).

Love to stay put and spend Christmas surrounded by your home comforts? You’re among a third of Brits who wouldn’t consider spending this magical day away from home.

How do we know this? Our Bolsover Cruise Club team were curious about Britain’s Christmas habits and decided to do a little research. From celebrating overseas to outdated traditions, here’s what else we uncovered.

most googled holiday destinations

Festive Fun in New York and Melbourne

For Brits, Christmas Day can be dark and dreary, with less than desirable weather. So, when we asked where you’d rather enjoy the festivities, it’s unsurprising that snowy cities and hot locations featured in the top 10.

In poll position, New York claimed the number one spot, Melbourne came in second, while sunny St. Barts came in third. Our other dream destinations included the Christmas markets of Berlin, romantic streets of Paris and scenic Sorrento.

We also found that Brits like to plan their Christmas escapes in advance, with 18,100 Google searches for ‘Christmas holidays 2018’ in December 2017. Plus, we’re already planning for next year, with ‘Christmas holidays 2019’ searched 1,000 times this September.

most popular christmas destinations

Trees and Presents: Traditions Brits Love

Christmas is a time for traditions, from feasting on turkey to indulging on mince pies, but which ones do we hold most dear?

Over half of our respondents (53%) look forward to putting up the tree, while the excitement of opening presents on Christmas morning is still a must for 49%. This is followed by having turkey with Christmas dinner (46%), placing wrapped gifts under the tree (45%) and having Christmas dinner at home (44%).

Meanwhile 43% of us place importance on sending Christmas cards, staying in our own homes and pulling a Christmas cracker. While around a third of Brits say mince pies (36%) and spending Christmas Day with extended family members (33%) are important, too.

Mistletoes and Pantomimes: Least Important Traditions

Speaking of tradition, while us Brits love trimming the tree and opening gifts, there’s others we feel are a little outdated.

For example, there are very few of us who think decorating with mistletoe (7%), holly or ivy (9%) is important. While going to a pantomime (10%), Christmas Eve service (11%), or singing carols (13%) are falling out of favour, too.

We’re also not so keen on drinking mulled wine (17%), leaving food and snacks for Santa and his reindeer (17%) or sitting around the TV to watch the Queen’s speech (18%). While for a fifth of us, decorating the door with a wreath (20%) or putting presents in stockings (21%) are no longer as significant.

Mistletoe decoration

Outdated Traditions by Gender and Age

Although our favourites are changing across the nation, our least important Christmas traditions also vary by gender and age. For example, both women (1st) and men (2nd) agree that decorating with mistletoe is no longer essential.

Women also place less importance on decorating with holly or ivy (2nd) or attending a Christmas Eve service (3rd). While for men, it’s going to a panto (1st) and singing carols (3rd).

This theme continues with age groups, as displaying holly or ivy got the least number of votes from 25-34 (7%) and 35-44 year olds (6%). Using mistletoe in our decorations is also falling by the wayside with 55-64 year olds (6%) and those over 65 (8%). But, for the 18-24 bracket, it’s watching the Queen’s speech that’s no longer relevant (9%), while for those aged 45-54, it’s the Christmas panto.

Delectable Christmas Dinner Dishes

It’s impossible to deny that we’re a nation of foodies and for Brits, having a proper Christmas dinner is a must. After all, what could be better than a festive feast with all the trimmings? However, we all have our favourites and we wanted to find out which dishes tempt our taste buds the most.

Taking the top spot? It’s official: roast potatoes are the UK’s favourite Christmas food item, taking almost three quarters of the vote (73%). In second? Roasties are followed closely by our must-have meat, turkey (68%).

In close contention, 3rd place goes to stuffing (61%), 4th to carrots (60%) 5th is gravy (58%), 6th is Brussels sprouts (57%) and 7th to pigs in blankets (56%). In the remaining top 10, there’s also the humble Yorkshire pudding (47%), as well as parsnips (45%) and broccoli (33%).

Christmas Turkey

Christmas Your Way

Are you one of the two thirds of Brits who could be heading overseas for a Christmas getaway? Or do you plan on staying at home, partaking in some of the nation’s favourite festive pastimes? Whether you’ll be lounging on a beach or gorging yourself on one too many roasties, embrace your favourite traditions and enjoy Christmas your way.

brits spending christmas abroad

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Author: Abbie

Social media manager, Bolsover Cruise Club. Worked in social media and travel for over 5 years. Loves using emojis wherever possible and turns the smallest of ideas into something content worthy. Favourite things; the colour yellow, pandas and spaniels.