You can't wait to get away for your dream Christmas abroad, but what should you take to make sure your holiday is full of festive spirit? These are our top tips for what to pack for a Christmas break.
A Clever, Capsule Wardrobe
Whether you're heading to the snow for a traditional yuletide or the sun for some winter warmth, you'll need to pack light and clever. Take a pared-down collection of suitable clothes, so that you can mix and match for different occasions. Include items that can be layered if it gets colder than expected, and accessories such as belts, scarves and jewellery to jazz up when necessary.
It's definitely worth going off piste a little with the gifts and perhaps planning a shopping trip with your friends or family to treat them while you're on holiday. Maybe book tickets to a show or event that you can enjoy together when overseas. You could order gifts online in advance and have them delivered to your accommodation if practical. Children are definitely going to expect toys to unwrap on the big day!
If you're determined to take actual gifts on the flight, buy them at the airport shops after you've been through security so you don't risk breakages or a beautifully wrapped present being opened by airport officials. Pack some folded giftwrap and labels in your main bag or buy them at your destination. For any presents you really must pack in advance, read the current baggage restrictions and your airline's luggage allowances.
Festive Food and Drink
Depending on where you're heading you may be able to fill your boots with seasonal goodies at your destination. If you know there's going to be a serious lack of mince pies and Piccalilli (maybe that's just me), check the current restrictions for hand and hold luggage and find out what you can reasonably take with you. As with gifts, you could also order online in advance and have a festive shop delivered to your destination.
You're likely to rapidly come over all Scrooge if your main bag goes walkabout during the flight. To minimise the impact on yourself and those around you, pack some overnight essentials (travel-size toothbrush, toothpaste, wipes and moisturiser) in your hand luggage. This is another good reason not to pack anything too precious in your hold baggage.
Seasonal Tunes and Snacks
Travelling is going to be particularly hectic and emotional at this time of year so remember to pack plenty of snacks, drinks and distractions for frantically festive little (and big) ones. Make sure you've loaded your iPod with Christmas tunes and your tablet with magical movies and games. Don't forget to fully charge all your devices before travelling to comply with the latest security restrictions.
Deck the Halls
Try to squeeze in a few light, fabric or paper decorations to bring some traditional seasonal cheer to your destination!