Money Matters Team

Save money by going abroad for Christmas

By Money Matters Team 19/10/2015

Last Christmas Johanna Payton travelled to Tenerife with her husband Matthew Swan and son Eliott, and discovered it was both a cost-effective move and fun for the whole family.

Great-value break

"We’re not big on Christmas tradition and used to go away in the UK before Eliott was born. When Eliott was little it was nice to spend Christmas at home, but we were itching to escape all the hype and hysteria of the festivities. As soon as we felt he was old enough, we booked a Christmas break to Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

"I expected it to be expensive, but it didn’t cost much more than a normal week’s holiday. In fact, as we weren’t spending the money we usually would on entertaining, it was great value.

Budget in advance

"Flying out just before Christmas meant we had to be organised, but I tend to fill the days before Christmas with panic-driven tasks that send my blood pressure through the roof, so it felt great to just fly off into the sunset. Not travelling to see family certainly saved us money. Some years we’ve gone to Yorkshire to see my dad and France to see my mum. We’ve also hosted my husband’s family – and the cost really racks up.

"At home, we tend to eat out a lot at Christmas, so staying full board at the hotel saved us money, plus drinks were much cheaper than in the UK. We also paid for it all in the summer, which made it easier to budget for presents.

The best present ever

"The hotel and beaches were quiet, but it was busy enough to have a great atmosphere – the fact that everyone at home was freezing cold and fighting over the washing-up made us feel very smug! There were festive decorations everywhere, sparkling in the sun, and because Christmas Eve is the big day in Tenerife, Christmas Day is party time.

"We left most of Eliott’s presents behind but he didn’t care at all – on Christmas Day, he was playing on an inflatable obstacle course in the pool all morning, and he still says it’s the best present he’s ever had.

"We had the time of our lives and could just relax – instead of stressing over frozen turkeys and sprouts!"

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