5 Festive Havens Where it's Possible to Escape Christmas

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all? Well yes, most probably. But ‘they’ would rather just chill out on the beach, play with elephants, or eat fried chicken. Sound good? Come join them!

If you’re sick of the sight of fairy lights, bored of hearing Christmas songs on the radio and have had enough of your nearest and dearest’s Christmas jumper, consider spending next year in a place where you can curl up, hide and let Christmas pass you by. Here are a selection of festive havens where it’s possible to forget that Christmas even exists at all!

It’s Christmas, but not as we know it


The excited rustling of papers, the pungent smell, the rich flavours, what could be more Christmassy than a KFC? This is the meal of choice on Christmas Day in Japan, so much so, meals are pre-ordered way in advance. Christmas Day itself isn’t a national holiday, but there are plenty of parties and shops and malls are decorated with Christmas trees and lights.

Get a rail pass and escape to the beautiful shrines and gardens of Nara. Re-join society in time for New Year’s Eve – nowhere does it quite like Tokyo.


Orthodox countries like Russia celebrate Christmas on January 7, so it’s possible to hide out during the end of December and fly home before it starts coming into full swing in January. Good old ‘Father Frost’ brings presents to children on New Year’s Eve.

With snow, pine trees, and twinkly lights, it will look a lot like Christmas, but for those who dislike the day itself, it’s a great way to break the routine. This vast and fascinating country has lots to discover. Warm up with a vodka in Moscow before embarking on a great railway journey.


Oman is often overshadowed by Dubai, where big shiny malls do a roaring trade at Christmas time. Head to Muscat and you’ll find a much more authentic experience, with busting bazaars and fantastic food. The weather is mild and the beautiful scenery can be enjoyed without feeling like you’re about to melt and evaporate away at any moment. Head down to Salalah for slightly warmer temperatures, beautiful beaches and 4×4 adventures. We have some cheap flight deals into Muscat.


Stick two fingers up to consumerism and ask everyone to donate to your chosen project instead. Work at an elephant conservation project, teach kids in Cape Town, or save sea turtles in Costa Rica. Whatever you choose, you’ll feel a million miles away from all the stresses and strains of a British Christmas. Volunteering is a great chance to meet new people and learn new skills while everyone else is comatose in front of crap telly.

Even if you only have a week to spare, you could make a massive difference helping those in need. Now, isn’t that the true meaning of Christmas?


Like back and sip a Mai Tai in the sunshine while your friends and family are battling through crowds of shoppers back home. Fijians do celebrate Christmas but in a much more laid back way. They spend time with their families and go to church on Christmas Eve.

Fiji has hundreds of islands to explore with an Island Hopping Tour. It’s also a great stopover and well worth considering if you’re flying to or from Australia. So ditch ice skating in the rain for surfing in the sunshine – it’s a no-brainer, really.

Merry Christmas from everyone at the STA Travel Blog! If you’ve got big travel plans for 2014, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and join us back here for more posts like this in 2014.