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3 Tips For A Memorable Destination Christmas


There’s no place like home for the holidays, especially if you’re a kid. So what happens when you, the parents, want a change of scenery and decide to spend Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s Eve away from home at a snow-bound ski chalet in the Rockies or on a sunny island in the Caribbean?

How do you maintain the homey traditions your kids love and look forward to while also creating new and unique holiday memories?

One of the best things I get to do is to help families bring their traditions with them when they decide to spend the Christmas break away from home. Here are my three favorite tips for how families can take a little bit of home with them when they travel during the holiday season.

3 Tips for Celebrating Christmas at a Vacation Destination

boxes for shipping Christmas presentsShip Your Stuff

Ski pants and winter boots fill a suitcase quickly. So do holiday presents.

Instead of schlepping giant suitcases to the airport and paying checked baggage fees, ship bulky items to your destination ahead of time in flat-rate boxes from the U.S. Postal Service or FedEx.

Your kids can have the Christmas morning they hope for. And you don’t have to skip your traditional ugly-sweater photo!

If you can, alert your hotel or the property manager at your rental that you have packages coming.

Make Friends with the Concierge

a must-do destination in NYC at ChristmasAlmost every destination has a Christmas event you have to do, and that you need to book ahead. For example, “The Nutcracker” is a hot ticket in any city with a ballet company.

Even if you didn’t plan ahead your hotel concierge might be able to round up tickets if you ask nicely.

Whether your tradition is to grab Chinese on Christmas or eat an indulgent brunch on New Year’s Day, your concierge can recommend the local spots that work best for families and make reservations for you.

(Read about the Nutcracker in New York CityAtlanta and Denver).

Book a Home Instead of a Hotel Room

There is something about waking up Christmas morning in a hotel room that’s not quite right.  They can be cramped instead of cozy and it’s harder to hang around in your pajamas all morning.

christmas stockings make any place homeyHouses and condos come with a kitchen and living room, maybe even a dining room. On Christmas morning you can have a leisurely family breakfast and linger over a second up of coffee in your PJs while kids play with new toys.

After the kids are tucked in on Chriasmas eve you can curl up on the couch with a glass of wine or spiked hot cocoa.

You can even recreate you usual holiday feast—if you want to.Upscale vacation home communities often have shopping services that will fill your fridge for you. If yours doesn’t you might find a local concierge service to shop and even cook for you; they’re somewhat common in tourist destinations.

The bigger vacation rental websites have a huge selection of homes for a variety of budgets, (though you give up some hotel services and amenities).

Upscale rental companies sometimes offer extras like a concierge and daily housekeeping. If there’s no concierge, remember that you’re on vacation. Leave the beds. It that bothes you, leave the bedroom doors closed.

Most rentals are roomy enough for extended family to join you, so you don’t have to choose between having a vacation and having family time. (Read our tips for sharing a rental home with family).

Daniel Rosalky is Chief Escapist for Inspirato, a private club that combines resort-style services and customized pre-trip planning with the privacy and space of a vacation home experience. 

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