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Though the Christmas holidays are traditionally a time to celebrate close to home with friends and family, our recent study reveals that the British that plan on catching a flight during the 2012 holiday season, whether it be with the traditional airlines or low cost, aren’t staying close to home.

The top 10 most popular destinations are all outside of the UK and represent a multi-cultural selection of cities. Whether it be a long-haul flight to Bangkok or a quick jet across the ocean to Lisbon, Brits are going global.

Keep reading to find out some of the best Christmas activities in each of the top 10 destinations.

top destinations eDreams UK christmas study

1. Bangkok, Thailand

christmas in bangkok
image by Pok: A New Journal of a new Life on flickr

The city truly lights up during Christmas as buildings, trees, food stalls, and even some tuk-tuks are decorated with sparkling strings of lights. Visit the largest Christmas tree in Bangkok at the CentralWorld Square and relax at the local beer gardens set up.

2. New York, New York (USA)

new york city christmas
image by gothamist.com

Christmas in NYC isn’t complete without seeing the holiday window displays at the department stores and ice skating in the shadow of the enormous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

3. Sofia, Bulgaria

sofia christmas
image by programata.bg

Visit the Sofia Christmas Market called Kolidariya in Borisova Gradina park. The market offers food and drink and activities for younger crowds.

4. Bucharest, Romania

bucharest christmas
by goeasteurope

The Romanian capital decorates the city’s plazas with lights and trees, but the most famous city in Romania for Christmas is Sibiu, which holds its annual Christmas market, attracting visitors from near and far.

5. Johannesburg, South Africa

johannesburg christmas
image by Derek Keats on flickr

You can celebrate Christmas in shorts and a tank top in Joburg. Enjoy a locals style Christmas meal of turkey, mince pie, roasted beef, yellow rice with raisins, and plum pudding before heading to the beach to see the fireworks show.

6. Lisbon, Portugal

lisbon christmas
image by Mr Conguito on flickr

See panoramic views of Lisbon including Europe’s largest Christmas tree from  Parque Eduardo VII, enjoy a concert at the Lisbon Cathedral, and get your sweet fix with a traditional Christmas treat, Bolo Rei (King’s Cake).

7. Sydney, Australia

sydney christmas
image by joemills2 on flickr

Load up on a festive meal of prawns, lobsters, crabs, mussels, scallops, pippies and cold salad, Christmas means summer in Sydney so there’s no need for warm weather food. See the giant tree at Martin Place, the street performers, and the light projections on the facade of the Sydney Town Hall.

8. Orlando, Florida (USA)

orlando christmas
image by SpreadTheMagic on flickr

Orlando is famous for their attraction parks and during Christmas they get in the spirit with decorations and costumed characters. Spend Christmas with Mickey at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, get a multi-cultural experience at Epcot Center’s Holidays Around the World program, or hang out with Dr. Seuss and the Grinch at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

9. Dubai, Dubai (UAE)

dubai christmas
image by misc9 on flickr

Christmas has made it to the desert in the form of Santa, lights, and the Dubai Christmas Festival with festive food and workshops for all. If you have to see a bit of snow on Christmas or you just can’t get in the spirit you can go skiing in the Mall of Emirates at Ski Dubai.

10. Cape Town, South Africa

cape town christmas
image by DanieVDM on flickr

Don’t miss the lighting arrangement on Adderley Street, the Christmas carols at Greenmarket Square, and Santa’s arrival at Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

3 responses to “British Travel Trends – Christmas Holidays 2012

  1. Key destinations for UK travellers are also identified in the report, with Britons likely to flock to countries including Cyprus, China and Dubai in the near future.

  2. New York is a solid choice this year as I am sure people are wondering how the city has recovered from the recent superstorm. Prices/rates may be down as a result.

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