Christmas is traditionally a time for families to get together, but if your extended family has grown in recent years – through marriage or the birth of new babies, for instance – it can become more difficult for everybody to fit into one family member’s home.
However, that does not mean you have to spend this festive season with only your immediate family, or risk not seeing siblings who decide to spend this year’s holiday season with their in-laws instead.
One option is for the whole extended family to come together by spending the Christmas holidays in rented villa, apartment or chalet abroad, with enough bedrooms and space for everyone to share, without feeling cramped and claustrophobic.
In some instances, you may already have friends and family living abroad, and an overseas holiday around Christmas time is a great way to get together with loved ones who you may not have seen for several months.
Remember the advice of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, however, and ensure you take out adequate travel insurance, even if you know people at your destination – nearly half of young people who are travelling to meet friends and family fail to do so.
Depending on what you’ve got planned for your festive break, you might need to add extreme sports cover too – particularly if you intend to catch up with your favourite winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.
The FCO adds that your passport may need to be well in date, as some countries expect it to have at least six months remaining before expiration, in order to allow you across their border.
Spending money should be in several different forms too, including a mixture of cash and cards, just in case – if you don’t have a credit card, or want to avoid punitive fees, a prepaid travel money card might be a good option.
In terms of covering the cost of your Christmas holiday, it seems many Britons are getting better at setting a little aside each month – even in the early months of the year when the ‘hangover’ from festive spending can put finances under pressure.
The first quarter of 2013 saw the highest-ever proportion of household incomes placed into savings accounts, at 8.09%, according to figures from National Saving & Investments.
Having a holiday to plan for could help you boost your savings further, as Brits with a specific saving goal put aside £39 more per month than those who are simply saving for a rainy day.