December can be pretty stressful. Battling swarms of shoppers on the High Street, writing cards to family members you’ve not seen since you were a child, and inevitably getting that colleague you don’t really know that well in the office Secret Santa. That’s more than enough to justify a holiday in December.
But where to go? To help you out, Cheapflights.co.uk has done the research – we’ve looked at average flight prices*, increasing popularity and weather forecasts to offer up the best destinations for travellers looking to get away this December. So, read on and then get searching for flights on Cheapflights.co.uk – just consider it an early Christmas present to yourself.Start your search
For budget travellers…
Short-haul pick: Reykjavik, Iceland
If you’re going to embrace the winter freeze, you might as well do it properly. As cliched as it sounds, Reykjavik is a true winter wonderland with its sub-zero temperatures, snow, short days and most importantly, Northern Lights sightings. Despite it being a rather obvious choice for a winter getaway, flights in December are surprisingly budget-friendly, being 3% cheaper than the monthly average for the rest of the year. Wrap up and explore the colourful streets, warm-up in one of the uber-trendy bars or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, embrace a few seconds of chill before plunging into one of the country’s famous geothermal pools.
Long-haul pick: Boston, USA
A bazillion Christmas movies may have made the festive season in America synonymous with New York City, but for the thriftier travellers out there, it seems that Boston is the place to go on the East Coast for a budget December break. Flights are 10% cheaper than the monthly average for the rest of the year. It may be chilly, but grab a coffee and walk The Freedom Trail — a 2.5-mile red-lined route that takes you by 16 of the city’s most historically significant landmarks – and you’ll soon warm up. Then spend some time admiring the Christmas lights on Boston Common or ice-skating at Frog Pond for the ultimate festive day.
Short-haul pick: Bucharest, Romania
When it comes to Eastern European city breaks, Bucharest doesn’t always get a look in. But Romania’s capital seems to be a popular choice for those in the know this December, with flight searches on the up. Its cheap beer and trendy cafes make it an obvious alternative to the likes of Prague and Budapest. It’s an interesting city to explore, with a mismatch of Art Nouveau buildings, ornate Orthodox churches and left-over hints from its Communist past. An array of independent shops make for excellent Christmas shopping and there are plenty of museums to explore. Be sure to make a stop at the Palace of the Parliament, the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon.
Long-haul pick: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Move over Rio. It looks like Brazil’s second city, Sao Paulo, is on the cards for travellers this December. The third most populous city in the world, Sao Paulo is Rio’s big city cousin whose 24-hour nightlife, hipster bars and world-class dining more than makes up for its reputation as a concrete jungle. Parks like Parque Ibirapuera offer a bit of respite from the city bustle. Wander around its two museums (one for modern art and the other a history of Brazil) or soak up some rays and admire the city’s skyline. Did we mention December is the height of summer in Brazil?
For weather watchers…
Our top pick: Siem Reap, Cambodia
While December falls in Siem Reap’s “cool” season, don’t pack your scarf just yet. You can expect temperatures in the mid-20s at this time of year, making it one of the best times of year to see Cambodia. While Angor Watt is a must-visit, there are plenty of gorgeous, ornate temples to add to your list. Beng Mealea and Banteay Srei should also be on your list. And, a stop at the Angkor National Museum is a great way to get a feel for the history and culture of the region through an expansive collection of artefacts.
*Just so you know, the data for this story was compiled on 25th September 2017, and compares the monthly average airfares found a month or more in advance on Cheapflights.co.uk for travel dates between 1st January 2017, and 21st December 2017, as well as a comparison of month-over-month relative search popularity from departure points across the UK to the destinations above. This piece is intended as a guideline only. Check the latest up-to-date prices and search for flights at Cheapflights.co.uk.