24 OCTOBER, 2019


The holiday season is always something to look forward to. Exciting gifts, delectable feasts, and cool stories to share with your loved ones or significant other are some of the few things that you can enjoy during the Christmas break. Of course, Christmas vacation is also a great opportunity for a holiday family vacation somewhere cool.

Of course, you’re not the only going on a dream vacation this Christmas. You might easily find yourself in crowded and fully-booked destinations if you go to the popular travel spots. For this reason, it is better to try the unexpected but best places to travel for Christmas! After all, doing something unlikely and surprising yourself can help you be happier and think creatively.

Here are off-the-beat Christmas vacation destinations to explore with your family or special someone. 

1. Reconnect with nature in Calauit Island, Palawan 

Photo courtesy of Ludwig Kwan via Pexel

Palawan is well-known for its breathtaking beaches that it is always the top of every itinerary maker’s list. But aside from its beaches, Palawan’s lush surroundings also boast of other unique family vacation spots to consider. 

The Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary (CGPWS) in Palawan is the first successful wildlife preservation efforts of Africa and the Philippines. The said place is an ideal family travel spot for animal lovers because you can get close and personal with exotic wild animals like giraffes, zebras, impalas, gazelles, and waterbucks in the island.  You can also visit the feeding grounds for the dugong or sea cow, which is a gentle and vulnerable sea creature. 

2. Witness simple but peaceful living in Mongolia

Mongolia’s travel experience can be a challenge for some people, especially if you are used to a comfortable and techie home. This vacation place should be included in your list of unusual ideas for Christmas break because you get to have a break from the technologically-advanced world.

Get to experience the nomadic culture with the beautiful surroundings in Mongolia. The country boasts of its unique beauty, which is even highlighted by nomadic life. Surely, it’s a family vacation to remember as you sleep in a herder’s ger or traditional yurt felt and ride horses across the vast landscapes. Don’t forget to share your amazing nomadic experience once you get back home by packing up travel-ready gadgets.

3. Trek with a touch of history in Ethiopia

Truly, Ethiopia is soon reaching the radar of adventurous travelers. In fact, local Filipino celebrities have explored the beauty of Ethiopia. The place has a rustic vibe with its rich wildlife and unique landscape. It’s perfect for those looking for a one-of-a-kind world travel experience abroad without the snow. 

Trekking is the best activity to do in Ethiopia with towers of ancient architecture to explore like the Ethiopian version of Jerusalem and the Bete Giyorgis of Lalibela. If trekking is not your thing, you can also check out archaeological sites like the Hadar Archaeological Site and unique villages such as the Manyate Coffee Village.

4. Seize the opportunity to explore more of Boracay

Photo courtesy of Na Urchin via Pexel

Boracay is the go-to vacation place for summer vacation. During summer, one can easily imagine that Boracay is packed with lots of people enjoying the cool waters of the beach or going around exploring the island. But how is the island like during the Christmas holiday season, when it is especially rainy in the country?

Of course, you get to enjoy more of off-peak season activities in Boracay with fewer people and lower rates in luxurious hotels like a stay at Alta Vista de Boracay. Go island hopping, parasailing, ziplining, helmet diving, and many more! 

5. Explore picturesque landscapes in Azores, Portugal

If your family is tired of all the chaos during the festive holiday season, the Azores archipelago in Portugal may be perfect for your family. 

The Azores is a remote archipelago off Portugal’s coast. The location may be remote and peaceful, but surely not a boring place because of all the exciting places to visit. The Azores has volcanic mountain peaks, hot springs, lush landscapes, and ancient fishing villages that will give your family the relaxing vibe for Christmas Eve up to New Year’s Eve. 

6. Try mango dishes in Guimaras Island 

Every Christmas Eve celebration includes dessert. One of the popular holiday desserts, whether it’s the Christmas season or New Year season, is the boxed mango graham dessert. If you are a huge fan of this dessert, then hurry and find flights to Guimaras Island now. 

The mangoes of Guimaras Island is famous for being the sweetest variant in the world. Locals protect the mangoes very well by wrapping each fruit individually in the place’s orchards. On the island,  imported mangoes are prohibited. The orchards also allow fruit picking sessions. Since the Christmas holiday season is not the mango season, you get to try the mango variant products that are available all year round like mango pizza and mango ketchup. You may also visit their Mango Research Center as well. 

7. Take an enchanted dive in Surigao del Sur

Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexel

If you are not a fan of Christmas beach vacations, you can still try other ways to cool down this holiday season. After all, PAGASA announced that 2019 is a warmer Christmas for the Philippines. So for your cool Christmas vacation destination, consider adding the enchanted river in Surigao del Sur in your list. 

The deep freshwater river is famous for its luminous blue waters. It’s also popular for both swimmers and cave divers. Cave divers have fun in exploring the deep river’s mysterious and unexplored areas. If you decided to just relax by the riverbank, you can binge to cool podcasts as you watch the marine sea creatures swimming freely in the river. 

8. Catch crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand 

New Zealand is well-known for its overwhelmingly beautiful islands and places that are ideal for Christmas Eve celebration with the family. But try visiting towns and you get an equal amount of happy travel memories, only with fewer people and more in touch with what the town has to offer. 

Kaikoura is a coastal town in New Zealand perfect for wildlife lovers. It is a good spot for hunting crayfish. You can also see fur seals and dolphins playing in the nearby bodies of water in the town. Regular whale watching trips are also offered all year round, so Kaikoura is definitely a cozy and nice place to spend Christmas!

9. Chill in the relaxing surroundings of Eastern Bhutan

Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexel

If you want a wild and rugged Christmas Eve, you can try visiting Eastern Bhutan for the holiday season. There are a few tourists around the said area, but definitely lots of things and activities to discover.

The East of Bhutan lets you get a hold of beautiful silks and other embroidery products. It also has bird-filled forests, and unique but relaxing living conditions for the locals there. Eastern Bhutan is one of the least explored regions of Bhutan, so it is perfect for people looking for a peaceful vacation away from the usually crowded locations in Bhutan. 

10. Learn how to surf in Siargao Island

Photo courtesy of Guy Kawasaki via Pexel

Siargao has some of the most awesome beaches in the Philippines. Naturally, it should be part of any vacation planner’s list for Christmas beach vacations. The island is a well-known surfing spot, and you can always ask locals which are the best spots for surfing depending on the weather conditions.

Aside from the beaches, you can also enjoy the wildlife preserve in the area. The Sohoton Caves lie between several lagoons that are covered by thick tropical surroundings. With a guide, you can go exploring the caves and lagoons of the area with non-stinging jellyfish and other unusual but friendly sea creatures. 

The world offers unique vacation destinations for every season’s vacation. But to have a happy festive season, it is not always about the place that you visit. It is also about who you’re spending it with that counts.