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December can be a confusing month for potential travellers. Leave during the first three weeks and you are likely to get a great deal - particularly on winter sun holidays before the school holidays kick in.

However, if you are unable to travel until Christmas or the New Year you will find that some prices hike up dramatically.

Head for the sun…

A perfect location in December is the Caribbean, and if you travel the first half of the month you are likely to pick up a bargain. Many people are happy to pay a premium though, to spend Christmas Day in a picturesque setting such as Antigua - which is probably the most relaxed and friendliest of all the islands and is easily reached via a direct flight from the UK. Alternatively, if you are yearning for some sun, you could consider heading to Egypt and take a relaxing cruise down the Nile. At this time of year the temperatures are balmy yet not too hot with refreshingly cool nights.

Colder climes…

If you enjoy a traditional Christmas, there are plenty of options to consider. Cologne hosts some spectacular Christmas markets that have a festive charm that is hard to beat. Numbering seven in total, the markets are all located in delightful settings, including one in the shadow of the Dom, and another in the quintessentially rustic surroundings of the ancient Old Town. Cologne is a very accessible form the UK via Eurostar - door to door the journey takes such four hours.

If you are looking for a great place to celebrate the New Year, there is one place that springs to mind immediately - Edinburgh. Hogmanay is a massive deal in Scotland, and no one throws a party like the inhabitants of the nation’s capital! It is very much an inclusive event and everyone is made to feel welcome. The celebrations kick off on 30th December with an atmospheric procession lit only by torchlight, and then the first party of the weekend gets going on Revolution Square at 5pm, continuing until the early hours of 2nd January. Vienna is another wonderful place in which to celebrate the dawning of the New Year. This is the city for you if you like your celebrations more sedate and sophisticated - with a mixture of operettas, operas, concerts and grand balls on the agenda.

If skiing is you thing, you will need to head high in the Alps during the festive season to make sure you have plenty of snow. Val Thorens is a particularly popular base for skiers at this time of year, with great snow and plenty of choice when it comes to open pistes. For the ultimate in White Christmases, why not set your sights on Antarctica? Here you will be able to watch the wonderful Emperor penguins in their natural environment.

You will have to travel to the other side of the globe, but you are guaranteed to experience a Christmas holiday that you will never forget

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