Usually, we have a trip planned for our Christmas holiday well in advance but this year, we hesitated. I am not sure if it was due to Kyle’s extreme influx in work travel, our constant time away from home or a small desire to deck the halls at home this year but regardless we don’t have tickets anywhere. We haven’t taken the idea of a Christmas trip off the table just yet and we don’t know if we will stay or go up until the day. The uncertainty and on again/off again possibility has turned into what we have now nicknamed our “Vacation Roulette.”
Visiting Christmas Trip Ghosts of Past
We have always used the extended time off from work during the holidays as an opportunity to take a big trip for Christmas. It not only makes sense for us time-off wise, but as we typically travel to tropical destinations, it is a welcomed reprieve from the cold and snow.
Lucy’s First Christmas was spent in Macau on a trip where we met my mother-in-law and brother-in-law in Hong Kong and from there went on to explore Bangkok, Thailand (where Lucy took her first steps at the Grand Hyatt Erawan). We rang in the new year together from an AirBnB in Krabi, Thailand after exploring many of the beautiful beaches nearby.
For Lucy’s Second Christmas we decided to spend a large chunk of time soaking up as much sun as possible and getting our fill of Thai food in Bangkok. I remember it feeling like a long trip with so much time spent in one place. We spent many days around the pool, took Lucy on her first tuk tuk ride, and made good friends with the staff in the lounge. Even after adding a few days in Hong Kong and Taipei on each end of this trip, it was a very relaxed pace.
Last Christmas we decided to explore Sanya, China a place we had long been wanting to see. We fell in love with the Park Hyatt Sanya and hope to return there again. On this particular journey we spent time in Beijing, China, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Brunei and our favorite departure city of Hong Kong, where Lucy was thrilled to have spent a day at Hong Kong Disneyland.
There have been many special memories made on Christmas day around the world. We’ve had breakfast at the Grand Hyatt Macau where seasons greetings were in full effect and Lucy was given a small soft Santa toy that at eleven months old was a very exciting surprise. We’ve spent it walking through the electric lights that adorn the city of Bangkok during the holidays or covered in sand during a relaxing day at the beach in Sanya, China.
Stay or Go?
For some reason, we can’t just come to grips with committing to staying home. Maybe it’s all that free time off that feels wasted sitting in the cold weather but as I am writing this after spending nine days in sunny Florida and knowing that we have a trip on the books next month, for some reason staying home doesn’t feel like a total waste.
On the other hand, we are constantly looking at last-minute deals to Cancun, Cartagena, Port of Spain or Turks and Caicos. We have been able to find some palatable deals into certain spots, but strike out on hotels or vice versa.
We realize just how fortunate we are to be able to spend time traveling around the world and with our daughter at that. It is a blessing to us that she enjoys flying in airplanes and sleeping in hotels, if she didn’t, I am not sure that our travel patterns would be what they are. So far, Lucy has only experienced what Christmas is abroad. Santa visits her hotel room on Christmas Eve and leaves her a small stash to discover the next morning. She is excited to some toys, small treats and clothes. For us, as parents, it is a huge relief as well not spending hours shopping, wrapping and hiding things around the house. We hide small items in our luggage or find fun gifts locally once we arrive.
Kyle and I have already agreed that if we stay home for Christmas, we will not overdo it with “stuff’ for under the tree. It is still possible to keep it simple and enjoy our day together as a family from the comfort of our own living room. If we decide to jet off last-minute, well then that in itself is a wonderful gift to wake up to on Christmas morning.
Have you ever played Vacation Roulette? Any tips for a pair of parents uneasy about the concept?