Some universities give a whole month off for Christmas. No point wasting that on family politics, sherry with Grandma and watching the Queen’s Speech on the Big Day – especially not when it’s the perfect time to go travelling.
You might not get the usual festive feast you’re used to on Christmas Day, but instead you could be eating shrimps on a barbie or skiing in Scandinavia (or Canada!). Either way this is your year to make your winter university break one to remember with some super cool travel plans. Bring on the next instalment of the student loan!
Get festive in Finland
Embrace the cold, dig out the snow boots and fly to the North Pole. You may be too old to believe in Santa, but his fabled home and reindeer pals are very real and you can capture a bit of the festive magic for yourself with a trip to Lapland.
Visit the northern village of Saariselkä in Finland where you can opt to stay in a cosy log cabin or keep it cool in an igloo. From there, there’s an endless list of winter activities: hit the nearby slopes, do a bit of dog-sledding or even try your hand at ice fishing.
At this time of year the daylight hours are at an all time low and thermal suits are essential – especially for those late nights looking for the elusive Northern Lights.
New Year, New Zealand
If you want to swap the turtlenecks for trunks and replace the Corrie Christmas special with a Lord of the Rings experience, make your way to New Zealand. Here you can gift yourself a bucket full of adventure.
With the Kiwi Experience bus pass, you can easily spend a few weeks touring the two islands of the country. See the waterfalls of Milford Sound, bungee in Queenstown or swim with dolphins in Christchurch. Wherever you hop on and off on your NZ tour, you’ll be snowed under with fun activities and stunning summer views.
Snap away in Slovenia
Remote, peaceful and extremely Instagrammable, Slovenia’s Lake Bled is a great winter getaway. You’ll find the lakeside town in the Julian Alps in the northwest of the country and, although beautiful all year round, the winter frost adds a fairy-tale touch.
To make it even more Narnia-esq, Lake Bled has a medieval castle, snow-capped mountains, the Postojna caves and a random island home to nothing but a lonely church. As if it could get more romantic, the locals will even tell you legends of love and of mystical gods that are said to exist in the lake.
Tying it all up nicely, you can travel by horse and cart back to your accommodation, where even most of the budget of hotels have thermal pools for you to take a dip in.