Trying to figure out where to go for your next Christmas holiday? It’s time to think about somewhere warm. Now, we’re not trying to talk bad about a nice white Christmas. Isn’t that the stuff that holiday songs are made of? Hot cider, sleigh rides…it’s all wonderful. We even have done quite a few winter vacations ourselves. But when you’re already surrounded by cold, we just can’t blame you for wanting to get away to somewhere warm for a change. Yet where do you really go when you want to actually feel some warm air on your back and a little sun on your skin?
Australia! Specifically Sydney, since that’s the topic of this guide and all. We covered Sydney a while back, but in the spirit of warm Christmas vacations, we decided that there’s a lot more to think about if you really want to plan the ultimate Christmas in the summer.
First and foremost, the Aussies definitely enjoy Christmas just as much as everyone else, even though it’s the warmest time of the year. This means that you will still see a lot of traditional Christmas stuff along with traditions that are truly Australian in nature. Just go with the flow — if you really want a traditional Australian Christmas, that’s perfectly okay — but make sure that you really do take the time to explore and maybe step out of your comfort zone a bit. For example, you will definitely see people grilling during this time of year. If you aren’t into that, then you can skip it but really, who isn’t into grilling?
Sydney is a very large city, with plenty of things to do. If you’re going to start from the top, you need to start with airfare. There are lots of great flights to Sydney that even can be combined into a package deal. This will give you the best in terms of accommodation, airfare, and even car hire if you’re interested in that. It’s better to think about all of the options that you want rather than just assuming that everything will fall into place on its own. If you want to start traveling around the start of the New Year, then now is definitely the best time to start planning. Last minute holiday trips are common to Sydney, but there might not be the same types of deals. It just deals on your willingness to do your search. There are a lot deals online, but you will still need to make sure that you read the fine print before you just plunge forward.
Keep in mind that the airports close in Australia from 11PM to 5:30AM local time. This means that you will also want to make sure that you can get into the airport and get out of it. Like other international locations, you might need to expect delays for security checkpoints. It would be best to bake in as much time as possible when you’re trying to schedule things. That way, you’re not having to rush around and leave yourself without options.
One thing that you really want to make sure that you take the time to add travel insurance to your list. Again, we know that this can be a touchy subject with people but we have to stress it anyway. Travel insurance is low cost enough to where you really owe it to yourself to make sure that you get good medical coverage. Do we want to have anything bad happen to you? Not at all. However, we’ve taken enough trips to know that sometimes accidents just sneak up on you. Sometimes things don’t work right and it’s good to know that if something gets cancelled, you can actually get reimbursed.
It would be better to make this purchase early on and have it. If you’re reading this guide you should already have a passport and your forms for a visa, but if you need those items it’s time to get them. The visa process won’t be difficult at all, but you will make sure that you have it before you can actually enter the country.
If you can help it, you might want to have a stopover in another country before you actually get into Sydney — the flight from some countries can actually be quite lengthy, and that means that you will have a lot of time on your hands. Sometimes it’s nice to explore another city on the way, which is why Sydney often becomes a city that’s included on “round the world” type trips.
There’s a lot of ways to get around, but we really recommend the bus system or even using the taxis. Since Australia is fully urbanized and industrial in its own right, the transit system is actually quite good. The Cityrail is actually very fast and you can handle everything without much hassle or fuss.
So, what about the things to actually do in Sydney? After all, you’re on Christmas holiday and you want to have a good time. Well, you will have to first realize that many tourist attractions do indeed close down Christmas Day as well as Boxing Day, which is the day after. You will still find a few places that are open, but it’s going to be a bit more hit or miss.
This is actually where having a vacation home in Sydney is a smart thing. If you’re not going to go with a package deal, then you really want to look for a good vacation home. It will give you the benefit of having a kitchen to call home. That’s better than trying to figure out where you’re going to cook all of your food. This is also invaluable if you have food allergies of any kind.
Of course, we’re getting off track — you want to know what you can do, not the things that you can’t do — right?
You have to check out all of the landmarks — like the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the Opera House. It’s magnificent, and even if you’ve seen it in pictures, believe us — it’s nothing like actually seeing it up close.
There’s also plenty of wildlife, both in captivity and in the wild. The museum of Sydney is also a great draw if you’re into art and history combined.
There’s also time for swimming and cycling, which are two activities that the locals love doing. You’re going to also be able to kayak, canoe, and even mountain climb, which are all important things if you really want to have a good time and get in a little adrenaline rush at the same time.
The summer sport is definitely cricket, and Australians are very into it. If you don’t understand anything about cricket, you soon will.
There’s also a lot of greenspace available for people that just love to walk and take pictures. It’s completely up to you to figure out what you want to do.
Naturally, there are plenty of things to eat too. If you just got done with some of the Southeast Asian countries, you might be a little “sticker shocked” — the prices are higher, but you also have a higher degree of cleanliness than the average street booth in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.
There’s still plenty of variety, since so many cultures do call Australia home now. Make sure that you get your food early — Sydney is not known for late night dining at all!
You will find things for every budget. If you really want to splurge on your food, you will find a lot of different high end restaurants waiting for you. The atmosphere is definitely worth it though!
Shoppers can also rejoice — there are a lot of different fashions that are uniquely Australian, and it’s high time that Australian designers start making their mark on the international scene. You will find numerous department stores, boutique shops and unique treasures waiting for you — don’t take our word for it though — look around yourself.
So, at the end of the day, should you really give Sydney a chance? We definitely think so — this is one of the largest and oldest cosmopolitan areas of Australia. It’s got a lot of culture, a lot of interesting people and a lot of things to do. If you’re really looking for a unique Christmas holiday, Sydney will not disappoint at all — we promise!