Who else is in Christmas mood? I am so excited about this year’s Christmas! That’s why I collected 10 Christmas destinations for this year, that are on a budget if you are in college or university, or just don’t have much money to spend.
Hint: I will be spending Christmas in a different country this year! Keep on reading to know more:)
Before I get started with the destinations themselves though, I want to give you a few quick tips about traveling on a budget, especially around Christmas time.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase via my link I may get a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend things I use and love, but for any questions, refer to my full disclosure here.
Why you should travel on Christmas
First of all, things can be much cheaper this season, because not many people leave their homes and families around Christmas time.
Also, you can still do gifts and have a great holiday season before or after the actual holidays. Or, you can hide your gifts and make your friends/family find them and open them on Christmas Eve/Day (depending on how you celebrate).
Places that are crowded during Spring and Summer break times, will probably not be very full in winter. Just do some research on peak travel times for the destination of your choice and find out!
Yes, some places are more expensive during Christmas, such as New York or others that rely on tourists and consumers that season.
But with the right strategies and budgeting, you can still visit those places without going into debt.
Check out Local destinations
What I mean by that, is to look at a map and try to find places you could visit that aren’t too far away.
That can save you lots of money since you won’t have to pay for an airplane or much gas for a long drive.
So for example, if you live in Virginia, you could go to Virginia Beach, Richmond, Washington D.C, or even Indianapolis for Christmas. Neither of them is very far (relatively) and you still spend the holidays away from your house.
Find cheap Flights
Here you have 2 options:
1. Have you found a near place you wanna go to? Is it a little too far to drive?
Look for plane tickets to that specific destination on Skyscanner to find the best deal.
2. You don’t mind to go a little further away, or haven’t found anything local?
Go to Skyscanner and pick “worldwide” and the time frame you want to go on vacation for.
Now, it will suggest you the cheapest plane tickets worldwide!!
I once did the same thing and found plane tickets to London for like $100. That was so much fun!
No matter how budget-friendly a trip is, you still need money for it.
Let’s talk a little bit about what you can do to save money for a holiday trip.
- Use Swagbucks for cashback and doing surveys
Swagbucks is a great site where you can get cash back for shopping through their website. So whatever you want to buy, try to do it through them.
- If you are further interested in saving money and budgeting, check out this post I wrote with tips for budgeting correctly.
Related: 10 Tips to Save Money for Christmas
Having more money for Christmas destinations is just as important as saving money.
Here are my most popular posts about that:
10 Christmas Destinations
Let’s get to our 10 Christmas destinations now.
Keep in mind, that the description of them being “on a student budget” is relative to where you live.
For example, I currently live in Switzerland, so places in Europe will be much cheaper for me than Canada or the US.
However, if you’re based in the US, some of these Christmas destinations may be way too far, and thus more expensive for you.
That is why I shared my ultimate savings tip with you earlier, so you look in your area first, check Skyscanner, and then decide on the cheapest/best option for you.
1. Budapest, Hungary
Located in Central Europe, Budapest is a great destination on a budget, especially for students.
Budapest usually gets pretty cold during winter (average -2/4 degrees Celsius / 28-40 degrees Fahrenheit) and the Christmas market is huge.
The city is perfect for students since the prices are lower than many other capital cities in Europe, parties are huge here, and the food and Christmas spirit is great too.
Secret: My family is actually moving there this fall, so I will finally experience Christmas in Budapest! Super excited. (I do have Hungarian roots, but since the city is so international, people do speak English pretty well.)
2. Toronto, Canada
Any Canadian city would be a great Christmas destination in my opinion, especially if you can drive to the country.
For those who need to fly in, big cities are usually much cheaper than flights to small airports. #quicktip
I haven’t been to Toronto YET, so here is a guide I found on Pinterest that could help you decide whether you want to spend Christmas there this year!
3. Yellowstone, USA
Another fun destination for Christmas! Not just this specific place and national park is a great holiday destination, but every place in nature.
Whatever is closer to where you live will probably be less expensive for you.
And yes, you can still sleep in a fun accommodation, hotel or an Airbnb even if you aren’t far from home. It’s about the experience!
4. Helsinki, Finland
Why wait for Santa on Christmas when you can visit him?
Finland has many amazing cities and places, not just Helsinki. To make your trip cheaper, it helps to fly to Helsinki and then go from there.
Finland and the Northern Lights are definitely on my bucket list and I can’t wait to visit for Christmas sometime!
5. London, England
Yeah, London is on the pricier side for travel, but I’ve seen all of it in 2 days for less than $300, so I think you can too! (I would recommend staying for more than 2 days though, but whatever you prefer.)
London has a lot of things to see and do for free, all year round. But how awesome would it be in the holiday season? Pretty awesome, right? Christmas markets, lights, sweets, city. Perfect Christmas itinerary!
6. Nuremberg, Germany
Or any big city in Germany!
I’ve lived and traveled in Germany and love the cities, countrysides, and even more: the Christmas markets!
Germany is well known for its Christmas markets that have been around starting from the 16th century.
Many Christmas markets, including the one in Nuremberg (Bavaria), are very traditional and just amazing (in my opinion.)
If you can’t go all the way to Germany to visit Christmas markets, don’t worry. Even though they originate from there, many other countries have them too, and they aren’t much different. (maybe a little different. Do visit Germany at least once in your life, but if it’s not now, it’s okay. Haha.)
7. Strasbourg, France
The atmosphere in France during Christmas time is really amazing. Did you know that it’s been fought over by the Germans and French for centuries?
It is a little “smaller” city, with a population of almost 300,000.
So if you cannot afford Paris (good idea btw), then Strasbourg is a great option. They have a Christmas market as well, and visiting Strasbourg will also allow you to see a few other cities in the area, such as Freiburg and Stuttgart in Germany or Basel, Switzerland.
8. Las Vegas, USA
Let’s get to some US cities now, since my guess is that the majority of you are based in the US.
Las Vegas may sound expensive first, but since it’s a popular place for winter, and is a pretty big city, flights are rather cheaper from other US cities.
I think Las Vegas is a great idea for Christmas destinations and I will certainly visit in the future.
9. Miami, USA
Now, if you were looking for a post with Christmas destination but meant to escape the cold, Miami is the place to go!
It would be pretty cool to celebrate Christmas at the beach in a swimsuit, wouldn’t it?
Flights to Miami can also be pretty cheap if you check Skyscanner.
10. New York, USA
Last but not least, New York City just cannot be missed out of Christmas destinations!
Even though it’s expensive, you may be able to find a cheaper accommodation outside of the city, such as Long Island or New Jersey.
That way you can go to NYC during the day or evening, and go back to your hotel to sleep.
New York is THE place to go Christmas shopping, ice skating, and Christmassy vibes.
Those are all the Christmas destinations on a budget I have for you today!
Check out these Holiday-related posts too:
- What to ask for Christmas as a student/ what students really want
- Tips to save money for Christmas
- Creative Gift Ideas on a Budget
- The best gift guide for college students