As the festive season approaches (though it's still a way off) now is the time to decide if you're going to take a trip abroad, or stay at home for the festive season (or holiday season, as some now call it).
The festive season used to be more structured than it is these days; the fluid nature of it has mirrored how families themselves have changed. We're more likely to spend a bit of time with relatives here and there rather than all the time with all the relatives.And as the holidays have become less structured, they've also become less formal. When I was a kid it would have been extremely unusual for people to go off on a trip to a foreign place at this time of year. It would have been still more unusual for people to eat out for Christmas dinner. Both of these things are commonplace now. People have been empowered to spend the festive season how they like, and not spend it singing carols and hacking bits off an increasingly unappetising monster turkey in the fridge.So with all this in mind I have compiled a short guide to Festive Breaks. Part of the reason for doing this is really just ideas generation - I'm in the process of deciding one for myself and I'm weighing up the pros and cons of each, so hopefully it will be helpful too for you, the reader. If you have any further suggestions or ideas please feel free to use the comments box - that's what it's there for :)So without further ado:THE ROAD TRIPGPS, gloves, car, pack car set off. A cheap way to travel. Cons - driving in bad weather over long distances, the hassle of driving anyway, limited to in-reach destinations. Crowded roads. Delays.THE AIR TRIPAlways a beguiling thought. Then there's the reality of long check in times and ever more strict security. Factor in the way that a budget airline ticket can vastly inflate from its original £15 due to a plethora of surcharges, and it all starts to look not so great, plus often long connections from out of town airport to final destination.RAIL TRIPAn often underrated way to travel, rail is generally comfortable and barring bad weather delays, fast. Cons here are that you're limited to visiting UK or a handful of European mainland destinations, and that the budget tickets get snapped up well in advance of the departure date.BOAT TRIPA winter cruise or mini-cruise ticks all the relaxation boxes. With destinations as diverse as Copenhagen and Amsterdam, all you need to do is kick back and enjoy the ride. With some options you can stay at a hotel and visit the Christmas markets (for example the mediaeval city of Bruges or the fairytale German city of Hamelin), before sailing back. There are also New Year cruise options so you can see in the opening of the New Year with style.So it all depends on what you want out of a New Year break. I'm looking for minimal stress, so it will have to be one of the latter options.