Christmas is one of the most notable holidays on the calendar year, and it's arguably the one that draws in the most people when it comes to personal investment. Whether or not you agree with that sentiment is kind of irrelevant, because the bottom line is this: it's the most wonderful time of the year in the eyes of many, and that likely isn't going to change anytime soon.
However, Christmas, as well as several other holidays throughout the year, tend to have pros and cons attached to them. The pros can go on forever and we understand that, but one of the most glaring cons would be that several locations throughout the world are somewhat ruined over the course of the Christmas period.
That may sound ridiculous but it is certainly true, or at least, to us it is. People can claim that they love how busy everywhere is all they want, but that doesn't make it a universal feeling. People can also claim that they enjoy the way in which everywhere celebrates Christmas, but again, that doesn't make it a universal feeling.
We personally love Christmas and we believe that it should be celebrated in whatever manner you feel is necessary, but that doesn't mean we haven't experienced frustration in the 25 locations that we're about to list. Sure, some people reading this would've had different experiences, but there needs to be an appreciation for the fact that Christmas isn't all about sunshine and rainbows for the masses.
25 Blue Lagoon, Iceland - Tourist Central
The Blue Lagoon may be pricey, but boy oh boy is it worth it if this is something you’ve been wanting to do for at least a few years. We’re talking about somewhere that is quite literally the definition of a tourist-friendly place, and we don’t say that lightly.
Still, even though it is viewed as being quite peaceful 99% of the time, the Blue Lagoon suffers from increased numbers of visitors during the holiday periods. Given how much emphasis there is on serenity and things of that nature here, it’s not hard to understand why this would be viewed as a problem.
24 Airports - So Very Crowded
If you’re jetting off on holiday then the last thing you want to do is wait in line for what feels like hours on end, only to be informed that you can’t do what it is you wanted to do (insert various airport stereotypes here). Even without that problem, though, busy airports are just a real nuisance.
Most airports are busy and we completely understand that, but that still doesn’t mean we need to enjoy it. Depending on what time you go and what airport it is you visit, you can get away with not being sucked into the busy holiday vortex.
23 Sydney - Everyone Has The Same Idea
Australia is a big, bad and (sometimes scary) country, and one of the biggest advantages they have is their weather. During the Christmas period, they have sunny skies for everyone to enjoy, with the city of Sydney being particularly popular as a tourist destination.
Because of how many people want to go Down Under when it’s cold back home, though, it becomes a little bit overcrowded. That’s not a great thing when you consider that Sydney isn’t even all that spectacular, at least in our mind – so you can imagine how much of a let down it can be for some.
22 New York City - The ‘Way Too Big’ Apple
Now this one seems pretty obvious, especially if you’ve actually been over there and experienced it for yourself. New York City is the hub for all things ‘festive’ in the eyes of many, and the only example you need of that is all of the Christmas films that are based there.
Unfortunately, literally everyone seems to have the same idea when it comes to going over during Christmas time – and you can probably imagine why that’s such a problem. There are too many people and not enough room to even get around, and the prices aren’t exactly favourable, to say the least.
21 San Francisco - Horrendously Overpriced
If you’re talking about cities in California that are great to spend a long weekend or even a week in, you won’t find many better contenders than San Francisco. It’s big, it’s vast, and the people there are so lovely in comparison to a rivalling city like Los Angeles.
What we would say, though, is try your very best to avoid it during December. The price of everyday things, which are already pretty expensive in San Fran, almost double to the point where you’ll be struggling to make a sustainable living (or you’ll just struggle to have much spending money).
20 Train stations - Get Out Of The Way!
The quality of trains often varies greatly depending on what country you’re in, and that’s not an exaggeration. Some are always on time and are always really clean, whereas others are painfully late and will leave you wanting a shower the second you get off.
Alas, all of that tends to go out of the window around Christmas time, especially when it comes to major tourist cities. The trains, and underground systems, are usually full to the brim from the minute everyone wakes up until the minute they go to sleep. It’s just a case of dealing with it, and timing your journey perfectly.
19 Stratford-upon-Avon - Shakespeare’s Town
Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the more charming towns in England, mainly because of its association with William Shakespeare. Beyond that, though, it’s generally pretty beautiful, and it’s somewhere that we’d encourage everyone to visit if they get the opportunity.
With that being said they do have a rather big problem when it comes to traffic, especially around Christmas time. There are a few main roads that lead into the town centre, and because of how narrow it is, it often takes a good hour or so to get to where you want to be. That’s not a direct criticism, either, it’s just the truth.
18 Motorways - The Waiting Game
Motorways, or generally long roads for countries who don’t refer to them as such, are dangerous at the best of times. There are often many, many accidents that can cause big traffic jams, but that pales in comparison to the traffic during Christmas (and some other holidays).
The song ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ couldn’t be more accurate here, because that’s what everyone tends to do at the exact same time. It’s all about waiting it out and just enduring the traffic, because, at the end of the day, there’s literally nothing you can do about it which is the unfortunate truth of the matter.
17 London - England’s Hub
London comes across as a bit of a marmite city to us, and while that’s an odd way of phrasing something, we feel like it’s pretty accurate. The English capital tends to play host to some really important sporting and cultural events, but it’s also known for being pretty dangerous.
So when you combine that danger with the hectic hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, you’ll understand how stressful the city can be during this time of year. It’s just exhausting, and even getting in and out on public transport is a nightmare.
If you can help it, steer clear.
16 Salem - Spooky Times
We’re going from Christmas time to Halloween for this next entry, and for good reason. Salem, over in the United States, is known for being the home of all things witchcraft related – and if you’re into that, then it must be pretty fun.
Alas, if you aren’t into that and you just so happen to live there, Halloween can be pretty exhausting. You won’t be able to turn a corner without being met with something horror-related and while it sounds like we’re playing the role of Buzz Killington yet again, not everyone is into that.
15 Local Pubs - We Want Peace
Pubs, and bars in general, are a great place to meet up with friends and just have a great time. Unfortunately everyone has the same idea during Christmas, especially if people have gone back home in order to see people they otherwise wouldn’t throughout the rest of the year.
Pubs are loud at the best of times but you probably won’t even be able to hear yourself think in this instance which, obviously, is a problem.
They’re still fun places to go but we’re of the belief that things should probably be a little bit more relaxed than this, don’t you think?
14 Supermarkets - Stocking Up
Going to the supermarket tends to evoke different responses from different people. Some really enjoy the process of buying lots of goodies and enjoying them later on, whereas others feel as if it’s an entirely pointless exercise and they’d rather just get it online.
Well then, if you fall into the latter category, you’ll be happy to know that your thought process is spot on during the festive period. So, so many people go to the supermarket in order to get some kind of discount deal, and it almost always leads to absolute chaos.
A chaos, that in truth, we’d rather avoid.
13 Alaska - Not So Quiet Anymore
There’s a reason why Jesse Pinkman wanted to go off to Alaska during the final season of Breaking Bad: because it’s quiet. It’s nice, it’s secluded, and nobody is really going to bother you there in comparison to other destinations.
As time has gone on, though, it has fallen into the same trap as many other locations in that it’s gone from being quite niche to quite popular. As a result, certain prices have gone up, the communities don’t quite feel the same, and it’s generally not as much fun.
Plus, given the snow, you can imagine how busy it is during Christmas.
12 Skiing Resorts - Merry Skiimas
If you’ve ever been skiing before you’ll know that it tends to be busy, but it’s taken to a whole new level around December time. Everyone from couples to groups of friends to families decide that it’d be a lot of fun to go skiing, even if they don’t have the first clue of how to do it properly.
So if you’re a veteran on the slopes, it can be pretty frustrating having to wait ages for the chance to head up there. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re one of the newbies, you’ll struggle to find all too much room.
11 Scottish Highlands - Is Nothing Sacred?
We noted it in the title, but it needs to be repeated: is nothing sacred anymore?
When you think of places that you want to ‘escape’ to, there are very few destinations that are quite as memorable or special as the Scottish Highlands.
It’s a living, breathing rehab spot that has so many different faces and sides to it, and we absolutely adore that fact. Of course, because there are so many specific regions that are known to be the ‘best’, they’re snapped up pretty quickly around Christmas time by folks who probably don’t even appreciate the magnitude of where they are.
10 Mexico - They’re Smart Cookies Over There
Mexico is a truly crazy place and if you’ve ever been before, then you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. It’s just so non stop and in your face and while some people like that, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
So then, with the likes of Cabo and Cancun being popular throughout the year, we don’t think it makes any sense to go during the Christmas period. They take advantage of the fact that people want to have a party when they go there, meaning it’s even more hectic than usual. That doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world for any party animals out there, but we personally don’t fit into that category.
9 Bicester Village - The Home Of Shopping
Bicester Village down in Oxfordshire is an elite shopping destination, and we’d even put it above the likes of Paris, Milan and London. Why? Because it does what it says on the tin: it provides you with a plethora of high-end shops, where you visit to spend your hundreds upon thousands on gifts for yourself and those you love.
Alas, during Christmas there can often be so much congestion that there’s a ‘one car in, one car out’ policy that the village undertakes. You can imagine just how baffling that would be in terms of how hectic things could get.
8 Lapland - For Obvious Reasons
Do we really need to explain this one?
Lapland has become a hub for all things Christmas related, with people coming from America, Europe and beyond to see whether it truly is as special as advertised.
Because of that we feel like it’s gotten a bit tacky, and if you’re going there for an authentic Christmas experience then that probably isn’t what you were hoping for. We might be overblowing it and we might just sound like the Grinch, but it doesn’t really live up to the hype in our book.
Just don’t tell Santa we said that, because on the off chance he likes it there, we don’t want to go on the naughty list.
7 Switzerland - The Uncertainty
The thing about Switzerland at Christmas, in our mind, is that it's too expensive. The same can be said throughout the year, but the appeal of Christmas and the Christmas markets means that tourists (and locals) feel compelled to spend even more than usual.
It's barely affordable going to Switzerland from January through to November, but it gets to an utterly ridiculous level in December with people also having to look even harder for restaurants that aren't full up.
Just go next door to Austria, because it's about ten times more appealing, and we all know that it's ten times more affordable.
6 Singapore - A Modern Paradise, Sort Of
The Singapore skyline is one of the most remarkable skylines you’re ever likely to see. That, in itself, is a factual statement and the same kind of comments could be made for any number of landmarks or destinations throughout the city/country.
Unfortunately, because of how ‘built up’ Singapore feels on a day to day basis, it feels even more manufactured during the holidays. There’s a festive spirit on display, for sure, but not to the point where it feels natural.
It’s still stunning and you’ll probably still have a nice time, but you won’t have a ‘special’ time and that’s the difference.