Updated: Jan 16
For many of us, Christmas is all about the sensory delights. The smell of fresh mince pies baking in the oven, listening to old favourite carols and snuggling up on the sofa with friends and family as the Christmas tree lights twinkle in the background. But what happens if you’re spending the holidays away from home? Never fear – the festive spirit is portable – we’ve put together some insider insights into how to make the most of the holidays when you’re away from home.
So, why not follow our ideas and make your Christmas holiday experience more ‘Home Alone Two’ than ‘A Christmas Carol’?
First things first – the tree. It doesn’t have to be huge, just big enough for some baubles and a few lights. Most reusable trees are foldable, meaning they can be slotted into most large cases. Twinkly lights will add a festive atmosphere to any room – why limit them to the tree? Bring a couple of strings and festoon your living space. If you’re travelling with children (or even if you’re not…) why not make your own decorations whilst you’re away?
Did you know that smell is the sense most closely associated with memory? Give your nose a treat and conjure up Christmas past with some scented reeds or plug-ins (most airbnbs prohibit candles, for obvious reasons). Whether it’s the spicy fruitiness of an orange and cinnamon plug-in or the deep earthiness of a winter spruce reed diffuser, bring some magic to the air by packing your favourite scents.
Easy Christmas treats
Another way to make your Airbnb smell like Christmas is baking some treats in the oven – gingerbread biscuits or mince pies being the obvious contenders. Get in the festive mood by baking your own – but if your Airbnb kitchen isn’t fully stocked (or you don’t have the ingredients to bake from scratch) why not take a shortcut and pop some shop-bought ones in the oven to heat. Not only will they taste better warm, but they’ll also make the place smell incredible. For a real treat, serve with warmed mulled wine.
Simple Christmas presents
Even if space is limited and there’s no room for presents in your case, make sure and pack a small selection of stocking fillers so you can still enjoy the magic of exchanging gifts.
You may think that you’ll have had enough of Christmas tunes thanks to over-coverage on the radio by this time, but it’s always nice to have a playlist of your favourite seasonal tunes at hand. Music also conjures memories – maybe there are carols you used to love as children or songs that remind you of a favourite party. Whatever the history, some festive music will definitely put you in the holiday spirit.
Disclaimer: there doesn’t have to be a special occasion for this one. Our home is where we feel most comfortable – why not recreate that sensation with your favourite snuggly clothes. Whether it’s your warmest slipper socks or that favourite old fleece hoodie, if it’s something you wear snuggling up on the sofa, bring it with you. It’ll make anywhere feel like home (and hopefully keep you toasty warm too).