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Things that we associate with the holidays: cozy fires, warm eggnog, those cute little polar bear commercials and being surround by family and friends. But what if you happen to be traveling during the holiday season?

Sometimes travel plans and holidays overlap, and you find yourself miles from home and far from the comforts of anything familiar. It can be hard to deal with at times, especially when traveling alone. But spending the holidays without family does not have to be such a dismal experience, especially if you can find the silver lining.

spending holidays abroad
Photo by Malcolm Carlaw

Here are 5 tips to cope with spending your holidays abroad:

1. Be open to the local culture

A large part of travel is learning about other cultures and what better way to do so than to immerse yourself in their local customs. Every culture has rituals dedicated to togetherness and love. You may not find your traditional holiday celebrations, but you will certainly discover ways to get into the holiday spirit. If you’re unaware of the local traditions, check out Couchsurfing and meet a local who can teach you about their way of life.

2. Allow yourself to be nostalgic

There is no rule that says every moment of the holiday season has to be filled with immense joy and happiness. Give yourself permission to experience the range of emotions that comes with spending the holidays without your loved ones. The key is not to wallow in the negative. Instead, focus on the positive spirit of the holiday itself and try to summon those feelings into the present moment. The more you can shift your thoughts into the beauty of your experience, the more you will be able to find comfort no matter where you are in the world.

3. Celebrate with other travelers

Just because you’re abroad does not mean you have to be alone. There are so many accommodation options that are a great way to meet other people who may also be looking for some company during the holidays.

Most hostels have friendly and inviting atmospheres that cater to communal gatherings, like Friendsgivings, Christmas potlucks, White Elephant Gift Exchanges, and New Year’s Vision Board parties. Even if the people you meet don’t observe the same holidays, people are rarely opposed to a gathering that is centered on good food and heartfelt company.


4. Be grateful for your experience

Being without your family and friends during the holidays is not ideal, but consider the trade-off: you’re in a new place, learning about a new culture and immersing yourself in new experiences. It’s not a privilege that should be taken lightly, especially during the time of year when gratitude is the reason for the season.

There is always something to be thankful for and having the opportunity to travel around the world is certainly one. Be grateful for the opportunity to be to where you are. Besides, that’s what the holidays are all about.

5. Find destinations that celebrate your traditional holidays

The world may be a vast place geographically, but there are many similarities in celebrations. Christmas is a widely celebrated holiday. In fact, if you head to a place like Medellín, Colombia, you’ll be celebrating it all month long. In Europe, Zagreb, Croatia’s evergreen-lined streets and snowflake-shaped lights create the ideal holiday atmosphere. If you head to Prague, you’ll find some of the most elaborate seasonal decorations from anywhere around the world.

It doesn’t stop with Christmas. You can find destinations on every continent that take part in holidays like Easter, New Year’s Eve and Halloween.

spending holidays abroad

Holidays abroad can be a magical experience when you find the destination that works for you. Wherever that may be, AllTheRooms has you covered.

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How to Cope with Spending the Holidays Abroad
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