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If a summer holiday is calling your name, but you just can’t decide where to jet off to next, read on. Our travel expert Colleen Tukino reveals her top picks for a last-minute Christmas holiday.

Can someone tell me where 2019 went? The end of the year has snuck up on us again, and suddenly it’s nearly Christmas.

For a lot of us, the Christmas holidays are for taking time off.

As we are basking in the hot sun of summer down under, the northern hemisphere is enjoying the cooler weather. This means the best of both worlds: we get to choose whether to stay or get away.

My picks for Christmas come down to time and budget (and how much you have of each).

If you want to keep it close and try something a little different, there are some gorgeous boutique resorts popping up in Vanuatu, on the island of Santos. It may only be a few hours away, but you’ll get to experience a completely different culture – you’ll find yourself surrounded by crystal clear waters and beautiful locals who can’t do enough for you.

On that same note, there are lots of new and exciting resorts popping up on the islands of Fiji. Whether you try something new or stick to the old faves, there is an option for most budgets and tastes – and the travel time is ideal for children. Just look at earlier rather than later in the holidays so as not to run into the cyclone season, which is February to April.

If Asia is more your flavour, the weather in Thailand is ideal at this time of year. It’s also incredibly diverse – from Bangkok to the mountains of Chang Mai, as well as the islands off Phuket and the boutique beachfront properties of Koh Samui – there are lots of family friendly choices. 

Vietnam is also a very popular choice. It’s varied terrain can be experienced from top to bottom, whether you’re visiting the historic sites and temples, the mountains and riverside towns, the bustling cities or embarking on an overnight sail around Halong Bay. 

Bali is always a no brainer, and although it’s the rainy season, it’s still incredibly beautiful. With so many tropical resorts and villas to choose from, as well as the option to explore off the beaten track on other parts of the island, my personal wishlist for the holidays features The Alila Mangiss on Bali’s untouched east coast. 

Hawaii always hits the mark for me, boasting great weather, food, shopping and lots of adventure. There’s also the option to take a timeout and just chill – which is particularly easy in this island paradise. An added bonus: over the Christmas Holidays, Hawaiian Airlines generally up the days they fly to cater for the peak periods. This makes it relatively affordable, keeping the price down for travelling families. Plus, I love the aloha-inspired Christmas decorations.

If you would like a cooler change, then take your pick from the northern hemisphere. The United States, Canada, Europe… any are great for a winter wonderland experience! But perhaps the most popular and closest culture-enriched escape is Japan. An easy direct flight from most major Australian cities, you could be experiencing the energy of Tokyo city in just nine-hours, and navigating the slopes in a quaint snow village just a few hours later. Why not extend your trip by jumping on their efficient fast train system to visit the beautiful Kyoto, or take in the vista of Mt Fuji?

Don’t hesitate to inquire about any of these ideas by jumping on our website!

Safe and happy travels!

Colleen Tukino

Colleen Tukino  

I had a very active childhood on the Gold Coast, chasing after my two older siblings, entrenched in the surfing and Surf Life Saving community - I even represented the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia on a number of occasions! While I spent my younger years sharing the local and world stage with other well-known Gold Coast athletes, travelling and competing locally and abroad, I turned to my love of travel after retirement and became a travel agent with Flight Centre. I had to learn from the ground up. Obviously, I caught the travel bug, and while travelling through Europe I came across the picturesque town of Lugano, Switzerland, where I ended up living, working and travelling for 18 months as a nanny for three beautiful children. I eventually returned and met my husband Hoani (John), and we’ve done a LOT of travelling during our 14 years of marriage. We settled (briefly) in Melbourne where our first child Minka (now 10) was born, finally returning home to our beloved Gold Coast to have Koa & Jack (now aged 5 & 2). When I am not conjuring up new travel adventures, you'll find me hanging out with the family at our favourite (and our local) beach, Currumbin.