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Last minute Christmas getaways that won’t break the bank

December 22, 2016 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, although the lead up can be stressful and expensive. For travellers wanting to escape to somewhere a little more relaxing this Christmas, the travel experts from have rounded up a list of the most affordable last minute getaways, that won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a short trip across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, or a more tropical getaway in South-East Asia, this list provides travellers with options full of adventure and culture while providing jetsetters with bang for their buck.

  1. Bali, Indonesia

Take the annual cricket match on the beach to a slightly more tropical setting this Christmas, with a quick getaway to travel favourite Bali. Offering a variety of restaurants that cater for those travellers craving a traditional Christmas buffet; Mozaic in Petitenget should be top of the list – Aussies can enjoy a 6-course degustation menu. Take the family to the Waterboom theme park on Boxing Day for an all-ages day out, or alternatively explore the wealth of culture found in Denpasar by taking a half day city tour. Extend festive celebrations into the night with a cocktail at Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak.

Where to stay: Stay in Denpasar at the Astana Pengembak Suite Apartment & Villa starting from $45*

How to get there: Return flights to Denpasar from $1072**

  1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

When in Kuala Lumpur do as the locals do on any given public holiday: go shopping! All of the city’s main malls and shopping precincts will be open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, where travellers can take advantage of end-of-year sales. If you’re looking for a slightly less traditional culinary option don’t hide your temptation to try the country’s favourite local dishes this Christmas: laksa (spicy noodle soup) and Nonya classics (fusion of Malay and Chinese culinary styles) are two of the most popular. For those wanting a festive night on Christmas Eve, head to the iconic KL Menara Tower and join in on the celebrations.

Where to stay: Stay in Kuala Lumpur at the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel starting from $64*

How to get there: Return flights to Kuala Lumpur from $914**

  1. Christchurch, New Zealand

Close to home, Kiwis love Christmas as much as Aussies do, so you’ll be in safe hands on the South Island’s East Coast. – and they put on a great show too! The experts recommend hunting down the most decorated streets in Christchurch’s’ Hoon Hay and Fendalton, which showcase endless streets of homes covered in dazzling Christmas light displays. For those shoppers, stroll through Christchurch boutiques at the department store Ballantynes to make those last minute purchases, while enjoying the famous Christmas window displays.

Where to stay: Stay in Christchurch at the Chateau on the Park – Christchurch, a DoubleTree by Hilton starting from $134*

How to get there: Return flights to Christchurch from $726**

  1. New Delhi, India

Although Christmas isn’t celebrated widely throughout  India, travellers will still see shop-fronts filled with Christmas trees and santa themes at any Delhi mall. Head across to central Delhi’s Connaught Place – a shopping paradise decked with Christmas lights, street food vendors and seasonal sale stalls or visit the Kids Christmas carnival at Select Citywalk mall in Saket. Travellers can attend Christmas mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Cathedral Church of Redemption, or join street carol singing in Rajik Chowk and at the Lodi Gardens.

Where to stay: Stay in New Delhi at the Radisson Blu New Delhi Dwarka starting from $75*

How to get there: Return flights to New Delhi from $883**

  1. Hanoi, Vietnam

When the calendar turns to December 1st, the whole city of Hanoi is instantly festooned with fairy lights, fake snow, and electric Santas playing saxophones. Visit Hang Ma street which offers an ever-changing array of seasonal decorations. For a festive themed buffet the experts recommend making a reservation at Pots ‘n Pans restaurant, located in the heart of Hanoi. On Christmas Day night, there are music shows for revellers to enjoy, situated outside Hanoi Opera House.

Where to stay: Stay in Hanoi at the Pullman Hanoi Hotel starting from $78*

How to get there: Return flights to Hanoi from $928**

  1. Manila, Philippines

Christmas is incredibly popular in the Philippines, with Christmas carols starting as early as September! Needless to say, the Filipinos really take Christmas seriously.Travellers should note that restaurants and shops usually close earlier, as Christmas in the Philippines is primarily a family affair. Visit Makati (in metro Manila) to enjoy a Christmas Eve mass with beautiful choir at the church Santuario de San Antonio, or head to an outdoor concert to watch the city’s fireworks.

Where to stay: Stay in Manila at the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila starting from $93*

How to get there: Return flights to Manila from $1009**

  1. Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the perfect destination to indulge in a laid-back, relaxing holiday by the Indian Ocean, soaking up the Southern Hemisphere’s sunshine. Offering travellers a slower paced Christmas, Aussies can enjoy one of Sri Lanka’s many beaches including Hikkaduwa Beach, and Unawatuna Beach, where they can unpack the beach cricket kit and get the family together.

Where to stay: Stay in Colombo at the Colombo Courtyard starting from $140*

How to get there: Return flights to Colombo from $932**

Debby Soo, KAYAK Vice President, APAC, comments: “Australians are avid travellers but no more so than during the Christmas period, when they get away to spend quality time with the family. However, we know Christmas can be an expensive time of year so at KAYAK we wanted to help travellers find affordable last minute getaway destinations. By using our Explore Tool, Aussies can find their ideal destination suited to any budget this Christmas.”      

Exclusive Gift Sets

The most magical time of the year is here. Carols filling the air, dazzling lights adorning homes and cities, sumptuous soirées shared with loved ones and presents! With the Season of Giving upon us, shop ready-to-give gift sets in a number of best-selling fragrances from Banyan Tree Essentials.  Purchase a Thai Chamanard Deluxe Gift Set, the signature spa amenities collection used across all Banyan Tree hotels to create your own blissful spa haven at home. With more than 10 rejuvenating gifts sets to select from, there will be something for everyone. Gift sets start from USD $49.

Year-end Detox

Amidst the festivities, the holiday season marks a time to wind down and relax. There’s no better way than indulging in a pampering array of signature Banyan Tree Spa treatments.  Embark on a sensory journey at any world-renowned Asian-inspired Banyan Tree spa. Choose the Royal Banyan, which features a herbal pouch dipped in warm Sesame Oil to improve blood circulation and ease muscle aches. A Coriander Cucumber Cleanser exfoliates to renew the skin while a therapeutic Herbal Bath effectively alleviates stress.Prices start from USD $265 for one person.

‘Off the Beaten Path” Holiday Retreats

If you haven’t made any getaway plans yet, take your loved ones on a fascinating holiday to Tamouda Bay, located on the northwestern coast of Morocco. Explore Morocco’s locale, brimming with bustling market streets, palaces and picturesque seaside towns. For those seeking new experiences, venture to Sichuan’s beautiful fairyland in Jiuzhaigou, China. Wake up to magnificent views of the mountains and be captivated by the ethereal landscape that Jiuzhaigou has to offer.

With a hectic year behind you, take a break from technology and reconnect with loved ones. Make the most of this festive season by giving them A Gift to Remember.

To find out more about Banyan Tree’s e-Gift vouchers, simply visit

*Please refer to the e-Gifting website for the full list of participating outlets.

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