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Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

#FriendlyFiles: 5 Questions for a Downton Abbey Super Fan

Liz, one of our Reservation Agents and a SUPER fan of the Downton Abbey show, shares a little insight on what it’s like to wine and dine at Highclere Castle, AKA the real Downton Abbey, during the very exclusive annual Christmas Ball!

Downton fans, I couldn’t be more excited to let you know—if you want to don your finest and celebrate the holidays at Highclere Castle, as I did (and believe me, you want to!)—well, you can. For the fourth year in a row, Friendly Planet is offering some highly coveted spots to the annual Christmas Ball, and they’re on sale now! Your invitation to the 2017 Downton Abbey Christmas Ball has arrived.

Highclere Castle © Highclere Castle Enterprises LLP


10 tips for stress-free travel this holiday season

When traveling during the holiday season, you can expect to find higher fares, larger crowds and lines, and a bit more hustle and bustle than any other time of the year. But don’t let these factors stress you out or influence you to alter your travel plans.

I travel throughout the year, but can attest that preparation is especially key to staying stress-free during holiday travel. So, I’ve compiled my best advice for booking your vacation, packing your suitcase, and keeping your cool when traveling this holiday season. Read on for my ten stress-free holiday travel tips.

Book early

  • When I say early, I mean YESTERDAY. The longer you wait, the more it’ll cost, assuming you can find space at all. So make your plans ASAP to get the best deal.
  • If you know that you want to get away, are on a budget, but don’t know where to go, I suggest traveling to a European capital, like Paris, Rome or even Prague. There are plenty of great airfare and hotel deals around Thanksgiving, especially.   
  • This next tip may not work for everyone, but if you can travel ON a holiday, you’ll usually find space and save some money. For example, Christmas Day is often the beginning of low season (and hence, costs less) for some destinations. However, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, is still peak season. There can be a big cost differential there, so weigh your options carefully. (more…)

Holiday traditions around the world

We all have holiday traditions that are unique to us and our families. Some might have been passed down from ancestors and through culture, and others we might have created last year with friends. Either way, in my mind, traditions are what make the holiday season come to life.

I wanted to share some holiday traditions from around the world with you. Some are specific to our Friendly Planet team, some are driven by culture and our communities, and others have been carried on by entire nations for generations. Read on for a look at how some of us celebrate this wonderful time of year.

North America. Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Chanukah are all celebrated in December in the United States by people of different faiths (though Kwanza can end in the beginning of January, and Chanukah sometimes begins at the end of November). A special Christmas tradition for many is the Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve, which is Italian in origin and commemorates the wait for the birth of baby Jesus on Christmas Day. Many also attend midnight mass after the seven-course meal.

A tradition that’s unique to those who celebrate Kwanzaa is dedicating each of the seven days to one of the seven principles — unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith — which are believed to have been key to building strong, productive families and communities in Africa.

A member of our marketing team, Leora Hafri, shared a personal Chanukah family tradition with us: (more…)

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