10 Great Places to Spend the Holidays in the World (Sans Snow)

Topdeck Travel is a youth travel company with a passion for creating grand adventures and life-long memories. 
Feeling the festive blues?

We totally get it.

Sometimes all it takes is a healthy dose of Vitamin D to transform us from being a miserable Grinch to a jolly elf.

So if the thought of battling through the bitter temperatures is enough to have you running for the nearest travel agent, perhaps it’s time to ditch the traditional vaycay plan and opt for the alternative: a holiday, southern hemisphere style.

Shake off those woolly mittens and get scrolling – your sun-soaked trip awaits.


Morocco, North Africa
Forget reindeer. Saunter across the Sahara atop a camel’s hump and feel the warmth of the Middle Eastern sun on your holiday skin. A festive trip to mesmerising Morocco may not include the white stuff, but expect delectable feasts, diverse landscapes, and intoxicating cultural delights.

Berber man walking with his camel, Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert, Me

Great Barrier Reef – Queensland, Australia
The Aussies sure know how to do Christmas holidays. Plan your festive break at the mighty Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and look forward to warm, turquoise waters teeming with marine life, serene sailing trips, and sumptuous prawns thrown on the barbie (yep, it’s true). Don’t forget to make a special trip to Whitehaven Beach – with sand so soft and white, it gives snow a run for its money.

Great Barrier Reef (70)

Bangkok, Thailand
In a country that is majority Buddhist, it’s reasonable to assume Christmas isn’t a big deal in Thailand. But that’s no reason to skip this intoxicating vaycay destination. In fact, the local food alone in Thailand’s capital is enough motivation to book your trip. While turkey may be the norm (and let’s face it, finger-licken’ good), why not swap out a traditional festive feast for a Bangkok banquet? Think: Gaeng Daeng (red curry), Pad Thai, Yam Nua (spicy beef salad) and mango sticky rice! #Drool.


Kruger National Park, South Africa
Fancy waking up to the roar of the Big Five on Christmas morning, as opposed to the jingle of Santa’s sleigh? Channel your inner explorer and set out on safari in one of South Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger National Park. After the first rains of November, expect lush green shoots emerging from the parched landscape and plenty of cute-as-a-button animals to “ooh and ahh” over. Because who can resist a new-born lion cub? No one, that’s who.

A pride a lions being followed by a group off safari vehicles. Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania

Israel, Middle East
Hot, exotic, and far from deserted, Israel dishes up off-the-beaten-track experiences of biblical proportions. Escape the stinging cold of home, dive into an eclectic mix of ancient ruins and buzzing nightlife, and observe how old meets new at the historical intersection of religion. Make like the Three Wise Men and trek to the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem­ (aka Jesus’ birthplace), perhaps the ultimate pit stop during a holiday visit to the Holy Land.


Miami – Florida, USA
If you’re after the ultimate snow-free, sun-filled holiday vaycay, put down your guide book and head straight to Miami – the home of fast cars, muscle tees and art deco everything. With miles of glam beaches, delicious fare with a Hispanic twist, and more New Year’s parties than you can poke a cocktail umbrella at, you’ll be embracing this steamy spot faster than you can say, “Bienvenido a Miami!”. Mix with the magnates on South Beach or hang with swimsuit-clad supermodels poolside. Either way, look forward to rest, relaxation and plenty of razzle-dazzle.


Great Ocean Road – Victoria, Australia
Talk about picturesque landscapes. Spanning 243 kilometres along the stunning south-eastern coast of Australia­ – boasting rugged cliffs, iconic surf beaches, wildlife, wineries, and even waterfalls – the Great Ocean Road is the mac daddy of scenic drives. Seriously. With a sublime average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius in summer, Victoria is the place to be for creating Instagram-worthy holiday snaps. This year, make the Great Ocean Road the cover of your annual holiday card.

Great Ocean Road

Zanzibar – Tanzania, East Africa
Find the perfect use for that new novel Santa so kindly left in your stocking on the idyllic island of Zanzibar. Kick your feet up under swaying palms, explore the winding alleyways and markets, and relish the scent of exotic spices in the air. When you’re not horizontal on a lounge chair, try a spot of snorkelling to while away the afternoon. Unforgettable holiday: check.


Bali, Indonesia
There’s nothing like an ice cold Bintang while kicking back in your Balinese villa to celebrate the birth of Christ. Holidaymakers the world over flock to the popular Indonesian island during the festive break to soak up the sun, surf and smiley atmosphere, made famous by the affable Balinese locals. There’s no wonder really. Bali is the perfect antidote to those chilly northern hemisphere blues. Just be prepared for ‘fry an egg on the pavement’ kind of heat.


Queenstown, New Zealand
Don your finest Christmas-themed jandals (flip flops) and get ready for a festive holiday filled with lake dips, jet boating, paragliding, and even bungee jumping (if you dare). After all, Queenstown is known as New Zealand’s adventure capital. If you’re not feeling ready to test your nerves on a stomach of good ol’ Kiwi pavlova, simply sit back and let the southern hemisphere temperatures warm your bones.