Are you ready to take Christmas on the road? If you’re going to spend the holidays on vacation this year, you might have a few concerns about how to make it feel like a real family celebration. Will you be able to decorate your accommodations? Is there really any way to make a hotel room or vacation villa feel like you’re home for the holidays?

We have good news! It’s really not hard to instill the spirit of the season into your vacation. Here are six easy ways to bring Christmas cheer on your vacation!

  1. Make it Feel Like You’re “Home for the Holidays”

Recreate the traditional at-home feel of your holiday with a few light, easily packed ornaments or decorations for your resort accommodations. Family traditions like stockings are easy to fold into your suitcase. If they’re seriously sentimental heirlooms and you’re flying to your destination, make sure they go in your carry-on baggage. Even if you’re not going big with a tree, it’s nice to add a few holiday touches to counters, tables, or windows. Select a few flat ornaments or holiday decor pieces such as your favorite reindeer to decorate potentially bland spaces in your room.

It's easy to bring along small decorations to brighten up your vacation!

It’s easy to bring along small decorations to brighten up your vacation!

Maybe it just won’t feel like Christmas without a tree. Table-top mini-trees are always fun, or if you want the full experience, order a Christmas tree from Amazon to be delivered to your resort! Don’t want to ship it home? In resort towns like Orlando, you can actually rent a Christmas tree for the duration of your vacation! Companies such as K&M Rentals, in Kissimmee, Florida, will deliver a lit Christmas tree to your resort for your stay, and pick it up when you’re heading home. Don’t worry – they pack the ornaments separately, so you can still have the fun of decorating the tree as a family!

  1. “But how will Santa Claus find us?”

If you’re the sort of family who leaves out milk and cookies for Santa, you’re probably going to get this question. Reassure your little elves by letting Santa know you’re heading on vacation ahead of time (so that he has time to punch your resort address into his reindeer GPS).

Write Santa a fresh new letter, complete with your forwarding address. If you’re looking for a fun way to let the kids know that holiday magic follows them wherever they go, you can get high-tech with a video message or phone call from St. Nick himself, made with a company like Portable North Pole. Once they’ve live-streamed Santa directly to the hotel room, your kids should be convinced Christmas is still on track despite the change of address.

"Dear Santa... We're going to celebrate Christmas in Orlando this year! We'll see you there..."

“Dear Santa… We’re going to celebrate Christmas in Orlando this year! We’ll see you there…”

  1. Save The Big Gifts

Pack gifts that can easily be wrapped at your destination. Since you can’t bring wrapped packages through airport security, you’ll want to bring along wrapping materials. Gift bags and tissue are easier to pack in suitcases than a bulky roll of wrapping paper, so pick the gifts you’ll give while on vacation accordingly. You might also want to order wrapped presents sent directly to your resort. Either way, if there’s a “big gift” this year, roll it out when everyone gets home, for an impromptu second Christmas. If you need a gift stand-in, a wrapped photo or a hint (like a piece of the packaging) will be a big hit.

  1. Pajama Party!

Start your holiday celebration on the first night of your trip with new holiday PJs for everybody! This makes for a fun photo-op (maybe even next year’s Christmas card?) and sets the tone for a vacation full of holiday fun.

  1. Delicious Scents

What does Christmas smell like to you? Gingerbread? Fresh-baked cookies? Evergreen? Take that scent with you with a plug-in scent for your resort accommodations! Safer than candles and easier on the carpet than an actual fresh-cut Christmas tree, popping a scent plug-in into an electrical outlet will give you that home-for-the-holidays scent your family loves.

  1. Make Time for Holiday Fun

Add some holiday-themed attractions to your vacation! Whether it’s a massive Christmas light display like the wonderful drive-throughs in Branson, Missouri, or the festive Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World in Florida, putting some seasonal fun on the agenda will make the whole vacation feel more Christmas-sy. (That’s especially true if you’re celebrating in Florida and you’re used to a white Christmas!)

Cinderella Castle lights up for the holidays during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Photo: Flickr/lhbrizzante

Cinderella Castle lights up for the holidays during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Photo: Flickr/lhbrizzante

Traveling for the holidays just needs a few extra touches to make your Christmas celebration feel every bit as traditional as it would at home. You can easily pack, decorate and celebrate Christmas on vacation — with just a little planning!

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