Top five destinations to avoid this Christmas

Rockefeller Centre Ice-skating rink, New York

Is there anything better than ice-skating at Christmas; the glistening ice, those post-skate hot chocolates and the odd Christmas bump? It would seem that the hundreds of New Yorkers and city sightseers who descend upon the ice rink at the Rockefeller Centre in New York agree; Christmas really is better on ice. Although it’s traditional to skate at the Rockefeller centre, snaking cues and ludicrous prices can turn your holiday treat into a holiday nightmare. If you knew that a visit to this little rink would cost you $21 plus the $9 skate rental and two hours of queuing time, would you still want to go this year?

Sierra Nevada, United States

For many, a white Christmas epitomizes the festive season, and if snow is scarce in your part of the world then it can be tempting to jet off in search of some. However, if you were considering visiting Sierra Nevada (the mountain range that stretches between California and Nevada) for your snow fix, be warned. Last year in just two days Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort said it had received nine feet of new snow. Not only were roads shut, but mountain passes to travelers were closed. The extreme weather even prompted @MammothMountain to tweet that ‘Measuring snow in inches is “so” last week: we busted out the yardstick’.

Dunsdale, England

This small English village received some unwelcome press when they were deemed to have the worst Christmas tree in Britain. Prudent council bosses wheeled out an 8ft tree that had been used the previous year. The sad little fur was lifeless and dying, and the Christmas lights that adorned it were thicker than some of the branches. After receiving many, many complaints the Dunsdale council removed the tree during the secrecy and relative shelter of the night. We’re sorry Dunsdale, but we had to warn people that you had the worst tree in Britain. It may be best to skip this little hamlet and visit Ardingly in West Sussex, which boasts a 34.4 metre meter giant.

St Petersburg, Russia

The key to celebrating Christmas in St Petersburg is to remember that the Russian Orthodox Church still uses the Julian calendar. This means that Christmas does not fall on the 25th of December, but on the 7th of January. So, although there is plenty of holiday cheer in St Petersburg before Christmas, with reindeer walks and festive fairs, if you’re expected back at work on January 3rd you may just miss Christmas day this year. If you’re lucky enough to be in St Petersburg between the 1st and 8th of January also note that businesses may not be open as this is an official public holiday for all workers.

Austria

Warm mulled wine, a Christmas concert and a top meal in a restaurant; if your idea of a perfect Christmas is getting merry with friends outside of the home, then maybe think twice before booking your ticket to Austria. On Christmas Eve all theaters, night clubs, bars and restaurants close and traffic is practically non-existent. Instead of going out, people spend Christmas with their family or friends. If you’re also a big fan of Santa then you’ll be disappointed to know that he has no place in the Austrian Christmas. Instead a winged, golden haired baby called Kristkindl brings the children gifts. Read more on realbuzz.com...
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