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Our family had our first foray in Christmas Travel 10 years ago. I’m not talking about travel during Christmas break, but actually traveling over Christmas day. My parents, siblings, and all our spouses and kids decided to go to Alsace, France, for Christmas. We were delightfully under prepared for our usual Christmas traditions. We ended up buying a package of men’s socks that we decorated with sharpie to fill in for stockings. We couldn’t find yeast for our traditional Christmas morning monkeybread. And aside from the tree our host bought and decorated, we didn’t really have decorations. We ended up covering a door in wrapping paper to make it feel more festive. We learned that the things we think we need to make Christmas feel right aren’t really that necessary; we had each other and were making amazing memories.
Fast forward to this year, and we are once again spending Christmas away from home. We are staying in Quebec City for the 5th Christmas in a row in a tiny apartment without the beautiful decorations from home. I have learned from my years of travel at Christmas that it helps so much to have Christmas decor around you.
What to bring:
So a number of years ago I put a box together full of Christmas decor to decorate our Airbnb. I keep refining it, pulling bulky things out and adding in new interesting pieces. The box is 20″x 16″x 11″ and holds everything we need to decorate our “home away from home.” In addition to the box, we also have a small artificial tree and ornaments in larger box. (We only bring the tree if the Airbnb host doesn’t provide one.) Here’s our travel Christmas decor box:
and here is a peek inside:
Here is everything spread out on the table!
As you can see I have a lot of stuff in a very medium-sized box. There are two table clothes, a table runner, 2 stuffed reindeer, 2 large wooden stars, 8 sets of lights, 9 pre-tied bows, 8 wreaths, 4 wreath hangers, fake greenery, ornaments, 2 extension cords, a nativity, wooden word art, battery powered votive candles, and various garlands. I also have command strips, suction cups for wreaths, and thumbtacks.
We also brought our artificial tree box. It holds the pre-lit tree, the tree skirt, and ornaments.
This is the apartment before it is decorated.
Aren’t those brick and stone walls dreamy?
Here it is after an hour and a half of work:
It’s so Christmassy now!
It doesn’t have to take a lot to make a huge difference in the feel of the Airbnb.
How to decorate:
I love command strips to hang things on walls without damaging the wall (super important when you are renting a home). These are my favorite that I keep in my decorating box.
I also use suction cups for windows and appliances.
My wreath hangers have velvet interiors to protect the doors.
I often find nails or picture hangers on walls that I can use as well. Our stockings are hung up with thumbtacks in nail holes that already existed.
Tablecloths make a big difference in terms of bringing Christmas colors into the Airbnb. We bring vinyl ones to help protect tables while you roll out cookie dough or do crafts.
Lights are the final piece. We hang them from curtain rods or over bedposts. Make sure to bring extension cords and maybe a power strip.
We do bring our gifts with us when we go to Quebec because we drive and it is easy enough to load them into the car, but when we fly somewhere over Christmas we concentrate on gifts small in size and we leave big ones at home.
Bring a portable bluetooth speaker with you so you can play Christmas music in the Airbnb from your phone.
Remember that Christmas doesn’t have to be the same as it is at home to be wonderful. It’s often the differences that you will remember and will become cherished memories!
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