For most people, there’s no place like home on Christmas. But what if you want to travel, to experience Christmas somewhere new and different?

London is an especially magical place to spend Christmas, and right now, Virgin Atlantic is having a sale on fares  to London.  You can get to London from New York City for just $512 round-trip, while $526 will get you there and back from Washington, DC.  On the West Coast, $642 will get you round-trip tickets from either San Francisco or LA. See more fares and additional details on Smarter Travel.

Once you’re there, you can enjoy traditional activities like ice skating and watching the English National Ballet’s traditional performance of The Nutcracker. Pantomimes are another popular English pastime during the holiday season-these are humorous theater performances where men often play female characters, and vice versa. There’s also the Great Christmas Pudding race, where contestants dress up and compete to see who can run around Covent Garden the fastest while carrying a large Christmas pudding.

It almost goes without saying that London is an excellent place to do some Christmas shopping. Plus, the atmosphere is almost guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.  An enormous Christmas tree lights up Trafalgar Square, and Christmas carols regale people passing by with traditional Christmas songs to raise money for charity. Plus, there are lights everywhere-see this post on Write On! for some excellent pictures!

Before you take off for London, you will have a final piece of Christmas shopping to take care of in the States-obtaining a passport.  If you don’t have one already, you may have trouble getting one before your plane leaves- Christmas is only 2 weeks away, and the US Department of State advises you t0 allow at least 3 weeks to receive your passport if you choose the government’s expedited processing option.

Your best option at this point for obtaining your passport in time is to use a private passport expediting company like We make obtaining a passport easy by helping you complete the paperwork and gather the necessary documents, and then forwarding your application directly to the Department of State. This puts your application on top of the stack, resulting in processing times as low as 24 hours.

Apply for your passport today!