Hundreds of thousands of travellers will be moving around Europe, the US and Middle East during the traditional festive break.
At least 4 million British passengers will fly overseas – with the peak travel days expected to be December 18, December 23 and December 30.
Travellers are warned to leave extra time for their trips due to extra security arrangements at airports in the wake of terrorist plots by the jihadist group Isis.
Many tourists will be heading for a winter break in France or Switzerland, where a massive manhunt is underway after the Central Intelligence Agency recently revealed terrorists were planning a further bomb or gas outrage.
Four members of a terror cell were identified.
Two have been arrested near Geneva and the others are on the run.
Meanwhile other suspects have been arrested in Paris after the closure of a mosque. Weapons, ammunition and extremist literature were found inside.
According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), Paris is one of the most popular Christmas and New Year city break destinations.
France and Switzerland have posted extra police and soldiers on patrol and tightened security at airports and border crossings.
Child kidnapping threat
British diplomats in South Africa are warning families about reports of several attempted kidnaps of children.
The abductions were reported in outlying areas of the city of Pretoria.
“Take extra care if you have children and do not let them go out alone,” said a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman.
“No children appear to be missing, but we are taking the threat seriously.”
Smog pollution in the Chinese capital Beijing is at the worst ever level, according to official statistics.
Air conditions were so bad, schools were closed and the elderly warned to stay indoors.
The government is urging people not to walk the streets but to take public transport and wear face masks.
Tourist spots such as The Great Wall and The Temple of Heaven are said to be unaffected.
Find latest travel warnings
- To check out the latest British government worldwide travel warnings, go to the FCO web site and select a country
- The US government also issues regular travel warnings online
- For ABTA travel information, visit their web site