The True Meaning Of Boxing Day

26 December 2015
Read Time: 2.4 mins

We all know Boxing Day as the treasured public holiday after Christmas set aside for enjoying our presents and family.

But what is the origin of this much-loved day of the year?

Various theories have been bandied around, and while a definitive answer is still yet to be found, one historical mention stands out as the most likely.

Travel Inspiration Is the meaning of Boxing Day to treat ourselves or others? (Image: Getty)

The earliest use of the term 'Boxing Day' occurred in England around the 1830s when the first weekday after Christmas Day was considered a holiday.

On this day certain employees, such as errand boys, postmen and various servants, received a special Christmas box containing presents, money and leftovers. Servants were also allowed to visit their families.

Boxing Day hasn't veered too far from its original traditions. We still spend time with family and friends, and plenty of us tuck into those delicious leftovers from Christmas Day.

However, one thing is missing: the presents. It's time we brought back the act of unselfish giving, so here are four travel-inspired packages everyone would love to receive on Boxing Day.

For The Family - Fiji

Christmas can be hectic, with family, food, decorations and gifts consuming your entire life. Some even feel like they need a holiday afterwards.

Fiji provides the perfect destination for all the relaxation you missed over Christmas, with spacious beaches, elegant resorts and plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained.

Five nights on this island paradise won't cost anywhere near what you think, sometimes costing less than $1,000 for a family of four. Fiji holiday packages usually include one of the country's exquisite resorts, on-site water sports and kids club, with some also adding complimentary meals for children.

Travel Inspiration Relaxation is easy to find in Fiji (Image: Getty)

For The Adventurous Couple - New Zealand Self Drive

Arguably the best way to see New Zealand is by getting behind the wheel and venturing off with your favourite travel partner. The country serves up an array of unique sights as you cross from town to town.

On the North Island you can venture from Auckland to Rotorua and on to Lake Taupo, ticking off Waiheke Island, geothermal spas and bungy jumping along the way.

Down south intrepid adventurers will find glorious skiing in Queenstown, lakeside action in Hamilton and one of the world's most renowned wine regions, Marlborough.

It sounds expensive, but you could probably afford this holiday on a servant's wage with motorhome hire costing as low as $75 a day and numerous airlines offering cheap flights across the Tasman.

Travel Inspiration Tailor-make your own dream New Zealand adventure (Image: Getty)

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For The Seasoned Travellers - South Pacific Cruise

Sometimes the best holiday is one where you only unpack once, visit multiple countries and never have to worry about meals, booking hotels or finding entertainment.

This is exactly what a cruise around the South Pacific offers. Exploring this utopia reveals exotic island destinations such as Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Life is made easy, thanks to onboard luxuries including fine dining, group activities and stately rooms with balconies and extra trimmings.

Surprisingly affordable, a typical 10-night South Pacific cruise can cost as little as $1,200, which is only $120 a night for entertainment, sightseeing, accommodation and food. Princess Cruises' Sun Princess is one of the premier options for exploring this part of the world.

Travel Inspiration Trade one island haven in for another (Image: Getty)

For The Backpacker - Australia's Tropics

Explore the beaches, islands and party hubs of Queensland's east coast with a group of new best friends by touring the tropics with Topdeck.

This Aussie-made tour includes stops at Fraser Island, the Whitsundays and Cairns, some of Australia's biggest backpacker destinations.

Along with seeing more of your own backyard, you'll also be able to meet like-minded travellers from all over the globe. There are plenty of bonding opportunities with numerous nights out and daytime activities that utilise the idyllic coastal settings.

Depending on the time of year, the Topdeck tour can cost less than $2,000 with accommodation and some meals included. All you need to worry about is the best hangover cure.

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals.

Ben Stower

I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.