I googled an image of Greece and for obvious reasons it mostly showed pictures of their ever so popular island Santorini, instead of mainland Greece or Athens. Although Santorini will be super off peak (not even low season but it's literally OFF season) during winter in December, we (mainly me, not Zai haha) decided to go ahead with our decision. Despite knowing that most (which means almost all but not all) shops, restaurants and hotels will be closed on the island, I decided to just go ahead because of a few reasons.
1) No Crowds
Santorini is a romantic, summer destination. So you can expect it to be quite crowded in summer. There will be mostly romantic couples on honeymoon. If we go in winter, we won't have to face the crowd. If my baby ever screams in the middle of nowhere, I won't get stares from couples who are trying to enjoy their honeymoon.
2) Bearable Winter
While Greece will still be cold in winter, quick check online tells me that it won't be as cold as the other winter cities I shortlisted. I don't mind the cold at all but I don't want baby's first winter to be a bitter one for him.
3) Hotels Which Accept Babies
Some hotels don't accept babies in summer because it's a honeymoon destination and crying babies are no-no. So if we go in winter, those few hotels that are open, will actually accept babies because they won't have that many customers anyway. They know our crying babies won't really affect anyone.
4) There's Also Athens
Although Santorini is a summer destination, Athens is fine all year round. Athens is lively during winter and most of it's attractions are open during that time. Santorini is only less than half of our entire vacation. There are other things to see in Athens other than go to Santorini alone.
Off season means cheap hotel rates by as much as 50%. Only in Santorini not Athens though. Like I said, Athens is busy all year round, but that's enough to save us some money.
6) Closed Restaurants/Shops Won't Affect Us
Closed restaurants (not all) won't really affect us because Santorini doesn't have halal food, sadly. But we don't mind being a vegetarian for a few days, and we got a hotel with a small kitchen for us to cook while we are there. We don't mind the closed shops too because there's nothing much to buy except souvenirs which we can easily get in Athens.
But of course if you have the luxury to go Santorini between May and October that will be best! I won't say there are no disadvantages of going there in winter with a baby but I can only take long vacations in December so I really don't have a choice. :( Given a choice I probably won't go in December. Many times I came across articles and forums discouraging tourists from visiting Santorini in December or even if you must visit Greece, just stay in Athens the whole time instead of going to that island. But I guess I sort of found the 6 reasons above good enough for me to visit Greece (including Santorini) in December. In fact I know of people who went there in December and it was a good experience for them. We'll see how it goes
Apart from Greece, we're dropping by Dubai on the way back, heh. I am not interested in Dubai honestly and I rather save the money for another vacation, another time. But Zai wanted to maximise his 2 and a half weeks leave badly. Italy and Turkey are very near to Greece but there's no way we can really cover them in less than a week. So, Dubai it is!
Suggestions on where to go in Athens and Dubai are most welcomed! :)