Most people only have one holiday per year, so naturally, many think of the summer as the opportune time to get away. However, if you’re a little tired of the same old Spanish trip abroad; why not take a new approach to your annual break?
Going on holiday during the winter can be a great option; firstly, you get to escape old Jack Frost (and the onslaught of weather-based conversation which accompanies him), and secondly, it can actually be quite cost efficient. Why not spend the money which usually goes on presents, food, decoration, more presents, drink, even more food… on something you’ll really enjoy?
If you’re thinking of taking a trip somewhere this winter, here’s a quick run-down of some of the best destinations to consider.
Ski resorts might be one of the most obvious winter destinations, but there’s many a good reason why. Filled with adventure, fun and excitement for the whole family, they can provide the perfect alternative Christmas abroad. With guaranteed snow, varied slopes, and a traditional village feel mixed with buzzing nightlife – Ischgl is one of the Alps’ best.
New York City, USA
If you’re more of a city dweller, now could be the perfect time to visit one of the greatest in the world. New York during Christmas time is undeniably magical; with festive cheer found on every street corner, it’ll add extra sparkle to endless tourist activities. You’ll need to pack your thermals of course – Manhattan doesn’t even do winter by halves.
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
If you’re looking for a fairly cheap option, somewhere not too far away, the Canary Islands would be a fantastic choice. It might not be bikini-weather, but with an average temperature of around 20 degrees in December – it’s still a lovely alternative to the coat and scarf combo. Also, there are some excellent discounts on flights and accommodation around this time of year, so make sure you shop around!
A winter holiday could be transformed into ultimate summer with a trip to Australia. If you’ve got the funds to splash out, Sydney is one of the top places to consider. With its combination of nightlife, cultural attraction and glorious sunshine – you might have to sacrifice your turkey – but with Christmas spent on the beach: we doubt you’ll miss it.
Finally, if you’re the type of person who appreciates ancient history – with its tombs, temples and pyramids – Cairo is bound to excite you. Full of natural wonder and mystery, it could be the perfect place to dispel those New Year blues. Remember it’s worth shopping around during January (even at the very last minute) to take advantage of any sales; a lot of airlines and money saving websites could help you save money on travel.
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So perhaps you’ve done the diving, sightseeing, nature hikes and retreat holidays and you’ve no doubt had a fabulous time on all of them. Now you’re looking for something a little different and you’re tempted by the thought of a break in the snow. It’s an exciting option, but if you’re new to skiing, you may be feeling a little daunted about where to start.
Speak to the pros
We’re not talking about skiing pros here, but the companies which can help you create the perfect skiing holiday for you and your family. With so many skiing holidays to choose from, an expert can help you make the right choices and offer a few tips you may not have thought about. After all, it is your first time!
It goes without saying that the biggest decision you will make when planning your ski holiday is selecting the right resort. There are a few standard points to consider in the early stages which will help you create he ideal holiday. For example, have you thought about scenery? This might seem like an after-thought, but part of the joy of a ski holiday is its location.
Do you want breathtaking vistas of snow-covered mountains, or are you more interested in the facilities on offer at the resort? It’s all up to you. Also, do you want self-catering and the freedom this brings, or would you like the luxury of an all-inclusive break, where you don’t have to cook a thing?
Are you travelling with a group of friends and if so, what kind of skiing experience does everyone have? This will affect the kind of holiday you create, as those with differing skill levels will want to take part in differing activities.
Another point to consider is nightlife. Does a night on the town after a day of skiing sound good, or will you look forward to an early night instead? The choice is yours, but make sure the resort you select matches your needs.
Taking the kids
A good resort will always cater for tots and teenagers with activities and lessons tailored to age, ability and aspiration. If you are planning a family skiing break, check out the resort in advance to find out what is on offer for the kids, or even better, get them involved with the decision-making!
What with the skis, boots and special clothing, skiing requires a lot of kit. Have a good think and decide if you want to buy the equipment or hire it from a resort instead. If it is your first time skiing, the latter option is probably best. It also saves on baggage allowances and bulky travel.
There is no harm in booking a taster lesson at your local indoor or outdoor skiing facility to have an idea of what to expect and to whet your appetite.
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