As the holiday season approaches and the vacation bug bites, many of us begin to plan out our winter holiday.
The holiday season can be hectic, difficult, and expensive. In addition, when it comes to planning a holiday, it can be hard to find exactly what you're looking for. There's also so much to do and many great places to visit. And with all these, comes the question of how much will it all cost? Therefore, it’s important that you do your best so that your winter holiday is affordable and enjoyable for everyone involved.
To ease the process, it helps to plan out your vacation so that you know exactly what you want to do and where you want to go. There are also a number of factors to consider, including whether you're planning short breaks or long-haul trips and the type of accommodation required by your group.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the factors that you need to consider as you plan for the perfect winter getaway.
In as much as you’d want spontaneity in your vacation, having a bullet-proof plan helps you organize your trip and allows you to better utilize your time well for maximum enjoyment. When you plan your trip, you know what to expect, and also lets you create a bucket list of things to do when you get to your destination.
For skiing and snowboarding, a resort with deep, fresh powder and multiple ski runs would be your best bet. In addition, research on whether the resort’s runs are marked for beginner, intermediate or advanced skiing. Knowing this information beforehand helps you know exactly which country to visit and the specific resort to book your stay in, and saves you the hustle of wandering from one resort to the other in search of perfect skiing or snowboarding conditions.
And while you’re at it, you can also check out the other activities that you can engage in while at the resort. These may include hiking, mountain fat biking, sightseeing, and shopping activities.
Scheduling your activities in advance before visiting high-traffic destinations is a good idea.
Often, when you purchase your tickets and passes in advance, you may take advantage of pre-season sales, discounts, and offers, thereby saving money. In addition, having an itinerary planned before your trip helps to reduce long waiting times.
Accommodation reservations are usually in high demand during the holidays. In addition, before you commit to an accommodation option, double-check the services on offer.
It would also help to do extensive research about your destination months before your trip. This gives you ample time to plan other things associated with your vacation like comparing travel prices which tend to fluctuate every now and then.
The following are some things to look out for before deciding on where to stay:
When it comes to your choice of accommodation, some of the available choices include:
You may also opt to stay on the resort, both on and off-mountain. On-mountain accommodations include ski-in/ski-out lodgings where you can literally hit the slopes or access the lifts right from your abode. Off-mountain accommodations may include staying down in the resort’s village or the nearby town if close enough. Often, you’ll find more ski life amenities if you decide to stay off-mountain or in the nearest town.
Most travel plans get interrupted during adverse winter weather conditions.
So, due to sudden and unforeseen events, a travel insurance policy is a must-have. Travel insurance is a vital component of your trip and is beneficial when an accident occurs where you need immediate medical attention. It also helps when you lose your luggage and valuable personal items in transit.
You don’t want your travel plans ruined by bad weather especially when a flight gets canceled. If you’ve got no travel insurance, you’ll not get a refund.
However, insurance is only helpful if you purchase a cover before an incident occurs. If an incident was foreseen and warnings were issued regarding the same, you may want to reconsider or reschedule your travel plans. If you chose to continue with your winter holiday, and an accident occurs, most insurance companies will not cover the cost of damages.
A good travel insurance cover should cover the following:
What comes to mind if you imagine cold weather? If you guessed dry skin and chapped lips, you’re right.
Sunburns are also common high up on the mountains due to Ultra Violet (UV) rays. Remember also to bring sunscreen and sunglasses. The low temperatures prevailing in dry and adverse weather areas can also be harsh on your skin. So don’t forget to bring a rich moisturizer for your hands and skin. The moisture keeps your skin warm and nourished when it’s cold. Lastly, your lips need personalized care when traveling during the winter, and a decent-quality lip balm can prevent cracked lips.
During the winter season, your body is also more prone to flu and viruses. And this is worsened when you travel to new destinations. Talk to your doctor for any prescription or any over-the-counter medication that you can carry with you if you’re traveling overseas. Ask your physician to write your prescription letter, which will aid you in getting your meds through immigration. The letter from your doctor serves the purpose of explaining the nature of the drugs, the dosage, and, who is using them. You can have medication like antibiotics in their original package for proper identification. It also helps to take photographs of your medication to help you when refilling.
Drugs such as pain relievers that don’t need a prescription are also wise to pack.
When traveling to some countries, a vaccination certificate is required. When you go to get your shots, inform your physician of your destination, how long the holiday is going to last, and lastly, the activities you will be involved in.
These are the most common types of vaccines that you can get for an overseas trip:
Keep your vaccine certificates together with your travel documents.
When it's time to hit the road for that long-awaited winter vacation, you can’t help but be excited. You can’t wait to get your winter gear out of storage, and wax your skis and snowboards.
It is always hard to know what to pack and, in the excitement, many of us tend to overpack, incurring an overweight strike at the airport. However, you should always pack only absolute essentials, leaving stuff that you can easily and affordably purchase or rent at the destination resort.
For example, a winter vacation requires a whole different approach when it comes to clothing. But your winter clothing should only include the absolute essentials. Your goal is to keep warm, dry, and, pack light. However, if you insist on bringing your thickest coat along, you can always wear it on the plane to avoid the overweight and oversize luggage strike.
Consider the following essentials to avoid over-packing:
To ensure your luggage is well organized, consider using packing tubes. For the safety of your luggage, place a name tag (for example a colored ribbon) around the handle which also aids in easy identification.
If you’re looking to save time and have a pleasant non-stop journey to your destination, then a direct flight is your best bet. A direct flight, also called a non-stop flight, confers a traveler several benefits which include reducing the chances of delayed flights, lost luggage, or missing a connecting flight.
Tip: if you must use a connecting flight, be on the lookout for layover times. If adverse weather causes a flight to be delayed and you miss your connecting flight, the airline is not obliged to find an alternative seat for you. A direct flight, therefore, reduces the odds of getting stuck in the midst of your trip.
You can make great savings during your trip if you budget wisely. A budget is beneficial as it forces you to spend within its stipulations. It also gives you peace of mind as you’re unlikely to run out of money during your trip.
As you plan your budget, have a way of keeping track of the current currency exchange rate. You can download apps or sign up for regular alerts from currency exchange websites or services. This way you can track possible fluctuations and get alerted when the rate goes above your budgetary limit.
Other ways that you can save money during your winter holiday include:
Of course, the purpose of a budget is to help you control your spending, and it’s of no use if you don’t stick to it. Going over and beyond your budget can put you in a serious deficit, forcing you to take loans to keep up or even causing you to cut your vacation short.
Your peaceful getaway should not be interrupted by you worrying over unnecessary incurred debts just to have a good time. So plan ahead and stick to the budget.
Finally, if you intend to travel overseas, you will need some form of formal identifying documents which are mandatory for all international travel. A passport and a visa are the most common required documents.
As you plan your travel in advance, make sure your documents are in order. If passport pages are nearly full, acquire a new one. This process may take a couple of months, so plan in advance. Also, ensure your passport is valid for more than 6 months prior to planning your gateway. In addition, ensure that the document is not defaced in any way which could cause problems as you go through immigration.
Some countries require you to have a visa before visiting, while others allow you to apply for one after your arrival. Consult with your destination's consulate to know the visa requirements for that particular country. You should be able to know whether there are any restrictions, or banned cargo or luggage items.
The easiest way to plan your trip and ensure all documentation and requirements are in order is by going through a travel agency. Most travel agencies will give you up-to-date information and can even do the bookings on your behalf.
A winter holiday is a perfect time to plan a relaxing getaway for you and your friends or family. Planning a holiday is all about finding the right balance between fun, relaxation, and adventure. It's also important to make sure that you are ensuring your busy life doesn't get in the way of your holiday plans.
If you need to take a skiing or snowboarding holiday and are unsure of how to identify the best winter escape destinations, you can find lots of useful information on our website. At Brealpa, you’ll find useful information on: