From icicles glistening in the moonlight, to the intricate details of delicate snowflakes, to the serenity of frozen ponds and snowcapped mountains—winter certainly isn’t without its charms. But give that freshly fallen snow a few weeks and it starts to turn gray—if you’re starting to tire of scraping ice off your windshield, dodging snow drifts on your morning commute, or dealing with the bitter cold bite of winter’s embrace, it may be time to start planning your escape. Adventure is calling! Here are 5 tips for planning the perfect winter getaway.
1) Travel to a Winter Wonderland
A lot of the things that stress us out during the winter are really related to the impact weather has on the banality of our daily routine. You might have to wake up 30 minutes earlier to give yourself time to shovel the driveway. Or to defrost the windshield before your morning commute to work. Snow plows make navigating your neighborhood by foot a winter hike, rife with danger but without the beautiful scenery. But if you harken back to your younger years, you may remember a simpler time where a snow day equated to fun. Sometimes it’s not winter you need to escape from, but the stress of the quotidian. Consider taking a vacation to a winter wonderland. Snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing and hiking are all great ways to take advantage of the joys that winter brings.
2) Travel to the Tropics for some Fun in the Sun
Let’s face it winter is cold, and if those subzero temperatures have begun to weather your soul, there’s probably no quicker fix than to relocate yourself to someplace hot. It turns out there is a sound scientific basis behind the desire to get more sunlight during the darker parts of the year—sunlight is essential for a healthy living. The National Institute has found a strong positive correlation between the production of serotonin (the happy chemical) and sunlight. It’s a well known fact that your skin needs sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. This promotes bone growth and prevent illnesses like multiple sclerosis, inflammation, cancers and depression. Lesser known is how skin exposed to sunlight also releases nitric oxide into the bloodstream lowering your blood pressure. It’s little wonder why so many people plan trips to tropical beaches during the harshest months of winter.
3) Use Travel Apps to Cut Down on Paper
One of the most stressful things about traveling is dealing with all the paper. The passport, boarding passes, rail tickets and receipts. The list is seemingly endless. Fortunately, the year is 2016, and almost everyone has a smartphone. Apps like TripIt, TripCase and Evernote make it easier than ever before to organize your travel itinerary. As well as access essential information while you’re on the go. Apps like Google Flights and SkyScanner can help you quickly research and change flights and travel plans on the fly. Apple Pay and Google Wallet can turn your smartphone into a virtual wallet that can make payments and store receipts. If you’re traveling to the USA at select airports the Mobile Passport App allows you to skip the line at the airport without the hassle of carrying your physical passport. There have never been more ways to use your smartphone to cut down the burden of carrying paper.
4) Pack Light
If you’re like most people traveling abroad, you may be tempted to bring the whole “house” with you. Especially if you’re traveling with children. However, as tempting as it may be to cling to the security of being prepared for everything, if your goal was to escape from the burdens of everyday life, leaving behind your physical possessions can be an enlightening and rewarding experience. Cut your packing list down to the barest of essentials, if you need something while you’re on travel, purchase it as a souvenir. Need a dress shirt for an unexpectedly formal dinner occasion during your stay in Hawaii? Now you have an excuse to buy something new for yourself. Something that carries the additional value of commemorating your vacation abroad. Traveling someplace exotic with a large empty suitcase will feel especially rewarding on the trip home, when you’re able to fit all the souvenirs you collected.
5) Develop a Vacation Plan that Suits your Needs
People are different—and that’s a good thing, for the world would be a very boring place if everyone were the same. That’s why it’s important that you plan a vacation custom tailored to your personal needs. Not everyone’s idea of an ideal vacation will be the same . If your goal is to rejuvenate and recuperate, planning the perfect winter getaway is a very personal affair. If you’re the type that requires a jolt of adrenaline to resuscitate your soul, the perfect winter getaway might look like performing an air-to-fakie with your snowboard off of the Super-Duper Pipe at Mammoth Mountain. Alternatively if you require a reprieve from the stressful hustle of corporate life in NYC, the perfect winter getaway probably looks more like sipping a mai tai while lounging on a beach chair at the Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives. Pick the winter getaway that’s perfect for you.