Summer is the season when vacationing reaches its peak, as people head off to enjoy the long days and fine weather. As this summer fades away, hopefully you’ll have had a wonderful, sunny vacation over the warmer months and will be looking forward to finding another special place for next year. In the meantime, there are the shorter days and less pleasant weather conditions of winter to get through. In some ways, taking a break in the winter makes just as much sense as a summer trip, because you won’t have so many outdoor activities like gardening to occupy your time. Plus who wouldn’t relish the prospect of a few days away from the harsh realities of trying to get to work in howling gales and snow storms?
Preparing for winter breaks
Wearing appropriate clothing is essential, and where you’re going will have a bearing on the clothes you choose. You’ll still need sun protection in warmer climates or if the winter sun shines very brightly; or you might need thermal and waterproof clothing if you’re staying in the colder regions, and don’t forget it can often be colder and windier next to the sea than it is inland in more northerly destinations. Have a look at the clothing ranges of stores that specialize in outdoor and leisure wear, like this company, who have a range of outfits for looking stylish on a winter sun break as well as warmer clothes for facing the elements nearer to home. You’ll also need to research any extra equipment you might need, such as emergency supplies, safety gear, communication devices, and so on.
1. Snow breaks
Skiing and snowboarding trips are the obvious way to spend a winter break, and there are resorts all over the United States and Canada that cater for snow sports enthusiasts and novices alike. These resorts are designed around the wintry conditions that prevail during their peak months, so in addition to the days on the piste, there’ll be plenty of evening entertainments and warm and welcoming places to eat and socialize. If the idea of going somewhere as cold as a snow-covered mountain lacks appeal, you should read up on what a skiing break is actually like, because you’ll find that with the right clothes and equipment like snowboards or skis, you’ll stay warm and comfortable even on the coldest days because you’ll always be doing something.
2. Hotter climates
When it’s snowing and raining in one part of the world, somewhere else it will be sunny and warm. Taken to the extreme, during the worst of the winter weather, Australia will be enjoying summer sunshine and heat waves, so if you fancy heading off somewhere where you can lay on a beach and soak up some rays, have a look for countries that have a warm climate during the northern hemisphere’s big chill. You don’t need to go as far as Australia and New Zealand (although you’d surely enjoy your time if you did!) as there are many places closer to home that could fit the bill for a warm winter break. In the US, the southern states enjoy a far more clement climate than the northern states, and Florida is a favorite spot to find some winter sun. Cuba or the Canary Islands aren’t too far away, or how about Tunisia, Egypt, or the southern European countries like Spain?
3. Theme parks and experiences
Although it will be colder and you run a higher risk of poor weather, there’s a significant advantage to visiting theme parks and taking part in experience trips over the winter, because there’ll be far fewer other people about. Not all resorts stay open for the whole year, and some activities may not be available over the winter, but there’s still plenty of places that do offer winter breaks, and they’re often cheaper than summer visits too. You’ll need to be well-prepared for adverse weather conditions, but as long as you have plenty of warm clothes and waterproof outer layers, you shouldn’t be too badly affected if it does rain some days. There is a chance that you could miss out if the weather is bad and rides or activities have to close, but summer storms could have a similar effect, so it’s not worth worrying about too much.
4. Stay indoors
You could always go for an indoor-based break, perhaps visiting a big city for the culture and the nightlife, or trying your luck in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. A stay in a luxury hotel, a fine dining experience, and a trip to the theater could be a perfect weekend that doesn’t rely on good weather to be successful. If you prefer the quiet life, a log cabin in the forest can make a cozy retreat and is perfect if you want to take a brisk walk with the kids or the dog in the morning before curling up with a mug of hot coffee in front of a roaring fire. Or you could pamper yourself at a spa, indulging in a few days of complete relaxation in warm and peaceful surroundings.
5. A trip to the beach
Beaches are places to lay in the sun and get a tan or splash in the warm waves. If it’s cold and wet surely the beach is the last place you’d want to be? If you’ve never visited the seaside during the winter, you’re missing out on a magical experience. If the weather’s rough, the sea can change from a gently lapping lagoon into a ferocious beast, and it’s quite a sight to see huge waves crashing down on the sand and rocks, or battering against cliff walls. If you are a nature lover, you’ll see a whole range of migratory birds and animals that you wouldn’t see any other time of year, and if there are fewer people around, you might be lucky enough to spot some of the more wary and secretive creatures that live on the coast. Storms bring in different kinds of wildlife to the rock pools, and you never know what treasures might get washed up on the shore.
Taking a winter vacation can give your mood a boost and lift your spirits, so don’t leave it until next summer – book a winter break for yourself now.