It’s never too early to plan for a winter vacation. Here are some things you should consider before your next winter getaway.
Did you know that almost 800 million vacation days were left on the table in 2018 alone? Americans are taking fewer and fewer vacations, prioritizing productivity over pleasure. But the importance of taking breaks from “the real world” to enjoy ourselves cannot be stressed enough.
Vacations help boost productivity, as well as energy and happiness levels. If you’ve been neglecting your vacations in recent years, it’s time to make a change. And if you can’t find the time to take a trip in the spring or summer, why not a winter vacation?
Believe it or not, a winter getaway can offer even more options than a vacation in the summer! To learn everything you need to consider when planning a winter holiday, just keep reading.
1. What Type of Trip Do You Want?
As we mentioned above, the vacation ideas when it comes to winter travel are endless. You can travel to a cold region and go skiing, snowmobiling, or spend a few days in snow-covered cabins for rent.
Or, if you prefer sandy beaches and warm sun, you can travel somewhere tropical, where you can enjoy all of the activities typically associated with vacationing instead.
For those traveling within the United States, Utah and Colorado are excellent choices for experiencing the magic of a winter wonderland. On the other hand, Florida, and even Hawaii, can provide summer fun even in the coldest months.
If you’d rather journey outside of the country, consider Bulgaria or Scandinavia for skiing and snowboarding adventures, and Barcelona or Lisbon for warm-weather activities.
2. When Do You Want to Go on a winter vacation trip?
Once you’ve decided what you want to do on your vacation, and thus where you will go, you need to choose dates for your trip. Will you take a long weekend? A week? Two weeks?
This will depend largely on the number of vacation days you’re able to take, but you should consider your itinerary as well if you can. For example, taking a trip to a neighboring state can be done in less time than traveling out of the country.
With your number of vacation days in mind, choose the dates on the calendar where they’ll fall. Keep in mind that vacationing during the holidays (Christmas and New Year) will be more expensive and your destination will likely be more crowded.
3. What Will You Pack?
Depending on the type of trip you’re taking, you might be able to do a large portion of your packing in advance. In order to pack everything you need, however, part of it will have to wait until the trip is closer. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start your packing list as soon as possible.
It’s best to start your vacation prep the moment you decide to go on the trip. Start a list in your phone or planner (somewhere you can keep handy) and add to it as you think of things.
If you’re going on a ski trip, for instance, you know you’ll need all of the appropriate ski or snowboarding gear, as well as winter clothes. Those traveling to a warmer climate will need swimsuits, tank tops, and other beachwear.
As your trip gets closer, check the weather at your destination and pack appropriately. It might be hot during the day, but if it’s cooler at night, you’ll need to bring a few warm clothing items.
4. Where Will You Stay?
As soon as you’re able, you should book all the necessary travel and lodging for yourself and your family. This will help you keep costs down and give you the most options, as you’ll avoid having to work around fully booked flights and resorts.
Summer vacations might be the most common, but don’t underestimate the popularity of winter holiday trips. Waiting until the last minute to book your flights, rental cars, hotel rooms, etc., is a recipe for disaster.
5. Which Holiday Traditions Will You Celebrate?
If you’re traveling during the holidays, consider whether or not you’ll celebrate whichever holiday falls within your trip and how you’ll celebrate if you do. Many families who take trips during Christmas do so in lieu of gifts and other traditions, but you can still have a small celebration at your resort.
Is there a certain meal or dessert that your family enjoys most during the holidays? Do you spend Christmas Eve playing card games and watching movies as a family? Think about how you can make the holiday special, even away from home.
6. How Will You Prepare Your Home?
Last but not least, a little bit of home preparation is always necessary for a vacation, but even more so for a winter trip. First, take the usual precautions such as asking a family member or neighbor to take the mail inside and check on the house.
Then, if your home is in a cold climate, you’ll need to ensure that your thermostat is set at a good temperature, your pipes are drained, and your outdoor furniture is safe from high winds.
When you’re preparing to leave, it’s a good idea to clean your house so you don’t face any post-vacation stress, and unplug all unnecessary appliances to save electricity.
Use This Guide to Plan the Perfect Winter Vacation
A winter vacation can be just as enjoyable as a trip in the spring or summer, as long as you take the time to plan properly.
If you’ll be traveling somewhere cold, your itinerary and packing list will look much different than they would in the warmer months, as well as your home preparation checklist. That said, by ensuring that you and your family are ready for whatever adventure awaits you, you’re sure to have a wonderful time.
Looking for more advice and ideas for your next vacation? Be sure to check out our blog!