HOW TO PLAN YOUR WIN­TER VA­CA­TION

Plan­ning makes per­fect. Check out rates, dates, and ac­tiv­i­ties so that you make the best of your win­ter va­ca­tion, ei­ther with your spouse or fam­ily.

The Luxury Collection - - Editor's Letter - -By Aruna Rathod

A va­ca­tion has var­i­ous pur­poses. It’s not just to re­ju­ve­nate but de­velop deeper con­nec­tions with your spouse or fam­ily or friends. Plan­ning a great va­ca­tion shouldn’t just be about get­ting away from work or see­ing as many sights as pos­si­ble. Va­ca­tions are a chance to open up to one another. Spe­cial mo­ments help fam­i­lies to bond - cud­dling by a warm fire in a scenic cold lo­cale is mag­i­cal, shar­ing meals with friends is bond­ing for those few days.

Win­ter has a charm of it’s own. Some desti­na­tions of­fer a stark white land­scape, snow, win­ter veg­e­ta­tion and win­ter spe­cial­i­ties mak­ing it a unique ex­pe­ri­ence.

Des­ti­na­tion Plan

Freeze on the des­ti­na­tion – ei­ther Europe with snow-capped moun­tains, or beach desti­na­tions. Depend­ing on the num­ber of days, you could cover two or three cities to get an ex­pe­ri­ence of all. If you have more than five days, you could squeeze in another coun­try in Europe as the bor­ders are open and eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble with train con­nec­tions. *If you are us­ing trains/flights to do in­ter­city/coun­try, please book well in ad­vance as there are amaz­ing pro­mo­tional of­fers. Do not wait for last minute book­ings as these can get fright­fully ex­pen­sive as dates of fly­ing come closer.

Flight tick­ets

Book­ing in ad­vance is def­i­nitely a good choice as you can get ex­tremely good rates on on­line book­ings. Make sure you book tick­ets that can be can­celled though, in case some­one drops out or you have some changes in your sched­ule. Re­fund­able tick­ets are slightly ex­pen­sive but worth the ef­fort.

Bag­gage al­lowances

If you are trav­el­ling to cold coun­tries, please en­sure you buy the right over­coats/jack­ets/gloves/muf­flers. Avoid heavy wool as these only add to the weight!

New ma­te­ri­als that keep one warm, are light and lon­glast­ing are rec­om­mended. In­vest in a good jacket, boots, and hood that can last you at least five trips.

Fam­ily hol­i­day

If trav­el­ling with chil­dren make sure to keep your sched­ule full and in­clude some vari­a­tion in ac­tiv­i­ties. Find out the ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered, espe­cially if you are vis­it­ing a snow des­ti­na­tion. Present them with a list of things to do from which they can choose, and let them pick what they want to do first.

In case the weather al­lows, in­clude a hike with your chil­dren, spot­ting wildlife to­gether, or camp­ing out­side. Try and in­clude moun­tain­ous re­gions, and ar­eas near na­tional parks where one can con­nect with na­ture. There are plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties that can in­clude the whole fam­ily.

Out­door ad­ven­tures like ice skat­ing or even snow­mo­bil­ing are en­ter­tain­ing (and can be ed­u­ca­tional) for both adults and chil­dren, and ul­ti­mately some­thing the whole fam­ily can do to­gether. In­dulge in an op­ti­mum num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties only, as too many can be tir­ing and re­duce fam­ily bond­ing time.

Desti­na­tions for fam­i­lies in Europe

Aus­tria – The NA­TIONAL PARK HOHE TAUERN Is a great way to spend the va­ca­tion. You can take the ser­vices of a park ranger to help you ex­plore. Dur­ing the year, within the frame­work of the weekly pro­grammes, there are twenty guided hikes of­fered for the whole fam­ily. The spec­trum reaches from the wild an­i­mal sa­faris in Habach Val­ley to a “Jour­ney in the Arc­tic” straight through the cli­mate zones to the as­cent of a three-thou­sand me­ter moun­tain.

In the Tirol re­gion, for win­ter, you can en­rol for a free ski course for chil­dren in Tirol’s Sil­ber­re­gion Kar­wen­del. The kids learn to ski in just one week in a fam­ily-friendly ski area where snow is guar­an­teed. Ger­many – The Harz Na­tional Park is lo­cated within Ger­many’s most northerly moun­tain range. To­gether with the sur­round­ing Harz Moun­tains Na­ture Park and Geop­ark, it is one of the most pop­u­lar ar­eas for walk­ing and ski­ing in north­ern Ger­many. With sec­tions in both Sax­ony-an­halt and Lower Sax­ony, the park of­fers a mix of an­cient leg­ends and rugged scenery and is a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion all year round.

A charm­ing steam train takes you right into the Park and you can dis­em­bark at which sta­tion suits your choice of ac­tiv­i­ties.

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