28 June 2017

Top 7 Reasons to Travel in Winter

I do not like summer.  Wait.  Let me clarify that statement because I do, in fact, like summer.  I like the longer days and the star-filled nights.  I like wearing my birks and light tops.  What I don’t like about summer is the heat.  And crowds.  And idiots on their bikes, roller-blades and whatnot causing havoc on the trails.  Summer tends to bring out the crazy in groups and the heat just makes me wilt.  I love layers and big, comfy sweatshirts.  I love having a reason to have hot chocolate and I love to hear the snow crunch beneath my boots.  So when I choose to travel and explore, I choose the winter.  There aren’t many like me who willingly taking on heavy coats, frostbite and boots during their coveted vacation time.  I love the colder climates and in the heat of summer in Colorado, I will often daydream about my next winter trip.

The top 7 reasons winter travel is the best:

Crowds.  There are none.  Unless you’ve gone to someplace like the Alps for skiing or activities traditionally only done in the cold of winter, you’re not going to run into crowds.  And aside from skiing, even the winter activity crowds are less than the summer crowds.

This is 9 am on a Sunday in late November in Tromsø, Norway.  See any crowds?

Local Immersion.
  Because you’ve chosen to travel in “less than ideal” weather, you’re more likely to run into locals out and about doing their thing.  My experience has been that it’s a wonderful conversation starter – the locals want to know what you’re doing in their neck of the woods during a time when most tourists are lamenting the loss of their tank tops and shorts.

Meet kooks just like you out and about enjoying the non-crowds

The nights are long.  And the further north you go, the longer the night gets.  There’s something magical about the soft blue light of the midday sun above the Arctic Circle – it adds a softness to even the harshest of climates while helping you appreciate the adaptability of every living thing to the lack of daylight.

More opportunity to enjoy Nature's Light Show

There is less risk of sunburn.  With everything covered to avoid frostbite, sunburn is a distant memory.  Being a fair-skinned girl, this is important.  Don’t get me wrong, the parts of you that are exposed run the risk of getting burned but more likely they’ll develop frostbite first.  Dodged a bullet on that one.

A tad chilly.  No sunscreen needed.

Eyelash crystals and rosy cheeks.  It tickles me to no end to have eyelash crystals and I’m not quite sure why.  It’s just fascinating.  The beautiful rosy color that the brisk weather induces on everyone’s cheeks is charming.  It adds color and life and just makes me happy.

Eyelash Crystals!!
Lodging.  Aside from the airline ticket, lodging is probably one of the two biggest budget eaters (the other being food).  When you travel “off season” you generally get a break on rates.  Well, unless you’re hitting the famous Christmas Markets and New Year’s celebrations because those times bring in the tourists almost as much as summer.  But generally, lodging will be less of an impact on your budget in the off-season.

Off-season lodging - same room, often quite a bit cheaper

Did I mention the lack of crowds?  To me, this is the biggest and bestest reason to travel during the long winter months.  Granted, some things you’d like to see and do will be closed during this time but the trade-off of not having to race the latest bus of tourists to the attractions that are open is worth more than gold.  You also get to develop your selfie skills – learning opportunities and minimal crowds?  Score!

Tallinn, Estonia.  In summer, I would have to shuffle to get this view without a head or an arm in it.

I love traveling at any time of the year but I get the most out of my adventures during the brisk, cool months of late fall and winter. If you haven’t tried it, I think you should!

A fjord in Norway, November 2016