Winter is a great season and everyone looks for trips with loved ones, time off from work and the daily grind. Well, you too can certainly plan a sneak escape from it all this winter! Wish to beat those winter blues? How about a fantastic holiday! As the days are shorter and darker, taking a quick winter sun break becomes a must but choosing where to go for the sizzling winter sun is still an intimidating decision. Selecting a perfect warm destination to bid goodbye to dark days and chilling temperatures is the real big task. We’ve tried to take the efforts for you.
Here’s a brief rundown of a few best destinations across the globe that could be just ideal for your winter vacation 2016!
- The Canary Islands, Cape Verde
This is quite like a secret paradise! The Canaries has 10 main islands which are scattered all along the coast of Senegal. Miles and miles of creamy white beaches definitely lure you. To add to the delight, you can simply enjoy a dip in the warm, clear emerald waters. Just sit back to relax on some beach, and gather plenty of sunshine!
- Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt
Such an unusual destination! Right? Egypt has a magnificent historical and cultural background. But that’s not all this place has! It has more than historical treasures – miles of warm water beaches, excellent diving sites, fishing areas, and what not. Avoid summer crowds in sunny places and let the sun work out on your tan!
- Lapland, Arctic Circle
Lapland, fondly known as the Santa Claus’ homeland, is a lovely vacation destination during winter. Tucked away in the northernmost Finland and deep inside the Arctic Circle, Lapland is no less than a book stuffed with fairytales. Long stretched forests that are snow dusted and super cozy log cabins that seem too pretty make your holiday with your kids memorable. The best thing here in Lapland is that you’ll see more reindeer than people. You can be adventurous with some winter sports and be a part of a few exciting festive winter activities!
- The Exotic Caribbean
The Caribbean is the land of exotic beauty. It makes a perfect destination for a winter sun holiday and relaxation. The daytime temperature typically remains well above 200C so you can sit and relax under a palm tree in Antigua or cruise around Barbados. Reach the peak of pleasure and relaxation at a spa resort in St Lucia. Pristine beaches, serene sea waters, amazing tropical flora, charming holiday resorts, and beachfront royal boutique hotels make the Caribbean a blissful relaxing escape from the rest of the world.
- Dubai, UAE
Dubai is no doubt one of the top holiday spots in the world. This ultra-modern city is set upon miles of shining golden sand and offers the best of luxury to everyone who visits. Everything in Dubai is spectacular and luxurious including its skyscrapers, hotels, and shopping malls. In winter, the weather is just perfect for holidaying. Wander around the modern and the old city, eat at the best restaurants and street food joints, shop in huge malls as well as traditional souks, and visit the most desirable structures and mysterious museums! Apart from all this, there are a few must do things including the best desert safari in Dubai. Desert safaris, especially overnight camping is an unforgettable experience to cherish for the rest of your life.
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abu Dhabi, popular for its culture and more luxurious than Dubai, makes an ideal holiday destination in winter. Unlike Dubai, Abu Dhabi offers more true luxury and less of glitz & glam. The typical Middle East character of this city is worth admiring and it bridges between the Western and the Eastern worlds. Marvellous beaches, world class adventures sports, magnificent world-class museums, shopping malls, impeccable restaurants, and what not; Abu Dhabi is worth checking out!
You’ve no doubt heard of Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, and Universal Studios? Yes, Florida is the place! A superb destination stuffed with a plethora of natural and manmade attractions, Florida makes a wonderful vacation destination and has a lot more to offer its visitors – Orlando, the famous Seven Mile Bridge, fascinating amusement parks, lakes, waterways, stunning coastline, forests, fantastic hotels, great shopping spots, virgin beaches, gorgeous coral reefs, exciting water sports, rocking night life, and top notch tourist facilities.
- Reykjavík, Iceland
In spite of being one of the coldest spots across the Europe, Reykjavík in Iceland has plenty of natural hot water springs to warm you up! It’s a fantastic winter holiday place offering a plethora of winter sports, spectacular celebration festivals, geothermal swimming pools, and of course, those most sought after warm water springs.
- Prague, Czech Republic
If the both of you are seeking a super romantic, fairytale vacation this winter, Prague is that destination! Indulge in stunning architecture, pretty old town, snow-capped spires, and fascinating winding streets. The best thing about Prague is that it’s almost tourist free during the winter months. Wonderful restaurants and cozy cafes help you plan a few romantic evenings with the love of your life.
- Nagano, Japan
This former Winter Olympics host city is a lesser known vacation spot among tourists. Nagano is a fabulous base for adventure freaks who wish to explore ski resorts located nearby. After a hectic day on the snowy slopes, it’s quite worthwhile to enjoy in the natural hot water springs. A few of the sites you must cover include beautiful, snow-covered Buddhist temples and the Togakushi Minzoku-kan folklore museum where the ninjas were once trained.
Here’s the checklist you should keep handy while planning a winter vacation!
- Figure out what exactly you want from the vacation
- Set a firm budget for the tour
- Do your research properly – places to see, eat, and stay at
- Sort out all your clothes that you must pack for the tour and confirm if it fits within the luggage allowance
- Confirm your transportation
- Check out what holiday extras you can manage well in advance
- Get up-to-date with your passport and any visa that may be required
So, are you ready to fly somewhere sunny, hot, and too beautiful?
Book your favourite tour and start packing your bags!
Emirates Airline recently announced the creation of the world’s longest direct flight, a daunting 17.5 hour trip that will fly from Dubai to Panama City starting February 1st. That long flight time might sound daunting, especially when seated in economy. But a little effort and attention can go a long way in taking a flight from unbearable to relaxing, whether travelers are braving the new route from Dubai to Panama City, or just looking to make a transatlantic or transpacific flight more comfortable. Here’s a step by step guide for making the most of a long plane trip.
Step 1: Choosing a Seat
First of all, try to avoid economy if at all possible. The seats, the food, and the amenities will all improve, as will the enjoyment factor of the trip. If booking a ticket in first class or business class just isn’t budget-friendly, consider using miles to upgrade. To make the next trip easier and start earning miles for the future, enroll in the airline’s frequent flier program or search out credit cards with airline-redeemable points.
If economy is unavoidable, however, the seat can make all the difference. There are a wide variety of websites where travelers can view seating plans based on flights and carriers, such as SeatGuru, SeatExpert, SeatMaestro, and SeatPlans. Think carefully about what type of seat you want. No one likes the middle seat of course, but also there are other things to keep in mind as well.. Certain travelers may prefer the aisle seat if they like to get up and stretch or use the bathroom frequently, whereas the window seat may be preferable for those trying to sleep on night time flights. To avoid engine noise, try to stay close to the front of the plane.
There may even be some possible seating improvements at the airport itself. Check with the desk attendant at the gate to see if there’s an empty row or set of seats on the plane that could provide more stretching room. Be sure to scope out the seats on the plane itself as well in case someone has missed their flight and there’s a better seat open.
Step 2: Packing the Carry-on
Think of a carry-on bag as the toolbox for hacking a long flight. Packing smart can elevate a trip from boring and uncomfortable to productive and relaxing. Here’s a checklist for the essentials.
- Before leaving, make sure all devices are charged and loaded with movies, books, and music. It’s best not to rely on a functioning entertainment system on board the plane.
- Pack things that will help with sleep, such as an eye mask, ear plugs, or sleeping pills. Think twice about cumbersome items like neck pillows unless they’re inflatable.
- For snacks, bring foods that are high in protein and fiber, since those are often lacking in airline meals. It’s also helpful to treat yourself to something nice on a long flight, so
- A blanket and a good pair of socks to wear instead of shoes on the plane will make the trip much more comfortable.
- For the all-important TSA liquid allowance, bring the essentials to stay moisturized and hydrated, such as a facial spritz, moisturizer, lip balm, and nasal spray.
- Hand sanitizer is also a must on flights to kill bacteria and prevent colds that might be picked up from seatmates.
- Deodorant, toothpaste, and a toothbrush can also refresh and revitalize travelers on a long journey.
Step 3: Settling In
First things first: do some seat-side carry-on rearranging. Take out the essentials (headphones, liquids, reading material or devices, socks) and put them in a smaller tote bag or nylon bag to put under the seat. Leave the rest in the carry-on and stow it away. This will allow for much more legroom and better sleep, and the rest of the supplies will still be accessible once the flight begins.
Airplanes can be very cold, so take off your shoes and replace them with a comfy pair of socks. This will also help simulate bed conditions for a restful sleep. Remember to put shoes back on for trips to the bathroom though!
If the flight will cross time zones, the wait for take-off is a great time to set all watches and devices to the destination’s time to help combat jet lag on arrival.
Step 4: Passing the Time
Now for the flight itself. If it’s an overnight trip, try to get to sleep at what would be a normal hour in the arrival timezone to avoid being groggy on landing. For a daytime flight, many travelers find it helpful to break up a long trip into smaller, more manageable chunks. Set a phone or watch alarm to go off at hour or two hour intervals and use those benchmarks to divide the trip. This can make a trip both more productive and keep travelers healthy. When the alarm goes off, take the opportunity to get up and do some stretching, which can prevent stiffness and more serious conditions brought on by long flights. Try twisting, folding over, and rolling the head and neck to stay limber. If there’s work to be done, schedule it for the beginning of the flight, and make time for movies, naps, games, or reading later on.
Not to spoil the party, but it’s best to lay off the alcohol and caffeine on long flights. They’re both dehydrating, and the plane is doing enough of that on its own. Stick to water or drinks with electrolytes, such as Gatorade or coconut water. Remember that hand sanitizer as well — those tray tables probably aren’t cleaned with regularity. Armed with the right resources and tools, even 17.5 hours can become bearable. Sit back, relax, and find a little enjoyment between takeoff and landing.
This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on November 10, 2015.