5 Reasons For A Ski Trip To Europe!

If you are a skier or snowboarder, there are at least 5 reasons for a ski trip to Europe. The glitz, glamour and après ski of the Alps are calling. And some of the great ski destinations of the world are calling – Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, and more.Olympiaregion SeefeldOlympiaregion Seefeld

A European Ski Vacation is as much about experiencing culture, history and alpine scenery as it is about skiing. The full European alpine experience is hard to beat – après ski thermal baths to soothe sore muscles; Italian cappuccino in Italy (after skiing in from Switzerland); drinking beer in Munich after a day of skiing on nearby mountains. A European ski vacation offers a unique experience on another continent with different cultures —and world class skiing!

Here’s 5 points to ponder if you are thinking it’s time for a ski trip to Europe:

  1. Why Europe?

Why not? If you haven’t been to Europe, you have to go (ski season or any season). Almost everything is different – language, cuisine, money, electrical outlets, time zone. And now add the ski specific differences in Europe – over 4,000 ski areas; huge terrain; great snow; incredible lift systems and super long top-to-bottom runs.

Skiing in St. Moritz, Switzerland

  1. When To Go?

Generally speaking, most mountains in Europe open at the end of November and close mid to late April, with a few exceptions.

January tends to hold the best deals for European ski resorts and is less busy than peak holiday times. Most resorts are quiet and more peaceful. Fewer skiers on the slopes means that there are of course shorter lift lines! Prices can be almost double at peak times such as Christmas and New Year, and during the school holidays of Christmas, Easter, and particularly February Reading Week.

If you are going on your skiing holiday during late March-April (with longer and sunnier days), you’ll greatly reduce the risk of poor skiing conditions by skiing at a resort with a higher altitude. Val Thorens, France; Zermatt, Switzerland; Livigno, Italy all fit the bill. As a glacier, Zugspitze is skiable from early autumn until late spring, the highest (2,100m) and most snow-sure mountain in Bavaria, and just 90km from Munich.

Skiing in Val D'Isere, France

  1. Where To Stay?

Choices for accommodation range from traditional Alpine chalets and guestrooms in charming historic hotels to fully equipped apartments. Deluxe and moderate accommodations are available at most ski resorts in Europe. Austria and Italy are known in particular for their great value. If you’re after luxury, there’s no shortage of first-class transportation, five-star boutique hotels and world-class experiences! A few top Europe luxury ski resorts include Courchevel, France; St. Moritz, Switzerland and Cortina, Italy.

Modern ski resorts, (purpose-built ski resorts) are of course perfect for skiers and boarders. Purpose-built ski resorts are situated at higher elevations and have consistent snow conditions. They offer ski in, ski out and true slope side lodging. Think Val D’isère, and Les Trois Vallées, France.

Historic Alpine villages provide both true alpine ambiance and the quintessential Europe experience with skiing. Walk cobblestone streets; eat traditional local cuisine and stay in centuries old chalets. The nearby slopes are typically a short shuttle, train or cable-car ride away. Think Zermatt, Switzerland; Chamonix, France; and St. Anton, Austria.

  1. What To Do? (When You Are Not Skiing)

Many European resorts offer spas, boutiques, bars, restaurants and other off-mountain activities. Resorts near major cities offer city shopping, dining and sightseeing—perfect for a day away from the slopes. For example, skiers in Seefeld, Austria can take a quick 20 minute train ride down the mountain to Innsbruck. Or do it in reverse- stay in the city and travel up to the slopes. Munich can be a perfect springboard to the nearby mountains of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Nearby Wallberg or Alpspitze are great options too. You can ride all day, and then enjoy Munich by night.

SkiEurope- munich2

  1. Ski Terrain, Passes and Guides

Europe is home to thousands of miles of groomed and off-piste terrain, and several resorts are interconnected by lifts and trails. A multi-resort ski pass like the Dolomiti Superski Pass offers 700 miles of Italian Alpine terrain spread over a dozen resorts. The world’s largest ski area, Les Trois Vallees in France, includes Meribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens and 5 more resorts. The Milky Way Ski Area straddles France and Italy and offers the opportunity to ski across actual country borders (and have a croissant in France or espresso in Italy).

A local ski guide is also worth your consideration. An experienced local can take you through little known ski terrain, keep you safe and will have the inside scoop on local lunch spots and après ski parties. A ski guide in Europe packs a ton of value and can go for as little as 250 euros per day.

And at the end of your European ski holiday, you can still have more Europe! Add on a trip extension to an iconic city like Paris, Berlin and Rome, rich in history and culture. Europe ski vacation anyone?

Is Your Credit Card Travel Insurance Coverage Enough?

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Is Your Credit Card Travel Insurance Coverage Enough?
Photo by Cameron Casey on Pexels.com

Still relying on credit card travel insurance? Not sure if it really fits the bill? Read on to determine if your coverage is enough…

1. Coverage clauses

• Do you have to pay for the whole trip with your credit card to be covered? Is
there a minimum amount?
• What’s the maximum number of days covered for one trip?
• What’s the maximum amount you’re covered for?
• Are you covered for high-risk activities, like scuba diving?
• Are you covered for other professional services like physio, chiro, etc. to relieve
an acute emergency?

2. Family coverage

• Is coverage only for you, the cardholder?
• Will your travel companions get the same coverage as you, or do they need to
buy additional insurance?
• Would coverage be available to return your travelling companion,
children/grandchildren or accompanying pet home, in a medical emergency?

3. Pre-existing medical conditions

• Does your age affect coverage?
• Are you covered for pre-existing medical conditions?

4. Trip cancellations or interruptions

• Does the plan offer trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance?
• Do you have to pay for the whole trip with your credit card to be covered? Is
there a minimum amount?
• What’s the maximum amount you’re covered for?

5. Emergency and claim assistance

• Are you covered for ambulance or emergency air transportation?
• Will you be penalized if you don’t call the claims company after the emergency or
before visiting the hospital?

So remember, while you may have travel coverage through your credit card, it might not cover you completely in a medical emergency situation. Make sure to contact your credit card provider to know what your policy really covers. If it’s not enough, check out how TuGo can help meet your travel insurance needs.

Is Your Credit Card Travel Insurance Coverage Enough?
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Visiting 4 of British Columbia’s Most Stunning Natural Wonders

According to Destination British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province includes six tourism regions: Vancouver Island, Vancouver Coast and Mountains, Northern British Columbia, Thompson Okanagan, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast and the Kootenay Rockies. There are so many natural wonders among them, it would be difficult to experience them all in one trip, but RV travel can make it easier, while making it more affordable too.

You may want to start by researching RV rental in Vancouver. B.C.’s largest city is an ideal spot for kicking off your adventure exploring its many stunning natural wonders, perfectly situated along the west coast of the province.

Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, Whistler

You might be familiar with Whistler as the spot that co-hosted the Winter Olympics with Vancouver back in 2010. Just 90 minutes from the city, the area is home to Whistler and Blackcomb mountains which are linked by one of the town’s most popular attractions: the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola. As you ride the glass-bottomed gondola which soars a mile over Fitzsimmons Creek you may spot bears roaming the breathtaking landscape below.

British Columbia

Pacific Rim National Park, Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island can be reached via a scenic drive- or walk-on ferry ride from Vancouver. Once there, you can experience one of B.C.’s true natural wonders. Pacific Rim National Park is made up of three units: Long Beach, the West Coast Trail and the Broken Group Islands. It includes everything from unspoiled beaches and rocky shoreline to old-growth coastal rainforest and abundant wildlife, including bald eagles, bears, harbor seals, a variety of whale species and more. Surf, hike, kayak, soak in hot springs, embark on boat excursions or just enjoy quiet contemplation among some of the world’s most impressive and lush scenery.

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve

The Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, or Gwaii Haanas as it’s often called, is a remote collection of nearly 140 islands that offer the ultimate wilderness experience that includes rare animals that can’t be spotted anywhere else, including the Haidi Gawaii black bear. The surrounding waters are filled with marine life like whales, dolphins, seals and sea lion, while tufted and horned puffins, peregrine falcons and bald eagles soar through the skies. Join a guided kayak excursion and you can paddle around sea coves, tiny islands and hidden coves while watching the wildlife.

British Columbia

Yoho National Park

This park is rather aptly named for a Cree expression of “awe and wonder.” Nestled in the western slopes of the Rockies, it’s the ultimate outdoor adventurers’ paradise, with everything from magnificent waterfalls like the 100-foot-high and 500-foot-wide Wapta Falls to sparkling lakes, massive glaciers and jagged mountain peaks. The Burgess Shale fossil beds can be found here as well – these incredibly detailed fossils of prehistoric marine life are a half-billion years old providing a fascinating look at the Earth’s ancient past.

 

5 Benefits of Adventure Travel for Your Physical and Mental Health

There are many ways one can improve their lifestyle. From different approach to life to engaging in different hobbies, it’s important that you find something personal that will fulfill and make you happy. For starters, spending time in nature is known to be a great way to relieve stress and boost mindfulness. This is precisely why adventure travel may as well be the perfect option for those of you that are still seeking for that much-needed lifestyle betterment. If this sounds interesting, check out the following adventure travel benefits that can completely transform your life.

1. A stronger immune system

There have been plenty of studies in regards to the benefits of getting dirty outdoors for kids. However, the truth is that getting dirty a bit is also beneficial for the adults. Of course, it’s only natural that you want to keep yourself clean. But, allowing your body to experience a bit of dirt from nature on occasion can boost your immune system and reduce the risk of allergies and asthma.

2. Nature as a remedy

Obviously, you don’t always have to engage in activities that will result in you getting dirty. Walking and light jogging as a part of spending time outdoors are also great activities and a big part of adventure travel for beginners as well. What’s more, these nature-based activities are often recommended to people that have health issues such as heart disease, obesity, attention deficit disorder, and so on.

3. Sharp mentality and better memory

You may be wondering what do outdoor activities have to do with brain and memory boost. Well, hiking, walking, jogging and/or cycling while surrounded by nature can actually boost the hippocampus growth, which is directly linked to the sharper senses and improved memory. Luckily, there’s no age limit to your personal kind of adventure travel, so don’t waste any opportunity to discover the joy and benefits of it all.

4. Become more resourceful

It’s true that adventure travels are usually filled with uncertainty. However, that uncertainty doesn’t have to be bad. Focusing too much on making everything work according to plan is only going to drain you, and make you more stressed and angry when it doesn’t. And, let’s face it, things don’t usually go according to plan, and especially not when the plan is overly strict or when nature is concerned. This is a great opportunity to let go of the plan-making habit for every little thing in life, and enjoy the flow. Not to mention that these situations are perfect for letting your imaginative and quick-witted side shine through. Allow that resourcefulness to become a part of your daily life as well.

5. Dream and succeed

Spending time in nature on your adventure may seem like a big step now, but once you experience it yourself, it will quickly grow on you. It’s the healthiest addiction you can possibly have. If you’ve been enjoying a bike ride to the park so far, you may even find that a cycling tour is what you need for your next travel. Of course, just make sure that you have a good bicycle, enhanced with Rockshox high-performance products. One of the biggest benefits of making adventure travel a part of your life like this is the ability to visualize your dream, as well as the steps you need to take in order to achieve it. Natural scenery can seriously help you reflect upon your own wishes, powers, and personal goals.

Your adventure travel is not limited by the amount of true wilderness in your immediate surroundings or your stamina to hike or ride a bike. The will to explore your own self is more than enough of a motivator when it comes to embarking on your perfectly personal adventure travel. Therefore, go outdoors to come back with more confidence, fresh knowledge and discoveries, stronger dreams and a happier self.

Try Something Unusual For Your Winter Holiday: Greece

When thinking about a winter holiday, Greece will probably not be among your first choice destinations.  For you as for many people, Greece means heat, golden beaches, turquoise waters and a glass of ouzo on a terrace by the sea. Right, but… this is a thought you might reconsider if you like programs off the beaten tracks!

Greece has a lot more to offer than a summer cliché. Winter time is ideal to discover that it is also the perfect winter holiday destination.

If your motto is “no winter break without my skis”, here is a good tip for you: there are more than 25 ski resorts in Greece. They include famous Mount Parnassos, Kalavrita (in the Peloponese mountains) and Karpenisi (in the Pindus Mountains), also called the Switzerland of Greece, provide a total of 198 km of ski slopes. There are runs for all levels and a great after-ski life for prices far cheaper than French or Italian ski resorts.

Where else can you ski in the morning, have lunch along the shore, visit an archaeological site in the afternoon, party in a trendy bar in the evening and sleep in a boutique hotel in a picturesque village all in the same day? The answer is Mount Parnassos…

The Parnassos Ski Center, located on the peaks of Kelaria (1750m), Fterolakkia (1950m) and Gerondovrachos, operates from December until the beginning of May. It is probably the biggest and best organised ski resort in the country.  Nineteen runs, named after Greek Gods like Hermes or Aphrodite, with a total of 36km, seven ski routes, ten trails and three mini beginner runs. 2 cafe-chalets, a restaurant, ski and snowboard schools, ski and snowboard stores, equipment rental and a playground for children are part of the resort. Who could ask for more to enjoy a ski holiday in the country of Gods?

Mount Parnassos has many attractive points. It is located near Athens (about 2 hour-drive) and ranks among the highest mountains in Greece with an altitude of 2260 meters. Its stunning views look over the Gulf of Corinth and Gulf of Euboea and it is very close to Delphi, the mythical archaeological site dedicated to Apollo.

In my opinion, Mount Parnassos has another great asset. It is only 24km from Arachova, a picturesque cosmopolitan village nestled in the mountain.  Its steep narrow cobblestone streets, grey stone houses with red tile roofs, trendy bars, traditional restaurants and boutique hotels make it the place to be for an exciting after-ski or even non-ski life! Other popular snow centers are in Pelion in the region of Thessaly, Tymfristos in the Karpenissi area, Helmos in the town of Kalavrita, Mainalos in Vytina, Peloponnese, Vasilitsa in Grevena and Kaimaktsalan in Edessa.

Author: This article is written by Muriel Rammos-Vignol, who is manager of holiday villas in Greece. She also owns a villa in Skiathos-Greece and is an active blogger for holiday vacations in Greece.

7 Adventure Sports That You Must Try at Least Once in India

India is a land of mighty mountains, high waterfalls, fast flowing rivers, endless deserts and deep oceans. It is a place which is blessed with the beauty of mother nature. It is the best place for enjoying adventurous and thrilling sports. The country is experiencing an increase in the number of adventure tours. Here is a list of seven adventure sports that you can enjoy to the fullest in this wonderful country

1. Scuba Diving

Photo by joakant, CC0 1.0

If you have a love for water and want to experience the life deep in an ocean, then this is the perfect sports for you. You can experience the colourful and beautiful underwater flora and fauna that will bring a smile on your face. The best place to experience this sports is Lakshadweep or Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Lakshadweep is well known for its colourful coral reefs that are home to millions of beautiful marine creatures. You will need some lessons and training before venturing on your underwater journey. This is one of the sports that you should experience while you are young.

2. Skiing

Photo by Barney Moss, CC BY 2.0

Everyone likes playing with snow, but when it comes to adventure sports, the Himalayas in India has lots to offer. In winter you can go to any of the snow camps in Kashmir and you can enjoy the amazing feeling of skiing. It will be a very thrilling moment when you go whizzing down the hill on the snow and the cold air rubs your cheeks. Shimla and Gulmarg in Kashmir are the best destinations for this sport. Heli-skiing is one in which a helicopter is used to transport people to a hill from where they come skiing down the hill. Beginners need some lessons attain balance and control. Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Manali and Auli are some of the best places for skiing in India.

3. Paragliding

Photo by JaStra, CC0 1.0

It has been the dream of man to fly like a bird in the sky since ancient times. The thrill and adventure of flying high in the sky is immeasurable. Paragliding is a sport made for this purpose. In this a para glide is used which is very light and can be used to fly in the air. Biling, Solang, Kangra, Kullu and Manali are some of the best places for paragliding in India. Some training is needed to understand and control the movement of a paraglide. The paraglide is essentially a large kite and can fly for hours and many kilometers.

4. Trekking

Laddakh, Photo by McKay Savage, CC BY 2.0

India has a large number of mountain ranges with green flora and a great place for nature lovers. India has all kinds of trekking terrain that for all kinds of trekking adventures. Manali, Laddakh, Kumaon region and the Chembra peak of Kerala are the best place to visit for trekking. Trekking is a great way to communicate and relax in the lap of mother earth and nature.

5. Rafting

Photo by sarangib, CC0 1.0

India is a country of rivers that flow with great pace. There are many rivers that come from the Himalayas and these fast flowing rivers are the perfect for river rafting sports. Whether it is Ganges in Rishikesh or Indus in Leh, this experience is unforgettable. It is one of the most dangerous as well as a thrilling experiences. Rafting is generally a group activity and proper training is needed for the sport, but the amount of joy and thrill is immeasurable. This sport requires a great amount of energy and strength.

6. Bungee Jumping

Photo by PROTambako The Jaguar, CC BY-ND 2.0

Bungee jumping is the sport in which free fall is experienced from a great height with the help of a rope that is tied in the leg. The adrenaline rush in the body and the fear makes it one of the most enjoyable adventure sports. The feel of gravity disappears and you will experience total weightlessness. The famous spot for bungee jumping in India are Rishikesh, Delhi, Lonavala and Bangalore.

7. Windsurfing

Photo by dany, CC0 1.0

This water adventure sport requires great skill and is one of the most thrilling sports played on the ocean waves. A ride on the wave is an amazing experience. You have to just adjust the posture to balance your weight. Surfers can use natural as well as artificial waves created from the boat or wave pool machines. Wind surfing uses the power of the wind to propel forward. Proper training is needed before this sport is tried. In India this sport can be experienced in Mumbai, Goa and marina beach in Chennai.

When adventure is mixed with sports a whole new blend of experience is created and India can be the perfect place for these sports. These 7 thrilling adventure sports are waiting for your arrival so pack your bag soon for this wonderful experience.

 

Author Bio:

A passionate traveller and blogger, Rohit Agarwal keeps discovering unexplored places in India. An architect by profession, he keeps on writing his voyage diary on a website owned by him called TransIndiaTravels.com. Here you can find his interesting blogs on travel, tourism, and cuisines.

Ski and Travel…

I’m a big fan of night skiing. When I was a kid, I was a member at a little ski hill called “Uplands”. I would walk over to the hill after school and ski into the night. I remember that each of 4 runs had one light on it near the top. It was primitive but it was the only way to ski during the week.

Fast forward a bunch of years. Instead of school, I’m at the office staring at my ultra-cool Rule#5 Snow Messenger Bag and thinking of skiing. The bag is made of waterproofed nylon with snow crystal print and ski runs named in the lining. It holds my laptop and and tech gadgets to and from work. I pack up and get ready for a quick after work trip to the ski hill. I still can’t wait to go night skiing!


My lifestyle involves travel and skiing in large doses. It’s what I work for. I love to travel and love to ski. Lifestyle products keep me thinking about “apres work” and keep me motivated. Besides the Snow Messenger Bag, Rule#5 has a Backpack, Slim Wallet, Dopp Kit and Regular Wallet under there ski inspired collection. Travelling with frequency seems glamorous but it’s not. Long days, flight delays, long transfers -fun!… The travel part of my life is easier to coordinate and plan with functional products like this. Check it out!