Reasons To Travel Abroad This Winter
Everyone should travel, but when you look around, it seems like nobody has the money or time to travel. We’re about to break down the six top reasons that you really should think about crossing the globe, and why you should be doing it in the heart of winter.
We’ve all romanticized summer travel, road trips and fun in the sun, but the best way to experience something new is to get in while those summer dreamers are far away. If you’re wondering why winter is a better time of year, then take a look at these.
1. Lower Rates on Just About All Hotels
There’s nothing but summer break dreamers and students that travel during the hotter months. You know what hotels do during that time? Hike the room rates, because they know that regardless, people are going to show up. It’s quite the contrary in winter, because nobody is usually on the road. They’ve got to make up the difference somewhere, so you can find rates as low as 20-40% off the usual summer prices, and up to 60% off if you book for a week (in certain hotels).
You’ll also have just about nobody bothering you during breakfast, plenty of short lines to get to and from where you need to go, and so on. The locals might still have to get on with the humdrum of their daily lives, but it’s your opportunity to live it up without having to keep up with the crowd. Lower hotel rates mean that you can take longer vacations without having to bust into the kid’s college funds.
With that room rate, everything else in the same field drops as well. If you go to a place with room service, they cut back the menu in the winter months and it ends up costing less. Local restaurants offer discount meals or bulk family options, and places like Groupon actually flood with just as many deals as their summer months do. So put on your winter boots and winter jacket and choose your next destination.
2. Enjoy Activities You Wouldn’t Be Able to Back Home
If you live in somewhere that it never snows, or you’re not close enough to the shore, visiting countries like France or Switzerland offer you options that you just don’t have at home. In fact, it’s strongly encouraged that you go somewhere with things that you can’t find as easily at home, and hitting a colder climate than what you’re used to is the perfect way to experience something new. Snowboarding, skiing (there are tons of cool ski resorts), watersports (provided the waters aren’t too cold), deep sea fishing: there’s so much to do. Just make sure you carry your ski jacket, ski pants, and ski boots with you because the weather can be really cold.
The thing is, it works in complete reversal as well. Let’s say you’re freezing your toes off on the snowy shores of New York or further north. You can find stellar deals where winter and summer are reversed, like Sydney, Australia or Bali in Indonesia. You can still enjoy warmer weather than your hometown, but just be warned that when you get back, you’ll feel like you were dropped in a vat of ice. Seriously, acclimating to a nicer climate doesn’t take as long as you’d think.
3. You Can Plan it Around Holidays
We’re all working insane hours these days, right? You usually get a little bit of a break over Christmas or New Years, where things start to get a bit mellow before it picks back up again. That’s the perfect time to slip away for a week with the family and go enjoy your life without having a ton of obligations shrouding your mind. It’s difficult to get away from responsibilities, but if you strategically overlap them with the same times of year that people are already acting a bit lackadaisical, then you’ve got nothing to worry about.
It could also be a nice change of pace for your spouse or your kids. If you’re looking to vacation on a budget, Christmastime can be one of the more expensive options, but still give you and your family timeless memories (as a Christmas gift) that will be with you forever. Scheduling doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
It’s been proven that leaving on Christmas day or Thanksgiving day can actually boast some of the shortest wait times for flights, train travel and leave you with empty roads free of commuters. People have already traveled, they’re already with their family, waking up in the same house on those beloved days, so the world is an open road to you and your loved ones.
4. You’re Avoiding Tourist Season
For some places that aren’t high-end destinations (basically don’t plan Milan around the winter season if you can avoid it), you’ll get to enjoy empty hotels with minimal noise, shorter lines at attractions, and not quite so many looks that locals always give to tourists. We talked about hotel rates going up during high traffic seasons, but that’s not all that hikes up on you.
It’s been known that local cafes, restaurants and even fast food areas end up charging more during the busy seasons. You don’t want to get ripped off, so you hit it when the deals are good because everyone’s competing for business during the slow season. Locals are more likely to think that you’re traveling for business or something official rather than roll their eyes because another flock of sightseers have descended on their town.
Speaking of which, you’ll find that a ton of sightseeing spots are still open wide. One of the most misunderstood concepts of traveling during winter, or any offseason for that matter, is that all the things you want to do and see won’t be available. You know, these destination spots still operate three-hundred and sixty-five days a year, where normal people are living their lives. Businesses still thrive, and on average, 85% of all major attractions are still open. So pack your travel backpack and hit the road.
5. Car Rentals Are Cheaper and Less In-Demand
Car rentals can be a real pain, especially when you’re going to a country you haven’t been to before, and you’re not sure what to expect. It gets frustrating when you’re blindly paying a company and you don’t really know what average rates or good deals are in this new area, which is why winter is the best time to drive.
Car rental companies operate on an understanding that the less busy it is out on the road, the more they need to rent out their cars. Simple supply and demand stuff, which then brings the deals out. You’ll see plane ticket websites like Kayak with promotional deals if you go with their off-site rental company (whichever that may be), allowing you to bundle your ticket and rental price into a cheaper lump sum.
You’ll also get access to a wider selection. Most car rental companies have to keep a certain stock that allows them to accommodate to summertime traffic, but those cars are just collecting dust during the winter. If you have a large family, there’s not going to be a high chance that you won’t be able to get that Dodge Caravan. More options, better savings, and a much more relaxing rental experience.
6. An All-Around Stress-Free Time
This one might get a bit personal, but if you’ve ever been on a vacation with your significant other, or even your siblings for that matter, you’ve probably had a few fights here and there. When you pile in everything we listed – cheaper hotels, cars, food, shorter lines, less tourists – it melds into this idea that you’re going to have an excellent time. There’s no social anxiety, no high-stress situations or two-hour waits to get on a ride.
In fact, it means there’s much more time available to do the things you want to do. If you’re going with a group, splitting up to do individual tasks isn’t going to be a headache, it’ll be a welcomed thought. The main things that people associate with a stressful vacation (apart from bringing kids along for the ride), is money. We’re saving money, we’re not bumping heads with tourists wearing tacky t-shirts, we’re just enjoying a nice time.
That’s going to make it much more enjoyable and memorable when you eventually get home. We say eventually, because you can afford to live in the lap of luxury and actually feel like you’re on vacation. No more settling for the crummy lodging, going to boring fast food joints that you already have back home. Money isn’t an issue, time isn’t an issue, so the only thing to figure out is how many awesome things you can fit into one vacation.
Ready to Hit the Slopes, Enjoy the Snow, or Just Chill Out?
Wait a minute, you’re still reading this? We thought you’d be buying a plane ticket to Denmark by now. You’ve been given the best reasons to travel, but we’re going to sneak in this seventh little-hidden nugget of information. If you’re hesitant, understand that it’s better to regret the things you did than to regret the things you never tried. You’ve always wanted to travel abroad, or you wouldn’t have found our post about it. There’s no time like the present.