6 Essentials For Your Winter Travels

A winter vacation is something magical, isn’t it? It’s always something that sounds like the perfect getaway until you work out that it’s not just the cold temperature that you have to face, but the possibility of snow, hail, icy rain and cutting winds. Difficult weather conditions require the right attire to manage them all and that means…it’s time to shop!

You need to be prepared when you are on your way to your winter vacation. Preparation is the key to success and you need to be prepared. You don’t want to have the wintry, chilly weather to prevent your vacation from being the winter wonderland that it should be. You should be looking to get some gorgeous winter boots from Filly Flair Boutique and then figure out where to get some chunky knit socks to fill them and keep your feet warm. While these are both nice things to have, they’re not going to be the essentials for the winter vacation you’ve been planning for some time. There are some things that are luxuries and others that are a must and we’ve got six of those musts below:

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  1. Down Jacket: The very first line against the cold wind is a good jacket which is lined with down. They’re excellent insulators and can make sure that you stay protected against the harsh winds. If you’re somewhere that snows a lot, it can look beautiful, but it’s not going to be dry, and a down jacket is waterproof so you won’t end up getting soaked.
  2. Thermals: They’re not sexy, but my goodness these are warm! You wear them under your clothing and they trap your body heat so that you can keep as warm as possible against the winter conditions. Opt for woolen ones if you’re going somewhere particularly freezing as these will work out the best.
  3. Scarves: No matter your winter vacation, you need a variety of scarves. You can wear them inside and out, cashmere or wool. You can double it up to protect your chin, nose and mouth, too.
  4. Beanie: It doesn’t matter if your coat has a hood, you need a good hat. You have to offer some protection for your head for the winter months. It doesn’t always work with just a hood, so you need a heat-retaining beanie to help you to stay as warm as possible.
  5. Gloves: Those hands of yours need to stay toasty, and you can buy waterproof gloves with detachable fingers on them so that you can continue to use cash and a phone while you keep your hands warm.
  6. Boots: We’ve already mentioned boots, but they’re worth another chat! Boots that keep your feet dry and warm are going to help your entire body to keep warm. Wear them with thick socks for maximum toastiness.

Your winter clothes need to keep you as warmed up as possible, so get shopping, you’ve a vacation to consider.

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Winter Wonderland in Leavenworth, WA

Visiting Leavenworth in Washington was on our list for a while, especially around the Christmas/holiday time. This town brought back some sweet memories of small villages of Europe because of its charms and cozy setups.

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth is German village at the foothill of the Cascades. Its Bavarian style half-timbered colorful houses give this town an enchanting look. Shops and cafes along the road-sides and round the year activities attract thousands of visitors each year. Leavenworth is a popular getaway in Pacific Northwest because of magical Christmas lighting and other winter activities/sports.

Christmas lighting in Leavenworth, WA

If you are planning to stay in Leavenworth during summer break or winter holiday season, be sure to book your hotel ahead of time (way ahead maybe). We stayed in Ellensburg, WA, which was about an hour away from Leavenworth.

Artistic places of Leavenworth in Washington

Artistic places of Leavenworth in Washington

If you are planning to have either lunch or dinner in Downtown Leavenworth, try to make a reservation at a restaurant or cafe in at least couple hours before you are ready to eat. During lunch or dinner time, it gets pretty crazy with long lines, and waiting time in restaurants were at least 2 hours. We ended up having some pretzels and danishes at a bakery. Then made an early reservation at a Mongolian place, called Wok About Grill for dinner. But if time and energy allow, do try some Bavarian style food here, like schnitzel and brats and etc. One final tip about visiting Leavenworth in December is that, make sure to wear few layers of clothes with heavy jacket with other winter gears. It came down to 8 or 9 degree Fahrenheit when we were there.

Bavarian style houses in Leavenworth, WA

Bavarian style houses in Leavenworth, WA

We spent only few hours in the heart of Leavenworth to go around and to enjoy the Christmas lighting and festive atmosphere the town has to offer. I do plan to go back there during summer sometime soon. For now, these are the few places we’ve visited in Leavenworth.

  1. Downtown: This is the heart and soul of Leavenworth. Laced by lots of boutique stores and gourmet restaurants, downtown is the place where the stunning holiday lighting takes place every year. All the cafes and shops will catch your eyes with its decorations or names or their unique products. If you don’t want to be trapped by the crowd near the stores, enjoy the kids sledding on snow from a tiny hill near the gazebo or just sit down with a cup of hot chocolate to enjoy all the alpine beauties all around the city.

Christmas lighting in Downtown Leavenworth, WA

2. Nutcracker Museum: This is one of the coolest and fun museums we’ve been to. With more than 6,000 nut cracking devices, some dating back from the Roman time, this place will definitely make its guests excited.

The Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, WA

The Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, WA

The museum won’t take more an hour to visit and the ticket is only $5 per person. Watch the video before the tour to know more about the nutcrackers and its amazing history. Also, check out the souvenir shop before leaving which has some pre-owned and new nutcrackers from Germany and China. These nutcrackers come in different shapes, sizes, and colors…have fun choosing one for you or the loved ones.

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3. Waterfront Park: This is probably not very popular place to visit in December. We took a little walk along the Wenatchee River. It is probably one of the best kept secrets of this town.

Waterfront Park in Leavenworth, WA

Waterfront Park in Leavenworth, WA

Only few minutes from the main streets in downtown, this Waterfront Park is a quiet place with few trails and a bridge. I can imagine this place in summer time with incredible sceneries and fun outdoor activities.

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Christmas in Peacock Lane

After living in Portland, OR, for many years, I finally got to visit this place that becomes magical during the holiday season. It’s in a neighborhood in the SE Portland which becomes pedestrian only area for the last two weeks of every December.

This is an old Portland tradition since 1920. Every house here are fully decorated with extravagant Christmas lightnings and ornaments. My girls had a blast walking in front of every house and checking out all the different themes and dazzling scenes.

The event is absolutely free, but we had to park couple blocks away from Peacock Lane. It does get crowded pretty quickly as soon as it gets dark.

Check out the pictures of Peacock Lane in Portland, Oregon…hope you like them.

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What’s Holding Back Your Winter Holiday Choice?

Deciding to go on holiday during the winter can be a bit of a strain for people. That is because winter is so traditionally wrapped up around Christmas and celebrating. It means that there can a be a lot of things that get in the way of taking a break. Maybe you are finding yourself wanting to take a winter break, but something is holding you back? Then read on for some advice that might just help you make that jump and get your winter break booked.

Family

So number one of this is probably family and friends. Are they going to have a problem with you getting away from the holidays? If so, there are several ways that you can deal with that. First of all, you can explain to them that it is your choice and while you gather what they saying it’s not really up to them anyway.

But if you are feeling a bit more diplomatic and like you won’t mind their company so much then why not ask the along too? There are plenty of winter holidays that can work for large groups of people.

You could rent a chalet out in the mountains in France or in Sweden and then all stay together. You can even get one where the catering is laid on for you so, you won’t have to worry about cooking any celebration meals, or the washing up either.

Weather

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It’s funny, but the weather is often the most important part of a choice about going on holiday in the winter. It can actually make or break your decision. This because people want specific weather on a winter holiday.

They either want the sun that they are missing or the snow that symbolizes winter to them. Happily, you can have the option you are looking for, just make sure to check the weather and climate forecast for your intended location before you book.

Cost

Something else that may be holding you back from booking a break where you can have some unique winter experiences is the cost. Winter can be an expensive time with all the presents and celebration to pay for. Adding a holiday on top of that can be a stretch too far for some people.

Yes, you will need to consider your budget before you book a break this winter. But you also need to ensure you are giving yourself enough opportunities to experience the wonderful things you can do on a winter vacation.

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For example, you might want to stay in an ice hotel, or one that is located the tree tops, which you can do in Sweden? Or you may want to visits Santa and his elves and take a ride in a reindeer pulled sleigh? Or it may be the only time that will get to see the magical northern lights. As the are known to be pretty unreliable, especially when we are in a decreasing solar phase as we are now.  Surely something like that is worth digging deep to pay for?

Holidaying In Sydney In Winter: 5 Fun Things To Do

When the rest of the word waits for the stifling summers to go away and pleasant weather to set in, Australia marvels on the winter season with a plethora of fun things to do, specifically in the sprawling city of Sydney. One of Australia’s biggest cities uniquely divided on either side of the harbor and connected with the world famous Harbor Bridge, Sydney has a lot to offer in winter season.

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Image Source: http://sydneysocial101.com/festival-101-winter-garden-brings-magical-winter-wonderland-to-cathedral-square/

So if you were thinking to get a breather from the summer engulfing the better part of the world and looking for some cool winter essence, head to Sydney and do the following fun things.
Whale Watching
Going to Sydney inevitably implies at least one whale watching session, without which a visit to this city is incomplete. You can hop on to one of the many whale watching cruises, designed especially for this purpose. Whether it is a slow moving vessel meant to relax, stand back and watch the whales in all their intimidating glory or the high-speed vessels that increase the thrill exponentially, options are numerous.
Visit ‘The Rocks’
For tourists with a quirky taste for old style pubs and cafes, historic architecture and arts and craft mini-shops, The Rocks has a lot to offer. During the weekdays, you can marvel on the artistic exhibits of artists from all over the country along with small clothing shops; while on the weekends you can enjoy the Rocks Markets that has up to a hundred stalls of different items from food to crafts to clothing and souvenirs. Totally accessible by a number of transportation options and located centrally, The Rocks is a favorite among tourists to Sydney.

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Image Source: http://firstdegreepr.com/2014/06/30/how-to-beat-the-winter-blues-sydney-style/

Shop at Queen Victoria
Located right in the middle of the central business district, Queen Victoria Building satisfies both the shopaholic and the history buff in you. The building itself is nothing like the typically modern shopping malls. It is rather a 19th century building, designed in the fashion of a cathedral. The typically arched ceilings like those in a cathedral and figurines gracing the entrances, Queen Victoria Building offers a unique shopping experience.

Relax at Darling Harbor
Stroll along the harbor at the suburbs of the Sydney business district and experience the essence of whole of Sydney in this one place. Whether you are in for some shopping, entertainment options, parks, art exhibition centers, museums, hotels and spas, or a peek into the wildlife, you will get everything at the Darling Harbor along with breathtaking views of the skyline of Sydney lining the harbor.
Hit the Centennial Park
Centennial Park will let you soak in the peaceful eastern suburban essence of Sydney along with a lot more. In addition to sprawling and open gardens, Centennial Park also has a number of historic statues and old buildings, and avenues. Also, there is a huge variety of flora and fauna, including rare plantings unique to Australia as well. Visiting Centennial Park is like peeking into the Victorian Era outdoor environment. Visit to Sydney in winters is incomplete without going to this park, which is one of the landmarks of this country.

This is a guest post article from Oz Whale Watching. Book and have a memorable whale watching experience today.

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