Why is it that nine times out of ten, when we say the word “travel”, we picture balmy weather- regardless of whether this is a trip all about urban exploration or a surfing vacation? Unless you are a fan of winter sports like skiing or snowshoeing, you likely don’t take many trips in the winter, especially not to cold destinations like Canada, Denmark, Sweden, and the likes.
But when you take a look at those off-season prices on airfares and accommodations, as well as the opportunity for a more genuine experience at your destination that would be otherwise overrun with tourists, this might be about to change. Furthermore, embrace the cozy “hygge” feeling that is so much easier to invoke when it’s cold, and make this an annual occurrence.
Here are some useful tips that will help you make the most of your chilly vacation:
Choose a Hotel with Amenities
Knowing that you have a luxurious spot to “thaw out” at the end of the day will help you power through your daily itinerary, even when you think you’ve had enough. Thanks to the guaranteed quality of Montreal hotels, accommodations in this city are bound to be amazing. However it’s worth spending a little extra and having access to amenities like an in-house spa, sauna, whirlpool, and more. Since you will likely be spending more time in your hotel than you would if you were travelling in the summer, splurge on making this enjoyable, no matter the weather. Besides, with the off-season pricing, you’re probably getting better rates anyway.
When travelling, we often want to blend in with our surroundings, somewhat like a chameleon. This includes dressing the part- casual enough for strolls in the park but put together for upscale lunches and boutique shopping. If you know that you’re going somewhere cold- just focus on staying warm! Otherwise, all your memories will be frosted with the thought of numb toes and fingers. Speaking of which, pay attention to those! You might be able to get away without wearing snow pants and the likes if you focus on your extremities.
Plan for Warm Stops
There will be plenty of things you’re going to want to do outside, from admiring local architecture, to hiking through the natural areas. But if you want to really enjoy it, you’re going to have to intersperse these outdoor activities with others that will give your body a chance to recover, whether that means a hot cocoa at a cafe, a bowl of warm soup for lunch, or even a few hours in an interesting museum. Think in blocks of a few hours at a time, and be deliberate with your food choices.
Buy a Transit Pass
While you might be used to walking a lot when visiting a new place, if you are coming in the winter, you might want to get a transit pass or rent a car for getting from Point A to Point B. You’ll be able to get places much more quickly without long exposure to the elements.
Do Something You Can’t do in the Summer
Activities like tobogganing, cross-country skiing, skating, dog sledding, and visiting ice castles aren’t possible in the summer. Embrace the fact that you are present during a season that allows for these unique activities and make the most of them! These will be experiences that will make great memories and story telling opportunities down the road.
Most winter destinations for travellers are warm, sunny, and full of tropical adventures. But taking the road less travelled and going to a cold destination like Montreal can give you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you wouldn’t have thought could ever be enjoyable. But if you take our advice on accommodations, daily activities, and dressing for the weather, you’ll be driving your friends crazy with your repeatedly positive reviews. Just don’t drive up the popularity of these off-season visits! You’ll raise the prices for all of us!