With winter upon us many a seasoned traveller will tell you it is an amazing time to travel the world. Cheaper entry into attractions*, shorter lines, generally less people. There are a few things to take into consideration and be prepared for.
For Europe it means short days with sunrise at 7-8am and setting around 3:30-4pm. This has a detrimental effect on your sleeping pattern, and means you’ll have some cities that you will seeing ‘in the dark’ even though in reality it is only 3pm.
This time of year means reduced working hours for many major attractions, as well as unplanned closures due to adverse weather conditions. This can come as the biggest shock when places like the Eiffel tower or Colosseum in Rome close without warning.
While it can be frustrating its normally done for your protection, or to stop damage being inflicted to historical sites.
Here are some things to take into account that may come as a surprise to some.
Shorter Days – Lack of Sunlight
It will take more effort to get started in the morning, especially for those from equatorial, or close to countries like Australia or South America. There are ways to counter this lack of energy.
- Morning Exercise: be it a quick run, to simply getting up and stretching in the morning.
- Wake-up shower: make your first activity in the morning a watery one. Even if you’re not a morning washer a quick 2 minute shower can bring you back to life.
- Breakfast: no matter how minimal will help you get back into the world of the living. Don’t skip it.
Out Side Activities
You are going to want to do that walking tour in Berlin, the guided look at the colosseum, the climb to the top of the Eiffel tower. All these things are outdoor activities and as such require a level of dress many aren’t used to.
Spending prolonged periods outside means wrapping up, wearing socks and good shoes, a beanie, gloves and if raining a wet layer.
In the end it is smarter to dress warmer and take something off than be cold and have nothing you can do about it.
Day into Night
Something that catches even well prepared travellers out is the sudden temperature drop when the sun sets. In the middle of winter it can go from a bearable 4 to 5 (34-39f) degrees to -10 in about five minutes.
If you know you’ll be out and about after sunset then plan to have extra warm layer with you.
Most European Clubs & large bars have coat rooms, or an area to store your jacket. Plan on wearing normal going out clothes, maybe add tights for the ladies, and then a heavy jacket over the top.
Boots, enclosed shoes are a great idea as no matter what you will be outside even if it is waiting for a taxi or a short walk home. Heels are a preference thing, but not recommended especially in snow and ice when walking in normal flats is hard enough. – You don’t want to be the lady in the background of this video.
Winter is a brilliant time to travel if you plan ahead, and are ready to fave the differences from summer.
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