One may not think of visiting a cold-weather destination in the winter months, but the reality is travel happens all of the time in all places. Perhaps it is to visit friends, a business trip or just to escape, waiting for the winter months to go by may not work for your travel plans.
That being said, people do travel in the winter, and you may well be one of them. This is why I am sharing these tips for you, things to do or be aware of specifically when you travel in the winter months, as you won’t want to waste any more time outside than you need to.
Whether it’s subways, buses or trains, if your destination has a public transit system, get a transit card. These will be a reusable, reloadable (and some autoreloadable) card that residents of the locale would have, and will allow you to travel without worry of fumbling for change or running out of transit fare credits. Many cities allow you to buy the card online and have it sent to you before your trip, to save even more time for trying to figure where you are going.
Many cities have mobile apps or mobile-friendly Web sites for parking, whether it is in a lot or on the street. These apps may be run by the city or the private lot owner, and are an excellent way to pay for parking or find a place to leave your car without looking for coins to plug the meter.
Whether it’s walking or waiting, the cold can get to you. At some point you will just want to be inside, and what better way to stay warm than being entertained as well as going to see a show? Explore your destination’s theatre and music scenes, from the large productions to storefront venues. You may be surprised what you find for live performances.
Another way to enjoy the local culture while saying out of the cold is by visiting museums. If you are planning on visiting a museum that charges admission and are bringing the entire family, however, the cost can add up. When you get to your destination museum (or aquarium or planetarium), look at the cost of becoming a member. Depending on how many people are in your party and whether you’re looking to see special exhibits for added cost, it may be cheaper to become a member and get free admission than to pay admission per head.
This isn’t just about skiing or snowboarding. If you plan on skating or snowshoeing or even just a wintery hike in the woods, it is wise to bring your own gear. The logistics of renting – long lines, your size not available – can distract from your quality time at the rink or other snowy venue. Not to mention your own skates fit better than anything you can rent. If you don’t want to carry your gear with you, it may also be cost-effective to buy them off-venue at your destination, such as a local sporting goods store.
Face it, we always forget or lose something on any vacation we take. This is only magnified when traveling as a family, especially with young children. By bring extra, matching pairs of gloves, nobody will mind or look out of fashion when a glove is inevitably lost.
Enjoy your vacation, and just because you are in a cold-weather locale doesn’t mean you have to be out in it more than you need to.