When you think of holidays, going to a hotel somewhere hot and lounging about in the sun with the family is usually what comes to mind. There’s so much more you can do however, and at any time of year not just the summer. Sometimes a winter holiday is just what the doctor asked for, and winter holidays are so underrated. There are plenty of fun activities you can do, and plenty of beautiful countries to visit that are just as unique and interesting as warmer countries. Read on to find some fantastic and breathtaking holidays that will blow you away. Who want to be stuck in the airport during the summer holidays, trying to get to the same country as every other family? Not only is travelling at these peak times expensive, but it can be busy and stressful too. Winter holidays are unique and underrated, so here are some fantastic ideas of places you can go to enjoy the snow and somewhere you can sit by the fireside in the evening.

Winter Holiday

Source.

The Northern Lights

The Northern lights are a once in a lifetime opportunity, and something that is  on everyone’s bucket list, so why not go experience this once in a lifetime opportunity. There are a few countries you can visit to see them including Iceland and Greenland. Usually there will be a local guide who will take you out to a place out in the country where visibility is good. Being locals, they will know the best places to take you where you are most likely to catch a glimpse of them. It is not always guaranteed that you do see them as it can be weather dependant, which means seeing them is extra special. The Northern lights are one of the most beautiful sights you can see, and so experiencing this natural wonder is a once and a lifetime opportunity.

Whale Watching

If you go to see the Northern lights in Iceland for example, chances are you can do some whale watching too. Whales are beautiful and majestic creatures, and so sailing down the fjords to go and find them is an exciting experience. Whales are of course endangered in many parts of the world and are hunted, so helping an industry that encourages whales to live safely in their natural habitat is a good cause to endorse. Seeing animals in their natural habitat is a totally different to seeing them in a zoo, and sailing down rivers and the open ocean is a thrilling journey itself. This can be great fun for the whole family, and whale watching is an exciting adventure itself, and can be done on the same trip as seeing the Northern lights.

Skiing or Snowboarding

There are plenty of ski lodges and destinations across Europe or America that you can go to. Having an active holiday like this can be a great break from everyday life, and it can be great to move, have some fun and get out of the office. Most places cater to people of all abilities, so don’t worry if you’ve never tried it before. Most of the fun is in learning! If you want some pointers, or you really want to hone your skills, you could always try enrolling in a ski school. You could even try some country skiing if the slopes are not your thing. There are loads of winter sports that can so much fun for everyone, you can be sure there will never be a dull moment.

Snow Winter Holiday White Snowboarding Season

Source.

A City Break in the Snow

Any city is transformed when seeing it covered in snow. There is a certain romance to seeing the tree tops powdered with white. Seeing any capital city in Europe is beautiful at any time of year, but seeing it in the winter gives you the city from a new perspective. Winter has its own beauty, and it transforms any city into a completely different place. Try visiting a city that’s on your travel list at a different time of year. Winter is a magical time, and can make a fantastic and romantic getaway for you and a loved one.

Hot Springs

If you like your spa days, and want to go somewhere beautiful to relax, then why not try the hot springs in Iceland? There are lots of different springs you can visit, each with their own nuances. They often have loads of other services at the springs, as well as the springs themselves, from cleansing treatments to mud baths. Iceland is situated on naturally heated springs, making these places a place of natural beauty as well as healing properties. Because of this natural heat, the country is also home to many different kinds of plants, that are able to grow here because of the warmer climate, for any botanist enthusiasts! For a relaxing and visually stunning winter break, try Iceland’s hot springs and come home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, the perfect outcome of a winter holiday.

Glacier Tours

Fancy a winter hike to test your walking ability? Glacier tours are becoming increasingly popular and are enjoyed by more and more people each year. This is the same principle as hiking at home, just is snowy conditions, or climbing and exploring glaciers. These are often done with tour guides of course, because of the potentially dangerous conditions, and because many walkers are unfamiliar with these areas. If your enjoy a hike, and exploring a landscape in a totally new way, a glacier tour or snowy hike could be for you. When you’re equipped with some extra gear and a guide, you will be on your adventure in no time.

There are loads of great ideas for winter breaks, and they are so underrated. Try any of these and have a great adventure, experience a breathtaking landscape, or come back feeling refreshed. Snowy landscapes have so many fun activities you can try for the whole family. Many of the colder countries have so much to offer, so go explore them this winter.

Make The Most Of the Snow With A Winter Holiday

Cuddle Fairy

I love this essential guide to travel photography. It gives clear information on what you need and what is nice to have along with inspiration for photos to take in locations around the world. Perfect for amateurs like me but also handy for any photographer.

Guide To Travel Photography

Mummascribbles

How to prepare for long car journeys might be on your mind as we hurtle towards the festive season where so many of us visit family and friends at a distance.

We can all be guilty of taking our cars for granted but need to consider taking extra care when we are planning a longer journey. Giving your car a good check before you go can pay dividends in the long rum.

Make sure the car is serviced, either as part of regular servicing or as a one-off. Look after your car and it should look after you.

Basic checks should be oil, water and washer fluid – ideally every week but certainly before you depart.

Check tyres for tread depth. The law requires a minimum of 1.6 mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of breadth of the tread. Be aware that if tyres reach the minimum their ability to grip the road will be reduced affecting braking and steering. Consider replacing tyres before they get to this stage. Check for uneven wear – it could be a symptom of a suspension problem.

Brakes should be checked. Many local servicing centres including Kwikfit.com offer free safety checks and will advise if discs or pads need replacement.

Check windscreen and all glass for scratches or other damage. Any chips in the wiper swept area are a potential MoT failure and should be repaired, possibly free of charge through your insurance policy. Make sure the screen and windows are clean and that washers/wipers are working correctly.

All lights fitted to a vehicle must be working. Many suppliers can provide a set of spare bulbs specific to your model. Check headlamp alignment to ensure that you have the best vision without dazzling oncoming traffic. If you are to tow a trailer or caravan you must also check the lights every time you attach to the tow bar.

Finally make sure you have things that will keep you warm from blankets to flasks. I always ensure we have a comprehensive first aid kit in the car and if traveling with children, make sure you have some activities that will keep them entertained to avoid the “Are we nearly there?” saga.

Check out #CarSafetyChecklist on social media for more tips.

Safe journey and happy holidays!

Five Little Doves

I was not at all sure what to post about for the Gallery theme of A Happy Memory this week. Wedding, babies, erm …

Then out of the blue yesterday I got an email from Him Indoors telling me he had found a memory stick at work with some photographs of our holiday in Cornwall I have looked through and decided to go with some of these partly because looking back, I think this holiday marked my exit from the horrors of post-natal depression so if anything they mark a time when I remembered how to be happy again.

Number one son was happy as the holiday involved riding on and looking at trains.

My little girl had her first ride on a horse leading to a passion for all things horses and ponies.

My baby boy got into wheels in a big way.

We visited Gweek Seal Sanctuary which I had last visited as a little girl on holiday with my parents. Mum and Dad took me there in the first week and I loved it especially the seal who had been shot through the head and spent his time bobbing up and down. I insisted on going back in the second week and wrote to the owners who were kind enough to send me a signed book. A big deal for me back then.

The sanctuary is much bigger now but it was great to take my own children back there.

We visited new places like the Eden Project.

Land’s End gave us pirates, helicopers, boats and Doctor Who.

On the way back home, we stopped off at a pony sanctuary. It was cold and bought some wonderful jackets for the younger children. I remember this photograph being taken and how I was striding forwards purposefully actually thinking that I would make a fresh start when I got home.

What happened? Well, we relocated, I got a new job and we got married. So this holiday marked a revival of sorts and I now feel ready for another one.

Looking at these photographs reminds me that I have avoided having my photograph taken for some years now. That is going to change so be warned, you may see more of me on this blog. After all, if I really am going to lose all this weight, I do need to have the before photographs!

Monkey and Mouse