It’s almost the end of the year and we’re approaching the dead of winter. The “dead” of winter may not sound too happy and uplifting, but it’s actually a time of great joy for many. Holidays, work breaks, time to spend with family and friends from around the world — there’s a reason people call it “the most wonderful time of the year,” regardless of what holiday you do or do not celebrate!

Maybe your plans this season are up in the air — no pun intended. Maybe you just want to do something different by yourself or with a loved one. Maybe you get seasonal depression and normal winter just isn’t your cup of hot chocolate. In any case, a winter getaway should be stressless and relaxing. What will you decide to do? Where will you go? How will you prepare? We’re here to help you answer those questions.

Step One: Snow or Summer?

Some people don’t do well in a normal winter, and others do great. Some people associate the winter with sleigh rides, ice skating, skiing, snow angels, good times inside by the fire, apple cider, and presents. And these are fond memories for most of them. Some, however, associate the winter with getting their cars stuck in the driveway, it being too cold, family fights and losses, and crippling depression.

Maybe your “winter getaway” could actually mean getting away from winter. Maybe you go to a place like Mexico, where the sun stays out and you aren’t burdened with winter adjustments, is right for you. Maybe rather than snowboarding, you’d like to surf. Or maybe you just want to drink margaritas on a beach, or explore a city without three coats on and a scarf.

So before putting the plans into a big vacation this winter, ask yourself how much you actually like winter. Then move to step two.

Step Two (A): Winter Preparations

If your winter getaway involves embracing all the snow, cold, and freezing off your toes, your preparation will involve much more packing. First of all, bring many layers to wear. It may be wise to pack a lot of long underwear — enough to last you your trip. The snowier it is, the less you’ll want to rely on only normal jeans and socks. The more it snows, the more layers you’ll need. If your winter getaway involves skiing, ski pants and a coat are highly recommended.

Now, if you’re going to be driving through snow and ice, make sure to drive slow and get proper maintenance done on your vehicle before heading out. Salt, sand, or kitty litter are important for driving in areas with a lot of wintery powder. Blankets are a must, and sleeping bags are a smart cautionary choice as well. A typical road kit is essential for driving in the cold, as well as a shovel (very important).

Even if you choose to fly to your destination, if you’re in a cold, snowy area, don’t ever have too much confidence that heating system will keep you warm, as power outages are common in such places. The extra blankets, long underwear, and the like go as much for your destination as they do for your journey.

Other than that, have fun! Bring your skis or snowshoes, your gloves, and some carrots to make a snowman with. Prepare for the positive too — make this trip one to remember.

Step Two (B): Getting Away from Winter

Pack up your sun screen and start thinking hot, because this winter you’ve decided to leave the proverbial nest that everyone expects you to stay in. That’s right, you’ve decided a hot, exotic getaway is better than a typical winter.
It sounds nice to take a summer vacation (the only good thing about school for some of us), but nothing can put a stop on your excitement like money can. Early saving is a must for going places with different weather, because they’re most likely very far away from you!

A summer vacation doesn’t just mean the beach though. Common travel destinations like the Galapagos islands involve interacting with wildlife and hiking. Regardless, most summer vacations involve adventuring or exploring to some extent, so bring a pair of walking shoes and your sunglasses. If you’re heading down to the beach, a bathing suit and beach sandals aren’t a bad idea either.

You’ll want to bring something warm however, seeing as you’ll still be leaving and entering your current, cold place of residence! However, don’t fret too much. Just make sure you don’t burn!

Step Three: Enjoy

You’ve made your plans, you’ve prepared, and now you can enjoy your trip! “Got my bags all packed and I’m ready to go” – get out there on your jet plane, your car, your friends’ car – it doesn’t matter. Travel is good for the soul, so make this winter getaway one to remember and enjoy yourself.

Where do you like to go in the winter? Where are your getaways? Let us know in the comments below!