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Seeking out winter sun? Don’t forget these essentials

Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash
Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

After an uncharacteristically summery summer, Brits have been brought back to the reality of our usual weather with a bump. We don’t usually do summer weather very well here, but we’re not all that great with winter weather either. Sure, it’s cold, but we don’t do Christmassy cold weather very well. Our cold weather is a frigid, frosty, damp affair, with that sort of eternal drizzle that is too light to count as real rain.

Perhaps you want to cling to that summer feeling and escape the winter altogether. Or maybe, you want to get a real Christmas feeling with blankets of snow outside, and blankets of warm, fuzzy joy in a nice cabin somewhere. Whatever your preferred winter getaway, we’ve got the guide for you.

If the cold doesn’t bother you…

The Netherlands — Amsterdam

The Netherlands — Amsterdam
The Netherlands — Amsterdam

The Netherlands’ capital city paints a beautiful winter scene, particularly if it snows. If you’re lucky, the temperature will drop far enough for the canals to freeze over into a spectacular ice-rink too! With winter markets galore and the magical Sinterklaas parade, you can’t possibly visit Amsterdam in the winter and not come away ready for all things Christmassy!

Double-check your suitcase for…

Suitable footwear. It’s going to get cold, and you’ll no doubt be doing plenty of walking, be it through the winter markets or strolling through one of Amsterdam’s museums. A good, comfy leather ankle boot will help you to keep up the pace and keep your toes snug and warm.

Austria — Vienna

Vienna offers amazing winter markets like Amsterdam does, and the Christkindlmarkt at City Hall is absolutely unmissable. Vienna can get very cold in the winter months, but there’s options to warm up from silky hot chocolates in a quaint café retreat to…butterflies?

The Imperial Butterfly House, Schmetterlinghaus, is certainly a quirky choice to visit.This amazing spot is home to approximately 400 live butterflies, which enjoy a year-round summer temperature, perfect to thaw out chilly cheeks and frozen fingers for a while!

Double-check your suitcase for…

A good raincoat that can cover your winter woolies! No matter what time of year you visit Vienna, there’s a chance of rain, but more so over the winter months.

Belgium — Bruges

Want to sound extravagant to your friends when you tell them your reasons for visiting Bruges? Tell them the whole city was made a World Heritage site by UNESCO. If you want to sound truthful to your friends when you tell them your reasons for visiting Bruges: Choco-Story Museum.

See the history of Belgian chocolate, as well as the delicate process of a real hot chocolate. Plus, the museum houses incredible statues made from chocolate! Don’t eat them though — the end of the tour allows for chocolate tasting without destroying works of art.

Double-check your suitcase for…

A power bank or portable charger. Bruges is a city of sights, and you’ll be snapping plenty of photos as your wander through its gorgeous streets. Be sure to keep that camera and phone (sometimes one in the same!) topped up with a handy portable charger.

If you’re seeking the sun

Sri Lanka — Hiriketiya Bay

Sri Lanka — Hiriketiya Bay
Sri Lanka — Hiriketiya Bay

For some of us, we want to get as far away from the cold, wet weather as possible. The Guardian named Sri Lanka’s Hiriketiya Bay as one of their top picks for holidays destinations that serve up a little sun over our winter months, and it’s easy to see why. The bay is a beautiful, secluded spot that sets itself apart from the usual hustle and bustle of tourist destinations.

Expect to see awesome sunsets and silky sands along the beach.

Double-check your suitcase for…

A garment suitable to cover up with. This is both to protect your skin from the sun and to respect local customs. Culture Trip advises that bikinis are fine by the pool or on the beach, but elsewhere, it’s better to cover up. Shawls are not only great for this, but also double up as an extra layer of protection from the sun. Don’t skip the sunscreen though!

United Arab Emirates — Dubai

United Arab Emirates — Dubai
United Arab Emirates — Dubai

Looking for sun, but not necessarily a beach holiday? Check out Dubai for your next trip. With average temperatures in November between 31°C and 21°C, the city won’t let you down for seeking that summery feeling, and there’s so much to do here beyond heading to the beach. Take part in the ultimate shopping experience at Dubai Mall, the biggest shopping mall in the world by area. Or, book in early to take a trip up the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Double-check your suitcase for…

Again, a cover-up item of clothing, but for slightly different reasons than for Sri Lanka. The Telegraph advises that the shopping malls can actually get a little chilly with their powerful air conditioning, so you will want something to cover up with when you head inside.

The Caribbean — Barbados

The Caribbean — Barbados
The Caribbean — Barbados

Barbados is the traditional summer-sun holiday even in the winter. This island has a tropical climate throughout the year, so you can spend your winter months lounging on its pristine beaches and soaking in its crystalline seas.

You’ll want to spend all day on the beach, but when you do venture away in search for food, Barbados delivers the goods! The island is renowned for its amazing cuisine, particularly its super-fresh seafood selection. Notable Barbadian food orders include flying fish, fish cakes, and macaroni pie.

Double-check your suitcase for…

A raincoat, as the latter half of the year does see the rainy season start in Barbados, so the sunny spells might be broken by some showers.

Keep in mind when you’re packing that it is illegal for non-military to wear camouflage or army gear in public in Barbados. So no camo-prints!

Sources:

Written by Nathaniel Fried

Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

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