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10 Snowy Countries You Should Visit In Winter

10 Snowy Countries You Should Visit In Winter

When most of us think of a vacation, we imagine sunny beaches and summer getaways. But, there are so many great winter wonders out there that we couldn’t help but share some with you. These are some of the best winter holiday destinations around the world. So this year, instead of getting caught up in the tourist traps in the summer months, check out one of these magical stops around the globe.

Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe Winter

    Known for its beautiful scenery during the summer, what you might not know about Lake Tahoe is that it is also an enchanting winter stay. With phenomenal skiing, Tahoe offers a plethora of winter activities from snowshoeing, skating, sledding, and even great shopping. The resorts in the area also house some wonderful annual events, including the Magical Memories holiday celebration at the Squaw Creek Resort. Families can participate in the Grand Tree Lighting Ceremony, have Breakfast with Santa, and walk along the Gingerbread Village. Tahoe is truly a charming winter getaway.

    Switzerland

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    Switzerland Winter

      Known as the “playground for the rich and famous,” Switzerland is a big stop for the holiday season. With its picture-perfect cities like Bern and St. Moritz, and access to the, Alps, Switzerland offers one of the best places to spend your holidays abroad. From the Matterhorn to the “Top of Europe” — Jungfraujoch —to the Bernina Express, Switzerland is the perfect fairytale vacation for families and individuals alike. Currier and Ives truly had nothing on the Swiss.

      Iceland

      iceland ice cave

        With geothermal pools and spas, northern lights sightings, whale watching, and the majestic national parks, Iceland is a lesser-known winter secret for explorers all over. Ice climbing and glacier hiking are very popular during the snowy months. The stunning Northwest corner of Iceland, known as the Westfjords, is a wonderfully untainted wilderness and a great area for exploration.

        Westfjords, Norway

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        Westfjords

          With near-perfect conditions for skiing, Norway is a great stop for a winter vacation. But adventure isn’t all that Norway has to offer. In fact, with its Christmas Market in Oslo, the Gingerbread Town in Bergen, the Northern Lights Festival in Tromsø, and the Polar Jazz music festival in Svalbard, Norway is one of the top destinations for fun and enchanting winter activities. Don’t forget to slip into a sleigh for a little reindeer sledding with someone you love!

          Banff, Canada

          Banff

            Yeah, everyone knows about Canada for winter activities, but probably its best place to vacation overall is Banff National Park. With its delightful Winter Festival, this stunning region in Canada is one of the best places for families and individuals to visit. With après specials and full event schedules, there are countless opportunities for adventurers of all kinds. The beautiful Ice Magic Festival exhibits some of the most astounding ice carving around. In February, ski and snowboard pros compete in The Big Bear competition that is sure to make you say, “wow!” Banff isn’t just for adventurers either, with great dining, museums, galleries, and historic sites, there are also ample choices for culture gurus, too.

            Aspen, Colorado

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            Aspen Ski

              On a list of best winter destinations, we definitely can’t leave out Aspen, Colorado. Famous for its top-notch skiing, Aspen is every family’s winter dream. Along with its famous skiing, Aspen offers dog sledding, snowmobiling, fly fishing, hot air ballooning, ice skating, and so much more. With the Aspen Ideas Festival, Food & Wine Classic, Winter Words, and many more museums, Aspen isn’t just for ski junkies. Come for a truly great winter getaway this year to really experience all that Aspen has to offer.

              Sweden

              Sweden

                With 200 different resorts, Sweden is another Scandinavian must for winter fun. Travelers can go on a reindeer safari and sleep in entire hotels and igloos made from ice. Like Norway or Alaska, Sweden is one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis because of the “blue hole” in the Abisko National Park. Along with reindeer or moose safaris, travelers can drive their own dog sleds, snowshoe through the Kungsleden, and dive into the culture rich Sapmi of the Sami people. Enjoy unique cuisines, snowmobile, and watch for the king of the forest (elk) all during your next winter vacation to Sweden.

                Moscow, Russia

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                Saint Basil's Cathedral

                  When it comes to winter vacations, most people steer clear of Russia, but this year, you really shouldn’t! In January, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas with merry events for everyone — Moscow is a great “after-the-holidays” trip. Participate in the On Ice group tours in St. Petersburg, visit the mystical Winter Palace, and then be sure to catch The Nutcracker in the place that made it the fairytale joy it is today — Mariinsky Theatre.

                  Japan

                  Japan Winter

                    Most wouldn’t expect Japan to be on the list for best winter vacations, but it truly is a great snowy destination. There are endless winter activities, like the Kitami Yakiniku Festival with the Winter BBQ, visiting the Tadami River in Fukushima with its most striking landscapes, the Sapporo Snow Festival, and, of course, skiing. New Year’s is one of the best times of year for anyone traveling to Japan to experience some great ancient traditions and also some beautiful modern illumination around the Tokyo Michi Terrace and the Marunouchi Illumination. Be sure to jump onto a Japan tour this winter.

                    The Netherlands

                    Netherlands Snow

                      Last, but certainly not least, is Amsterdam — where the legend of Sinterklaas brought us Santa Claus. For those who want to spend more time than just a weekend celebrating Christmas, Amsterdam offers double the magic. On December 5th, Saint Nicholas’ Eve, the Dutch begin the celebrations with gift giving. On December 25th, the Dutch spend a second day of fun with food and family. Top the fun off with ice skating, shopping, and the best twinkling lights around.

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                      Last Updated on December 13, 2018

                      12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                      12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                      Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

                      A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

                      1. Eat Before Heading Out

                      First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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                      2. Select The Treats

                      Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

                      3. Avoid Skipping Meals

                      Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

                      4. Drink With Moderation

                      It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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                      5. Be Active

                      You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

                      6. Get Out Of The House

                      Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

                      7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

                      Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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                      8. Set Realistic Goals

                      You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

                      9. Enjoy Yourself

                      Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

                      10. Drink A Lot Of Water

                      This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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                      11. Eat Less And More Often

                      Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

                      12. Prioritize Your Workouts

                      Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

                      So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

                      Happy Holidays everyone!

                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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