Christmas on the Slopes: Best Destinations for a Family Holiday

Christmas on the Slopes: Best Destinations for a Family Holiday

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ski holiday

Christmas is the perfect time to enjoy an authentic winter with your family. It’s a fantastic time of the year to have some snow fun and the festive season is a great time to spend with family in this beautiful setting. There are many destinations to try when taking a family ski holiday at Christmas and as long as you are prepared even if you are new to this kind of holiday, you are sure to have a great time. Anywhere with a white covering of snow will feel more Christmassy but where are the best places to try to suit both families and those who love skiing? Here are a few places that offer an excellent ski holiday at Christmas time.

Courchevel, France

This large and popular Ski resort has everything you could ask for in a ski holiday destination. There are four villages Courchevel Le Praz, Courchevel Village, Courchevel Moriond and Courchevel 1850, ehich are all linked by ski lifts and pistes as well as a free bus service too.

The varied slopes and terrain make this a great choice for family skiing holidays and the snow is usually very good as the slopes here are north facing. There are kids’ clubs perfect for little beginners, where they can take ski lessons and enjoy some Christmas fun here too.  Depending on where you stay, there are different activities and options to choose from during your stay. Some chalets and hotels put on some great entertainment and activities for their guests during the Christmas period.

Although the highest village of Courcheval 1850 is an expensive place to stay. The lower villages are more affordable and also amenable for families too. The lower resorts still have access to all the same slopes and lifts, but it just might take you a little longer to get to the top.

Wengen, Switzerland

This village is especially designed for families and even more so at Christmas time. The streets are decorated for Christmas, and there’s a festive woodland walk to join on Christmas day. Swiss families usually go to church to attend Midnight Mass on Christmas eve and traditionally will gather to share hot chocolate and ringli or homemade doughnuts afterwards. You will really feel like you are joining in the Christmas spirit here.

Wengen is an excellent and pretty location to visit, whether it is the festive season or not. When it comes to Skiing the slopes are located under the north face of the Eiger and are covered by the Jungfrau lift pass. It’s a great place for beginners so children are very welcome. There are also a few exciting toboggan-runs, the main one being the run from Wengernalp which is 4.5 km.

Within the village, you’ll also find a snow playground curling and an outdoor ice skating rink too. So you know there will be plenty to do for the kids during your stay. Your hotels will put on some Christmas entertainment including excellent meals and activities for kids.

Beitostølen, Norway

This place is an excellent choice for those with young families, as although it is a smaller resort than those found in the Alps, there are a wide range of activities to keep the family entertained. The snow here usually falls early and due to the high altitude, it usually stays. Skiing here is excellent for beginners; the Ski school is English speaking and there are plenty of gentle slopes.

Children and adults will love to try the snowmobiling on a purpose-built track, a place where you can slide down the slopes in a big inflatable boat, husky dog sledding, and a massive 300km plus of cross-country skiing trails.

Christmas celebrations offer festive activities for the whole family including a visit from Santa himself. Local hotels put on their own entertainment too, you might find Christmas tree decorating, making gingerbread men and carols on the agenda depending on where you are staying. Wherever you stay in Beitostølen, you are sure to have a magical time.

Val Thorens, France

If you are travelling as a mixed party then Val Thorens is a great choice. This purpose-built resort has terrain to suit everyone from beginner to expert. As the highest Ski resort in the ‘Trois Vallees’ and in Europe, it means you are almost guaranteed snow from November and beyond. If you love to stay in a Ski-in Ski-out chalet then this is a dream.

As well as the great skiing you’ll find here, at any time of the year you can enjoy Val Thorens wealth of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, health and beauty centres and shops. But at Christmas time there are special events mostly put on by the resorts and hotels for their guests. This includes visits from Santa for the kids, extravagant dinners and lots of parties.

Not only can you enjoy Christmas here but stay to bring in the New year, the Val Tho Crazy Night. If you’re up for a party then this is definitely a way to see the New Year in style.

Zermatt, Switzerland

No list of Christmas Ski destinations would be complete without a mention of the famous picture-perfect Zermatt. The views of the Matterhorn, being surrounded by snow covered traditional chalets and the jingle of horse-drawn sleighs are right out of a Christmas fairy-tale.

The skiing here is top-notch too, offering a variety of slopes but mostly catering for intermediate to the more advanced skiers. You can also get off-piste with a variety of trails that are avalanche controlled.

Zermatt is not a cheap destination to visit, and this is even more apparent when visiting at Christmas time. One bonus however, is although the list passes are pricey under nines ski free, under 16s pay only half the price and there’s a 15% discount for under 20s.

As a car free resort, the atmosphere at Christmas is one of old time charm. For a truly festive time, visit the English church for a Christmas service, kids can enjoy sledging and snowy playgrounds and of course Santa is around, his sled being pulled by his trusty reindeer. It might be the best Ski destination for that exceptional Christmas feel.

Christmas at home versus away

Although it is lovely to spend Christmas at home it can be very stressful too. So much is expected as a family nowadays and sometimes you just want to get away from it all. A Ski break means you can still enjoy a festive family Christmas but without all the stress of organising things yourself.

Let someone else cook the Christmas dinner and do the cleaning and other housework. You can concentrate on enjoying the holidays with your family. Building snowmen, throwing snowballs, skiing tobogganing and taking a sleigh ride in the snow. Do all those things you hear about in the Christmas songs, bet you wouldn’t be doing that at home!

A family ski holiday at Christmas doesn’t come cheap so get ready to part with some cash when you book. But remember, the experience and the fun you get to have as a family is worth it and an experience you’ll treasure for years to come.



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Why You Should Travel To China Via The Trans-Siberian Railway

Why You Should Travel To China Via The Trans-Siberian Railway

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The Trans-Siberian railway travels through different places. If you are planning to travel to China, taking the Trans-Siberian may be one of the best options you have. If you are not convinced, continue reading this article and find out all the reasons why you should consider this kind of trip.

Trans-Siberian railway

There are several reasons why you should travel to China via the Trans-Siberian Railway. The first reason is that it is one of the most affordable methods that a person is going to be able to travel throughout China. This means that you are going to be able to go a long distance without having to spend a lot of money. There are instances when it might be a little more expensive than an airplane ride but you will be able to see the scenery from a different perspective. Plus, you will get a chance to mingle with other travellers better if you are on a train than in an airplane. Check out China tour packages offered by travel specialists who specialize on Trans-Siberian railway trips and find a package that matches with your preferences.

The second reason is that you are going to be able to travel throughout the year along the railway. The most popular seasons are going to be spring and summer. The warmer months in China are going to give you more daylight so people are going to be a lot more social during this time. No matter what time of the year, you are going to be able to experience China in the best way without having to worry about being too hot or cold. During the winter months, the trains are going to be heated so you will be able to enjoy a warm and cosy ride.

The third reason is that it is a safe way for people to travel. Most of the time, people are going to be using the train to travel when they are visiting their relatives or going on a holiday. Therefore, there are going to be a lot of people that you will be able to socialize with while you are travelling. If you are travelling alone, then it might be a good way to ask for a compartment that is just for ladies or just for gentlemen. There are also compartments that will allow you to lock up your cabin at night and ensure that none of your valuables are left unattended when you are wandering around the cabin.

The fourth reason is that it will be an adventure of a lifetime. This is because you have the choice to share your carriage with a group of people who might have the same ideas as you as far as what they want to see. Most of the time, through these tours, you will be stopping at night for several destinations that you are going to be interested in. You can meet other people and even gain new friends.

Talk to a travel specialist offering Trans-Siberian railway trips and have a trip you’ll never forget.

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Five tips for planning your next cruise vacation

Five tips for planning your next cruise vacation

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Planning any big holiday can be slightly nerve wracking- after all its both money and annual leave on the line! To help abate those fears, here are our five top tips for ensuring smooth sailing on your next cruise:

cruise vacation

Read the Reviews.

Reviews are the best way of getting the inside scoop on what you can expect whilst on board. After all- every company will say they have amazing service, but that isn’t always true! Cruise Critic or Cruise Mates are both useful to help you evaluate the best option. Look out for complaints that appear in multiple reviews- this is a major red flag!

Scanning the reviews can also help you identify the style of the cruise. After all, if you are looking for a romantic getaway, then any provider that targets families or college students is a no-go!


Sign up for mailing lists.

Cruise operators and travel agents will send mail outs with hot deals. If you are flexible on the timing of your trip, then waiting for a sale can be a good way to reduce the cost of your holiday. However, because these deals tend to get snapped up fast, it’s best to already have a good idea of what you are wanting.


Consider seasickness

Seasickness is any easy way to ruin the most well planned trip. Many consider the size of the ships prevention enough- although this isn’t always the case.  

If you are travelling with someone prone to seasickness, we recommend:

  • Targeting cruises that stay closer to shore- they are generally much less bumpy than those that head into international waters. Alternatively, perhaps consider a river cruise – that way waves won’t be a problem at all!
  • Choose your cabin wisely- windows or balconies are ideal for getting fresh air without heading to the deck.  If that’s not possible, aim for a cabin lower in the boat- the closer you are to the bottom, the less movement you’ll feel!
  • Pack some seasickness tablets- preferably the non-drowsy kind. Taking them a day or two in advance of your trip will ensure that they are in your system in time. Dramamine, Sturgeron and Sea Legs are common brands.


Investigate domestic options

Going overseas tends to add cost and hassle to cruising.  This is due to the need for visas, passports, flights, and (potentially) vaccinations.

Cruising domestically can be a good choice to avoid this hassle. A popular choice is cruising down the Mississippi with the American Queen Steamboat Company in a journey popularized by Mark Twain. Other domestic cruise options include to Alaska, or around the Hawaiian islands.


De-stress your trip

This may sound redundant, but there are some simple ways to make your trip as stress free as possible.

    • Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly- you don’t want to cut into your precious vacation time looking for where to buy a sweater. Similarly check if there’s any dress codes for events.
    • Ensure you can disconnect from work. Try and set yourself up to only be contactable in the event of an emergency. Just knowing that you may be contacted by work at any time adds stress.
    • Choose your travel companions wisely- you’ll be spending a fair bit of time with them!




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5 Ongoing Benefits of a Solar Pool Cover

5 Ongoing Benefits of a Solar Pool Cover

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The list of pool extras may tend to get longer each year, but there is one item you do not want to be without, especially when you explore the benefits. A solar pool cover is an affordable way to eliminate many problems that all pool owners share. Below are five of the best reasons to invest in a solar cover for your pool.


Natural Heating of the Water

Advanced technology has allowed for the design of solar pool covers that capture heat from the sun better than ever before. This heat is trapped within tiny bubbles that comprise the inside of the pool cover material. The heat is then easily transferred to the pool water below. There is no electricity or other forms of power required.


Minimizes Evaporation

Pools will suffer from some level of water evaporation. Using a solar cover is one way to bring this problem to a minimum, especially in outdoor settings. Pools that are subject to long periods of direct sunlight can have problematic amounts of water disappear on a weekly basis. Retaining water is one way to reduce the cost of replacing this prized resource.


Maintains Pool Chemical Levels

Limiting pool water evaporation with a solar cover will ensure that the chemicals stay in good balance. Unfortunately, when pool water evaporates, there are important chemicals that leave as well. This leaves your pool at risk for developing algae and promoting bacterial growth. Help your pool stay in chemical balance.


Less Debris in Pool

Leaves, bugs, small limbs and trash can be a major nuisance for pool owners. These items can also jeopardize the function of the pool filtering system. This is why nets and scoops are so important to have on hand for pool maintenance and cleaning. You can make this job easier by adding and using a solar pool cover. It will block many of these items from entering the water.


Swim Comfortably Into the Cooler Months

Late September and early October can bring a chill to the air both morning and evening. Using an effective solar cover will keep the overall water temperature warm enough for comfortable swimming well into these cooler periods. You, your friends and family will get extended use of your pool.

Contact pool specialists like 1st Direct for all of your pool maintenance needs today!

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Why Singapore should be Your Destination This Season

Why Singapore should be Your Destination This Season

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                                                             Image credits: @whereisredj

With the many destinations yet to explore in the world, you may wonder where the best place to have an exciting experience is; it is definitely Singapore. Being one of the most beautiful places on our planet, it has many things to offer. You will never get enough of Singapore, and each visit will be as exciting as the first. So maybe you’ll want to get personalised employment pass with One Visa. The following are some of the great expectations to have as you plan to visit:

The great food

Food is one of the best ways to express people’s culture. Singaporeans love their food and it’s evident in all restaurants and food joints. In fact, it’s easy to grab some snacks at food dens all over the street. Amazingly, you can also easily get themed restaurants, particularly Chinese, Japanese, and Indian ones in various cities across Singapore.

Parks and gardens

Green is the theme when it comes to this country. There are numerous eco-parks in which one can visit and enjoy the green space either for a picnic or just relaxing with friends. The fresh air will be evidence of an environmentally-friendly country that you will want to visit again and again.


Learning about people’s history, culture, and heritage is always one of the best reasons to visit their country. While in Singapore, be sure to visit their famous national and private museums for a gallery of artifacts and other heritage knowledge. The museums feature arts, Arm and government history, culture, animals, and many other themes.

Games and sports

Whatever you prefer, the adrenaline-pumping formula 1, football, rugby, or any other, you can be sure to catch a game in one of Singapore’s sports arenas. They are friendly for whole-family viewing with guaranteed fun.

The wildlife

To be frank, most people visit various countries with a desire to enjoy the wildlife; if you are such a person, Singapore will not disappoint you. One will meet nocturnal animals in their real ecosystem through the night tours. Animals like Malayan Civet, geckos, frogs, and elephants are just a few of the many you will enjoy.

The nightlife

Do you love endless fun at night? In Singapore, only the time will limit what you can experience. One can knock a couple of beers at the live pubs and dance the night out to the classic DJ mixes. It’s also easy to maneuver from one place to another through the safe taxi services.

Shopping at any time

Do you wake up in the middle of the night and feel like shopping? Be sure to find plenty of shops to buy your stuff. With increasing numbers of shopping malls, people can shop conveniently at any time and for whatever they want.

                                                Image credits: @whereisredj

Affordable accommodation

The rise of classic affordable hotels has dominated this country’s major town. So, whether you are on a leisure holiday or a budget business trip, you will get a good accommodation to suit you with at least all the basic amenities like Internet, TV, and comfortable beds.




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