Travel

How to survive winter travel in Europe

I took this picture this morning! It’s the first snow of the season here!

It’s halfway December and the winter season is nearing. The cold has arrived and so has the time for wearing gloves, scarves, and beanies. And let’s not forget all the hot drinks. You often hear about traveling Europe in the summer, but what about the winter? Well, as a Dutch citizen I can assure you that Europe is just as beautiful to travel in the winter as in the summer, it’s just different. Although it can come with its challenges, I believe Europe is even more magical in the winter than it is in the summer. But it’s important to be prepared for the cold. It will make your trip a lot more fun. So here are some tips on how to survive Europe during the wintertime, that I can give you out of my own experience. 

1. Cover yourself enough

Winter isn’t that cold everywhere in Europe and it actually also really depends on when in the winter you go. And the temperature actually changes all the time nowadays, so you can never completely know how warm or cold it’s going to be. But be prepared for the cold. A first important way to do that is by covering yourself enough. So, bring gloves, beanies, earmuffs, scarves etc. They’re going to give a lot of warmth which will make you feel much more comfortable exploring outside. Also, a tip I want to give is to bring a pair of touchscreen gloves. Because when you’re traveling you will probably want to take pictures or look up things on your phone and that can be very hard with normal gloves. And wearing touchscreen gloves  will make everything easier then. 

2. Bring the right shoes

Another important thing that also kind of has something to do with covering yourself up is bringing the right shoes. With that I mean that you first of all need to bring shoes that can handle some rain or snow (so, converse shoes are a no go). And also be sure to cover your ankles. So you can wear sneakers that don’t cover your ankles as long as you’re wearing long socks. It will save you from a lot of cold. 

3. Take breaks for warming up

On cold days you do not want to walk outside all day with only taking a lunch break. You’re going to need to budget for several stops at cafes during the day for some hot drinks. You have to allow yourself to warm up or else your whole body is going to be so freezing cold. Seriously, don’t mess with the cold. 

4. Use public transport

In summer there’s no problem with walking almost everywhere because the weather is good and walking around with the sun warming up your skin is actually very nice. In the winter, things are a little different. Walking for long periods of time is going to give you frozen toes and other frozen body parts. Or at least, that’s what it feels like. And because in most countries in Europe the public transport is pretty good, you might as well make use of it.

5. Remind yourself you’re not going to die of the cold

We, being the human beings we are, love being dramatic. “Ahh, it’s so cold. I think I’m going to die.” Does that sentence sound familiar to you? Well, you’re not going to die of the cold. It just takes some getting used to. You’ll get through it. 

And if you follow all these tips, the cold can be a lot of fun!

Love, Margriet

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