Winter Sports Destinations You Must Try

Winter snow sports have become a hot tourist attraction in the growing popularity of adventure tourism in India. The country has one of the finest snow-clad peaks where you can enjoy these thrilling adventures. We provided a list of the country’s top five winter adventure destinations for all those seeking a dose of adrenaline.

• Auli

In the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand ther lies Auli. It is one of the uncharted ski destinations. According to many foreign tourists, Auli can be compare with the best ski resorts in the world. Garhwal and Kumaon offer another exciting sport – ski touring amongst the glaciers together with their wide open spaces above the snowline. For the avid skier, cross-country runs of 10-20 km are now available, with the added advantage of fresh powder snow. You can also enjoy thrilling white water rafting aside from skiing.

• Rohtang Pass

The majestic Rohtang Pass is situated at the altitude of 3,978 metres in Himachal a 50 km drive from Manali. This year-round snowy pass is mostly visited for its adventure snow sports activities such as snow skiing, paragliding, zorbing and trekking. This place is a favorite for the extreme sports enthusiasts throughout winters when the temperatures drop to freezing point which makes.

• Solang Valley

Another round the year favorite is the fun-filled place at Manali where adventure sports are popular and fun never stops. A perfect spot for skiing, the natural slope during winters and the locals have an alternative for all the summer i.e zorbing. An extremely well-liked destination where there is adventure sports for all walks of life and ages. Paragliding, parashooting, skiing, zorbing are some of the popular sports. People who are not so adventurous can take a nice yak ride.

• Gulmarg

Gulmarg is one of the best skiing destinations as many are describing it, not only in India but around the world. From the month of December and the fun continues till late March it is the season for adventure snow sports kicks off in. This vastly visited tourist spot is famous for skiing, snowboarding, sledging, skibobbing, heliskiing. The adventure admirers can go both uphill and downhill and enjoy the thrill of skiing with the new ski lift introduced early this year, the adventure admirers can go both uphill and downhill and enjoy the thrill of skiing.

• Gangtok

Indulge in adventure activities like trekking, white-water rafting, hang gliding and mountain biking at Gangtok. The place offers interesting treks to the Pemayangtse, Khechopalri, Yuksam, Tsokha, Dzongri, Thangshing, Zemathang, Chaurigang, Tashiding, Varsey, Yangang, Rabongla, Sang and Sikip.

 

Winter Holiday Budgets Up Forty Eight PCT This Year

According to the report, high inflation is not coming in the way of holiday spends as more and more travelers are booking longer and expensive holiday packages this winter compared with last year.

“The average holiday budgets per person per night have increased to Rs 2,325 this winter from Rs 1,564 in 2012, indicating a 48 per cent rise.

“Trips have become longer by 36.3 per cent with travelers taking an average trip of 3.8 nights this year,” says holiday information portal HolidayIQ.com’s report ‘Insights: Winter Holidays Prediction Report 2013′.

In the middle of November 2013 and January 2014, it analyses the patterns.

People are preparing trips in smaller groups with group size decreasing 16 per cent even though not being thrifty on the budget.

Beach and hill station destinations are most popular this winter, accounting for almost 78 per cent of the holidays planned, according to the report.

Families form a significant part of tourist traffic because of the winter holidays in schools. This is 26 per cent of planned trips.

The report says traditionally, travelers prefer to travel within the region they reside in. However, this winter there is a marked increase in travelers choosing holiday destinations outside their region.

In the previous year merely forty one per cent of winter trips were intended outside the traveler’s region of residence whereas in the current year the said trips account for sixty six per cent of all trips planned.

People from east and north-east travel outside more while majority of south Indian travelers have a preference travelling within the region.

Couple travelers plan longer and more expensive holidays allocating the highest average budget of Rs 2,611 per person per night, followed by family travelers at Rs 2,137, group travelers at Rs 1,974 and single travelers at Rs 1,693, it said.

Holidays planned by women have 8 per cent higher budgets than those planned by men, it added.

First images of the New Great House on Necker Island

The Great House on Necker Island now complete and ready to welcome its first guests.  It is the private home of Sir Richard Branson and part of the Virgin Limited Edition collection.

 

Following a two-year project the exterior and interior layout of the new Great House has been remodeled on the original design, with the addition of some innovative design twists.

 

The inspiration is from the beautiful features and Balinese style of the original structure, the new Great House offers breath-taking panoramic views of the Caribbean, the Atlantic and neighboring islands.  Each one of the eight guest rooms has a balcony, and all come with king-size beds and spacious en-suite bathrooms.  The Master Suite is on the upper level, which is a whopping 1,500 square feet and has been designed for panoramic views from virtually every angle and includes a two-person Jacuzzi, a stand-alone outdoor bath and a kitchenette area with a fully-stocked fridge.

 

The Great House is the located where people get together and has an open outdoor terrace with hammocks and sofas and a large dining table for everyone to gather round to enjoy their meal.  There’s a fully-stocked bar for favorite cocktails and up on the roof the crow’s nest has stunning views where you’ll find a Jacuzzi – perfect for sipping champagne as you watch the sun set.  And if you feel like a quick dip in the sea before lunch, then hop on the zip-line that quickly transports you from the Great House terrace all the way down to the sandy white beaches.
Sir Richard Branson commented: “Necker Island has been my home for more than 30 years and for me it is the most beautiful place in the world. The brand new Great House is the heart of the island and I’m thrilled with the results. This signals a new dawn for Necker, which I’m very excited about.”

 

For exclusive use bookings, accommodation on Necker Island includes nine bedrooms in the Great House including the stunning Master Suite and six individual Bali Houses dotted around the island.  There is also a bunkroom in the Great House that sleeps up to six children.  In totality, the number of guests that can be accommodated on Necker Island is 30 plus six children at a nightly rate of USD $60,000 until the 31st December 2013.

 

Apart from being the ultimate relaxing paradise, the island can also be your perfect setting for a wedding or a celebration with family and friends that you’ll will forever cherish.

 

There is also an option if you do not want to hire the entire island but you want to enjoy the full Necker experience, you can try ‘Celebration Weeks’ provide the opportunity to book an individual room ‘hotel-style’ for seven nights.

 

This ravishing Necker Island is located in the British Virgin Islands, a spectacular and unspoilt area of the Caribbean and is surrounded by turquoise waters and coral reefs and fringed with beautiful white sandy beaches.

 

Tips For Smooth Trips

Pack with purpose

 

• Bring Your Own Everything. 1. A small (inflatable) pillow 2. Ziploc bags (useful in so many ways) 3. Entertainment (include one non-electronic thing for when you have to power down) 4. Snacks, and a reusable water bottle.

 

• Pack light. Try to take only one suitcase, preferably a roller carry-on. This will be very convenient in any way.

 

• If flying, check out the current rules and restrictions at tsa.gov. You are only allowed one carry-on that must fit in the overhead compartment and one that must fit underneath the seat in front of you; this means you are only allowed to have two carry-ons. Some airlines charge you extra to check a bag.

 

Plan like a pro

 

• Get a passport now, everyone must have one. Get one now even if you don’t have immediate travel plans because getting one can take as long as 90 days. Photo copy your passport and travel plans such as confirmation numbers, etc. Always bring the copies with you and even email a copy to your family and yourself. There are instances that the rental agencies or hotels will ask for your passport. It will be safer if you will just give them a copy Instead. Treat your passport like gold.

 

• Try not to overbook. Allow for travel delays. If you have a strict schedule, like a cruise or tour, consider arriving a day early.

 

• Read traveler reviews, but read between the lines when searching for hotels or excursions and remember to look for reviews that are recent, specific and have photos.

 

Make air travel easy

 

Arrive early, security waits can be very long and some airports are huge. Think about an hour or so earlier.

 

Take off jackets and shoes and empty your pockets before hand and make security smooth sailing. Liquids bag or laptop should be taken out of your luggage and must be put it in a separate bin. Be ready to answer even the strangest questions from TSA agents politely, especially if you are overseas.

 

Make sure you double check that you have picked up all of your belongings from the conveyor. Apply for TSA Pre-check so that you can get through security faster, this goes for a frequent traveler

 

 

Stay safe, comfy

 

To improve your immune system, four weeks or so, start taking probiotics before you leave. Bring a small bag with stomach soothers, motion sickness pills, ibuprofen, decongestants and basic first-aid necessities. Drink plenty of water. It will help if you will keep moving, perhaps take periodic stops during road trips and get up and stretch your legs during flights.

 

Take its business card with you whenever you leave your hotel. Because if you find yourself lost, this can become a lifesaver.

 

Tourists that are distracted and excited are often the target of pickpockets. Here’s how to avoid them, ladies, make sure your purse is closed and consider an over-the-shoulder style. Guys, keep your wallet in your front pocket.

 

If you have food allergies, write down (in the local language) what you can’t eat. Contact the airlines ahead of time so that they will not serve food that contains ingredients that will trigger your allergies.

 

Be a good guest

 

Thank your hostess, bringing her a small gift that is special to your home town is a great way to show your appreciation.

 

“Please” and “thank you”, at least learn the two in their native language and make sure you understand the tipping policy.

 

Find simple mementos

 

Take a reliable camera with you. Take a picture of everything you love and don’t forget little things like your hotel room, the front of the hotel, your tour guide, and the best gelato you have ever tasted. Don’t forget the chargers and extra memory cards. Tourist maps, pretty reusable shopping bags, quality postcards and flattened pennies are small, easy to take home, and almost free!

 

Save some money

 

• Be certain you budget everything; little things like checked baggage fees, taxis and tipping add up fast.

 

• Know the cancellation and price-matching policy of all hotels and tours you book.

 

• Local delis and grocery stores often offer fun foods without restaurant prices or when you do eat out, it’s usually cheaper to make lunch your biggest meal.

 

• Prior to leaving, check for online deals like Citypass or Groupon. Throughout the summer months, many museums offer free admission days, so check if that works with your schedule. When flying, always check the price of one-way fare versus round-trip prices, check airline web sites on Mondays, and reserve your seats as soon as possible.

 

Tips on Independent Travel vs. Organized Group Tour in Russia

It is actually very easy to plan an independent trip.  The most known routes to Russia are St Petersburg to Moscow that is why it has a good provision of services.  The best way to get around this enormous country are the Russia’s trains as they are comfortable, relatively inexpensive and services between the two major cities are frequent and efficient.

 

 

The good choice is the trains depart St Petersburg’s Moskovsky station and the first class sleeper carriages for an approximately eight-hour journey.  They are comfortable and clean with two adult berths.  It will cost around £200 per person for a one-way first class sleeper ticket.

 

 

But if you choose a daytime service and sit in second class, you may do so if you do not need a sleeping car because this will be cheaper and the high speed Sapsan trains only take four hours.  You can book in advance with agencies such as Real Russia as they also arrange your visa for you.  But the cheapest way to book tickets is at the station reservation office.

 

 

A tour isn’t needed because the journey is relatively straightforward aside from it is too expensive too.  Although its advantage would be that you can concentrate on enjoying the trip rather than the logistics.  For £1250, the Cox and Kings have a good Moscow and St Petersburg tour for seven nights; it also includes flights, a high standard of accommodation and some meals.