White Christmas in La Tania

To really get into the spirit of things, why not book a dogsledding excursion? There are few things that make you feel more alive (not to mention festive) than speeding through a picturesque Alpine forest, pulled by a team of excited dogs. It’s a delightful opportunity to combine a traditional Christmas aesthetic with a very exhilarating sport, and is especially recommended for dog lovers.

On Christmas Eve, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity for a torchlight ski descent. The younger children will be able to descend by lantern-light, while adults will light their way by flaming torches. A torchlight descent is an amazing experience at any time of year, but with the spirit of Christmas in the air, it’s absolutely magical. Follow it up with an evening tucked up in your cosy ski holiday accommodation with a few friends and you’ll be in for a Christmas Eve to remember.

Around this time of year, La Tania and its surrounding areas frequently play host to a range of Christmas markets. These can offer a chance to do a bit of Christmas shopping, or even to grab a few decorations as mementos so this magical experience will be echoed in future years. On top of this, you’ll find a range of traditional foods and other treats to make a visit well worthwhile.

Many local restaurants serve a festive menu around Christmas time – although bookings will be limited so be sure to book well in advance. You can expect plenty of hearty, cheese and meat-based Savoyard specialties, fitting in to the indulgent spirit of the season beautifully. If you don’t want to celebrate in a restaurant, and you’re self-catering, search out some local produce and delicacies in the markets and enjoy a small, intimate meal in your ski holiday accommodation.

Yes, Santa comes to La Tania! Every year he makes a dramatic entrance on the slopes on Christmas Eve, giving the children a chance to greet his arrival. He then spends the evening going from chalet to chalet distributing parents, so if you’d like him to visit your ski holiday accommodation (it’s a real treat for the little ones), you’ll be able to arrange this in advance.

Headed to a Ski Lodge

1. Waterproof clothing. First things first, you’re headed to a ski lodge and temperatures are likely colder than you expect. In addition to the typical items you might think of, such as heavy sweaters, hats and gloves, you’ll need to purchase items like wool-blend waterproof socks, waterproof ski jackets, gloves and pants to stay comfortable during long periods of activity on the slopes.

2. Ski socks. Ski socks are waterproof and will help keep your feet warm and dry. They also provide extra padding that you will be thankful for once you begin tackling the bumps and curves of the ski slope.

3. Neck gaiter. A neck gaiter is a tube worn around your neck that can also be pulled up over your mouth to protect you from the wind and cold while skiing or snowboarding. It may not be as fashionable as a scarf, but once you’re exposed to the cold temperatures, you’ll be glad you have it.

4. Long underwear. To stay warm, you’ll want to dress in layers, including long johns, or long underwear.

5. Ski equipment. You’ll need poles, boots and skis, but you can rent those items at your destination. You may, however, want to shop for ski goggles – which will come in handy should it begin to snow – and a helmet and pack those items for your trip.

6. Snacks. Don’t forget, skiing is physically demanding! You’ll want to keep your energy levels up by eating healthy snacks. Items like pretzels, fruit and grain bars, dried fruit and vegetables and nuts are great options to have on hand.

7. Hydration pack. It is important to stay hydrated while skiing and hydration packs are a great option if you’re unlikely to take frequent water breaks. Hydration packs can be worn comfortably on your back and allow you to easily drink while active. Remember to refill them on your breaks!

8. Moisturizer. Winter conditions are cold and dry. Pack moisturizer for your face and body to keep your skin healthy and comfortable. You’ll also want to purchase a lip balm with sunscreen to keep your lips properly moisturized and protected from the sun.

9. Sunscreen. The risk for overexposure to the sun’s UV radiation is increased for skiers due to higher altitudes and UV rays reflected by the snow. To avoid increased risk of sun damage and skin cancer, sunscreen should always be used during outdoor activities, even skiing!

10. Hand warmers. Hand warmers are small, disposable packets that provide on-demand heat. They can be activated by air, a solution or battery-powered and range in staying power for anywhere from one to 10 hours.

Winter Day Trips in Iceland

• Geological wonders
You can opt for Grand Golden Circle day trip which is accessible even during winter. This compact tour will cover Pingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir geothermal area where the hot spring Strokkur erupts after eight minutes.

• Natural ice caves
Among the unique wonders of this beautiful nation, one of the natural attractions that are really stunning is the natural ice caves which form in Vatnajokull glacier. They start to melt in the summer season. The blue ice caves create an impressive sight, and they differ in size and shape. Sometimes you may come across quite a few of these temporary ice caves while at other times you may see many of them. You can go on a day tour to these caves by flight from Reykjavik.

• Northern Lights
You need the ideal weather conditions along with appropriate solar activity and a bit of luck to view the Northern Lights. Of course, you will require a clear sky to see the spectacular aurora activity. You have to avoid full moon nights. You should run a check on the websites which provides aurora forecasts. If you can travel all the way to the northern part of Iceland where there are extended hours of darkness, then your chances of catching aurora borealis will increase.

• Relaxing day at the spa
The natural hot springs are an integral part of Icelandic culture. You can relax your muscles in the volcanically heated pools which trace their origin back to the Viking days. In recent times, most of the incredible locations have installed geothermally heated pools with hot tubs. The Blue Lagoon spa is a favorite tourist attraction. It is situated in a lava field. The presence of mineral salts helps in the relaxation of the body.

Fulfill Your Dreams To Travel

Some people knew what their dream was from the time they were very young. But you may not even realize what your dream is. That’s okay. Some dreams take longer to make themselves known.

For example, if your dream is to become a lawyer and other people in your family are lawyers, then your dream probably made itself known to you early in your life.

But if you come from a family of lawyers and your dream is to be a modern nomad, then your dream may have trouble coming forth because it’s so far from what you already know.

You might have believed that family members would make fun of that desire. So you might not have given it your full attention.Open your mind to all possibilities and listen to your heart. It may take time for your dream to make itself known, but it will be worth the wait.

Whatever your dream is, embrace it. Don’t judge that it’s too impractical or flighty. Yes, there are times to be practical, but your dream may not be as impractical as you think at first.

So, when it tries to come out of hiding, don’t stuff it back into the dark recesses of your mind or emotions. Give your dream permission to come to the forefront and stay there.

If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do? Would you quit your job and take off traveling?

Well, money is an issue, so you have to figure out how to get around the financial problem to make it possible for you to hit the road.

That will mean giving up some comforts that you enjoy. That’s inevitable. But when you’re out on the road, the things you gave up will seem inconsequential in comparison to the adventure you’re having each and every day.

And what if you don’t fulfill your dream? What are the consequences? You could end up later in life wishing that you had taken more risks and fulfilled your dream.

Fulfill your dreams. Create your own memorable spaces in your life.

Baltic Gem

Explore Estonia on a shoestring budget is more than possible
Estonia has numerous islands, eye-catching architecture, craft beer and delicious black bread, imposing towers, formidable walls and traditional buildings. It might sound surprising, but if you plan a trip for the weekend, you might not have enough time to cover all the wonderful places of this country so we suggest you to spend at least five days. This means that you will have to pack and carry big-sized luggage during your travel. If this situation is not to your liking, you also have the possibility to choose parcel to Estonia by contacting a reliable international shipping company.

If you benefit from a limited budget, you should rejoice because you can engage in exciting activities and get around without spending more money than initially allocated. Even more, you will see that Estonia provides low-cost eats and affordable accommodation. The main idea is that you can spend a memorable week in Estonia to explore all the hidden gems, take photos and have fun without breaking the bank. Can you ask for more? If you worry about the country not having enough attractions for a thirsty or curious tourist like you, continue reading the article to get a taste of the main ideal Estonian spots.

Strikingly beautiful spots that you cannot miss in Estonia
Since we already talked about Tallinn, we cannot overlook the Old Town, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The old brickwork buildings, cobblestone streets and imposing churches will fascinate you within the first second. The unique architecture admired here will stay in your memory forever. However, just like we mentioned at the beginning fop the article, you have to leave the town and explore the wilderness of the country. With the bus and the ferry, getting to the biggest island in Estonia could not be easier. You can choose to spend the night there and even go on a hiking adventure. You will see castles and windmills, not to mention about acquiring information concerning the rich history behind all the constructions.

Plan the Ultimate Ski Trip in Colorado

Decide your companions on the trip and its length

For making any trip pleasurable, you’d require the company of great comrades and/or family members. Afterward, you’d require setting up the length of the trip too; a trip’s duration will get directly influenced by your travel budget. So if you’ve chalked out your travel budget, you’ll get a handle on the number of days and nights that you’re willing to spend in the mountains.

Save the dates of yours and of all those who’re accompanying you

As an ideal itinerary planner, you shouldn’t be lackadaisical in deciding which days (and dates) of the ski season will suit you and everyone. The best months to ski in Colorado start from mid-October to the first week of July, so ask everyone the month and the dates that suit them the most.

Decide the ski resort where you and all the fellow traversers would like to ski and revel

First things first, choose the size of the ski resort that you wish to go to; whether it’d be a huge one or a smaller one. (Actually, that, too, would depend on your budget.) If you’re having a lavish budget, we’d advise you to select a resort enjoying Copper Mountain’s excellent stature. (For example, if you happen to choose Copper Mountain, we’d advise you to book a seat in a Copper Mountain shuttle in advance; because you shouldn’t leave anything to chance.) And if you’re planning on a shoestring, go for a small-sized resort such as Ski Cooper.

Are there any other points that need to be remembered before selecting a ski resort?

Yes, there are two of the most important points.

Your budget: You’ve to choose only those resorts that fit your budget. If there are any beginners, it’s better to choose a resort that give ski training sessions. (However, such resorts are costlier than the normal ones, so choose accordingly.)

Know the resort’s vertical drop: For those of you who are unaware of the term “vertical drop,” it’s the distance for which your skis will run. Many ski resorts post the vertical drop on their website.

Ski Lodge During Late Spring and Summer

1. Hiking – This is an unsung activity that often gets touted as a “must do” in just about any environment. Keep in mind, though, that you’re in the mountains, and as such, the terrain is actually the birthplace of the hike. You’re also being greeted by an environment that has cool, temperate weather, elevations that test your physical fitness, and you can finally eat trail mix on a trail where you’re using a lot of energy!

2. Camping – Ski lodges have the fortunate nature of being in and around national forests. Not only are you greeted with pristine, unspoiled nature, you’re also given the chance to really enjoy the wild. Take advantage by taking a walk along a riverbank or just look up in the sky & see all of the stars that you aren’t afforded by living in the big city.

3. Fishing – It might be a hard sell to call fishing a ‘cool’ activity, but the fact remains that anglers and outdoorsman are part of the original “mountain folk” in this country, so in some respects, by casting a line into a mountain stream, you are connecting with a long line of pioneers. Plus, being able to fish is about as relaxed as you can get. The key is to remember that the fishing is the fun part, and you always have the catching to look forward to as well.

4. Horseback Riding – Luckily, many ski lodges and their surrounding towns offer horseback riding to visitors as a way to explore. Riding a horse is akin to connecting to a traditional way of life, and it’s also a great way for someone to gain an appreciation for the amazing animal we call the horse.

5. Off-Road Adventure – Now for something completely different! Many ski lodges are situated near off-road vehicle trails. What better way to hit the “back country” than by revving your ATV engine and letting nature know you’re there to explore. Many lodges can steer you in the right direction for ATV rental companies so you don’t have to supply your own vehicle.

Booking A Ski Lodge

Set Dates & Schedule – Before you book any trip, you definitely want to know when you’ll be taking the trip and what type of schedule you’ll maintain during your trip. While this is important for all trips, ski getaways are massively popular, which means if you’re not really on the ball, you may not have a booking available.

Get Input from Your Family – Being able to form a trip schedule means knowing what activities you want to be a part of while your away. Get your family together and see what types of things everyone wants to do. You may find that you’re on the same page. Even better, ski lodges have great websites showing their amenities, a tour of their facilities, and a breakdown of things to do during your stay.

Plan Your Packing – This is mostly a note for parents who want to make sure their kids are packing what’s needed. However, if you’re a person that tends to be bad at packing, you might get some practice in, especially if you’re packing a little differently for your lodge.

Rent or Buy Gear? – If you’ll be doing skiing or snowboarding, for example, you might want to find out if it’s better for you to rent your gear or buy it. If you buy it before you leave, remember that you’ll have to figure out how to travel with it.

Decide How You Will Get Around – You only have so much time for your vacation period, so make the most of it. If you’re still trying to decide on a lodge, take into consideration how long it takes to travel there, whether you’ll rent a car there, and how far away from things your lodge stands. If too much time is used to travel & move around, it may not be the lodge for you.

Types of a Passport Holder

Jacket cover

The jacket cover is the next option. This type looks much-like a book sleeve to give proper protection to the outer surfaces of the passport. The jackets come in a variety of materials, such as plastic, vinyl and leather. The jacket cover in leather can look very stylish and is certain to give a decent amount of protection from everyday wear and tear.

Portfolio holder

The portfolio holder is a great choice to ensure the cover and inside pages are fully protected. They are available in plenty of hard-wearing materials including leather, nylon and vinyl. The larger holders can even include space for holding other travel documents like tickets and boarding cards. However, this type of holder is quite large and best kept in carry-on luggage like a bag or briefcase.

Passport wallets

The passport wallets are a bigger option with the ability to hold many different travel documents in a single holder. They are likely to appeal to the frequent travelers that regularly carry their passport. In fact, it can even replace a standard wallet and accept the essentials like bank cards, cash, ID and the passport. Even thought they are a little larger than the standard wallet, they are still compact enough to fit in a pocket. Typical materials include real leather, vinyl and nylon.

Document case

The document case is a practical option for frequent business travelers. They are built to hold a wide range of travel documents in a single space. The leather cases are the most attractive and stylish can be a little cumbersome and bulky. The best lightweight alternatives are made of vinyl and nylon.

Traveling to Sagada

On our way home, we also took Coda Bus Line for P700 one way. I suggest to buy a roundtrip bus tickets beforehand. From Sagada Town Proper, look for the jeepney going to Bontoc provided by Coda Bus Line because the bus terminal going back to Manila is in Bontoc. No additional payment needed in the jeepney as this is included in the bus payment. Riding their jeepneys is one of the fun parts in Sagada. If you’re one of the adventurous people, challenge yourself to seat on top of the jeepney. Yes, you read that right! Seat on top of the jeepney besides the bags of the passengers. Most of the people who did it was men but some ladies are brave enough to try. I always thought of it as a scary thing since you’ll be seeing the cliff from above. But if you focus on the scenery, you’ll be thanking God for the amazing view. It’s like a postcard brought to life. Another good thing about this bus is, you have a stopover somewhere with zero visibility to buy veggies and other delicacies and another stopover in Banawe Rice Terraces for picture taking.

We stayed in Misty Lodge Hotel and Café – 2km away from Town. It may seem far but we didn’t regret staying there. The hotel is very much cozy and they serve the best food in town. Upon entering the house, you will see a pretty decorated Café with a Chimney on the side. They have one room at the ground floor, 4 rooms at the second floor, and 5 rooms at the attic. The rooms are good for a soloist to a bunch of four people per room. Since we’re a group of eight, composed of four boys and four girls, we requested for two rooms abreast. Fortunately, the available rooms are located on the attic, facing each other. The room for four people have 2 beds with a side table and cabinet. Their second floor has a living area with deck of books that you can use for your spare time while the attic has a hangout area at the center of the rooms for peeps who wants to play board games. The house is filled with books and games that guests can use for entertainment. The hotel is highly recommendable though they only have a shared bathroom. They only have two huge bathrooms for the whole house so, you might want to wake up early as expected to avoid the lines. Another good thing in this hotel is that, they don’t turned off the lights at night. You also have to note that they turned off all the lights, even the street lights, at 10:00pm.

I also know some people who stayed at Rock Inn Hotel. It’s also a nice hotel but farther from Town than in Misty Lodge. And another one is at Residential Lodge. Residential Lodge is already located in Town so you don’t need to worry walking long distances in a very cold street after the activity or after eating. But since it’s in Town, they follow the lights curfew hence, turning off the lights at 10pm including the room lights. So you can’t do anything beyond 10pm aside from sleeping.

There are tons of activities in Sagada, though most of them requires hiking. So, if you’re traveling with seniors or kids, select only those that are safe for them and make sure to hire a tourist guide. Here are some of the activities my friends and I went to.

Mt. Kiltepan
We arrived at 7:00am in Sagada Town and had our breakfast in Misty Lodge Café since we also need to check-in. Unfortunately, we can’t have an early check-in, so we decided to leave our bags at the receptionist and went to Mt. Kiltepan. From Misty Lodge, it’s a 2km walk to the entrance of Mt. Kiltepan and a 20-30mins walk to the top and you can go there even without a guide. It’s a safe place; just be careful when you stand on the cliff. You can also take your car or rent a jeepney to go on top. This mountain was featured in the movie “That Thing Called Tadhana” where the lead actress released her feelings by shouting. Though in the movie, they went there to wait for the sunrise while we went there at 10am and the view is still amazing! A clear view of the proudly Filipino made Rice Terraces. I guess no other groups ever thought of going there unless it’s sunrise well, we have the place all to ourselves. We took a lot of great pictures without rushing. But if you want to see the sea of clouds, you have to go up there at 4:30am and wait for the sunrise. I’ll tell you, it’s totally worth it.

Echo Valley Tour -> Hanging Coffins -> Underground River -> Bokong Falls
On our 2nd day, we decided to rent a guide for an Echo Valley Tour for P500 for a group of 10 people. This tour is composed of many routes, depending on your last destination and here’s ours. We first went to the church and the hill of cemetery where we listened to the history of the places and their traditions. Then we walked to the Echo Valley, a place where if you shout, you will hear it echoes. It’s amazing! Then we went down to the hanging coffins. It’s not scary, it’s somewhat puzzling especially those on the middle of the rocky mountains. How did they even managed to bring it all up and push it inside the mini caves? Still disturb, we hiked until we reach the underground river where we needed to lights our torch inside to see where we’re going. You have to be careful inside due to some of the stones are so low, you might hit your head. When you reach the end of the river, it means you’ve reach Bokong Falls. It’s just a small falls but it’s lovely. There, we enjoyed our lunch and swimming. Afterwards, we took a different route heading back to Town. It took us almost 4 hours on this tour but we enjoyed it.

Sunset in Lake Danum
Feeling pump, after our Echo Valley tour, we have a little snacks of barbeque and hotdog then we rented a shuttle for P600 to drive us to Lake Danum. A lot of tourist went there to time lapse the sunset. Sadly, the sun was covered with clouds so we haven’t really see it clearly. But still, it’s a nice place to have picnics. I also recommend buying their instant coffee (Organo Gold coffee) or yogurt while waiting for the sunset. It’s really delicious!

Marlboro Hills
Since we already went to Mt. Kiltepan, we decided to hiked up in Marlboro Hills to see the sea of clouds. We started hiking at 4:00am on a Sunday while the sky drizzles. We hiked up for 1hr and 30mins and it’s getting colder and colder. It’s higher than Mt. Kiltepan and it is not that advisable if it’s raining due to the ground gets muddier. It’s zero visibility up there and make sure you have you’re fleece jacket on.

That’s all our activities during our stay in Sagada. We also have another trip to Bomod-OK Falls but it was canceled due to their ongoing ritual on that day. Other than that, you may try going to Sumaguing Cave, Blue Soil, Lumiang Cave, Ganduyan Museum, Pongas Falls, and to the famous Sagada Rice Terraces.

If you’re looking for something to replaced your burned calories after the activities, Sagada have heaps of restaurants that you will not forget. Of all the places I’ve been, Sagada is the only place where all the foods they served have veggies. You don’t have to request for it, it is given. Not just that, their veggies are fresh and delicious. Their dishes are tasteful and the cheesy pizzas & mouthful burgers are those that you shouldn’t let go of. Of course, don’t forget to try their famous creamy yogurt. It is their specialty because of its creaminess and freshness of fruits flavored in it. I recommend you try eating in Misty Lodge Café, Sagada Brew, Salt & Pepper, and Gaia Café. Those are some we’ve been to and it’s a must! Especially Gaia Café, this place has a view of Banawe Rice Terraces and it’s best for their coffee and muffin. Also, it is better if you try their local foods that you can buy in the streets such as wheatbread with chocolate/cheese, dirty ice cream w/ Hershey’s syrup, and yogurt.

Wondering where to buy souvenirs for your loved ones? Well, you don’t need to ride far away since the Town is a small place and have lots of souvenir shops. I suggest that you hoard their red wine. HAHA Just kidding! They sell one of the best wines and my favorite is Charlina Bugnay Red Wine that I only bought for P150-P160 per bottle, depends on what store you bought it. Aside from that, I’ve also bought a pack of mountain leaves for P10 and turmeric tea for P150, which is very good in cleansing the body.