Welcome to the next of the posts in my Travel Column series. The world is opening up and in the coming posts I will be sharing destinations that are welcoming visitors.
Most countries now have very clear requirements for entry with regard to vaccinations, Covid tests and quarantine and it is important to check these before booking your holiday. Be aware too that these can change according to current status of the pandemic.
Today for those of you who crave the excitement and adventure of snow covered mountains and ski slopes, I am sharing three top locations accessible to those in North America and Europe.
There are a great many wonderful ski resorts in North America and in Europe as well as slightly further away in New Zealand. I have selected three that are wonderful places for the whole family including non-skiers. If you are thinking about a ski vacation then you might find this site very useful as it covers resorts around the world: Ski Resort Information
I am of course going to begin in my home country.
Canada, British Columbia – Whistler Blackcomb gets five out of five stars by multiple users on the site.
The Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is very family and child friendly. There is a separate Family Zone on Whistler Mountain and multiple Whistler Kids children’s areas distributed throughout the ski resort. The Children’s Adventure Park, the Big Easy Terrain Garden and the Tree Forts are very popular up on the mountain. Families are very well cared for at Whistler. For the bigger kids, there are many events as well as the Ziptrek (a zipline flight over Whistler). Special packages offered for the whole family round off the offering.
I think that this video gives you a brief idea of what is available courtesy of the official Whistler resort
Additional activities include snowmobile tours, Fire and Ice spectacular displays from professional skiers, and ice track with bobsleigh, a Scandinavian Spa and ziplining.
The resort has accommodation, bars, restaurants and if you would like a spectacular cocktail with a view… then visit the Umbrella bar looking out across the snowy landscape and stunning mountains.
For all the information you need visit Whistler Blackcomb
From UK to Vancouver: 10 hours – Flight time to Whistler: 37 minutes or Drive Time: 2 hours.
From Toronto: 5 hours
From US East Coast: 6 hours
From US West Coast: 3 hours.
Now something closer to home for those of you who live in the UK and would like to ski closer to home.. The Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland has been a skiing destination for the last fifty years and they have the advantage of opening early in the season using factory made snow on the beginner slopes to get newbies to the sport up to speed (pardon the pun) before the main season begins.
“We offer 30km of ski runs, 10 lifts, a fully maintained freestyle park. The snowsports season typically runs from December through until April, but this varies from year to year depending on weather. You don’t have to have your own ski or snowboard equipment either, because you can hire everything you need with us.”
Map image Cairngorm Mountain Piste Map
Apart from skiing there is also snowboarding and back country touring on skis or snowboards.
There are five ski centres in the Cairngorm Mountains and you can find out more about them from this helpful site: Finding the Universe
There is no accommodation at the resort but there are plenty of options in Aviemore and you can find details here: Aviemore Trip Advisor
The Caingorms are an all year around resort with hiking and climbing in the summer months… Here is a taste of what you can expect during the ski season courtesy of OutandAboutinScotland
Official Aviemore Site: Visit Aviemore
Clearly there are ski resorts closer to home for North Americans, but typically tourists go to Europe and the UK in the early summer until the fall, however you might like to rethink that and do a ski tour of Europe instead and add Aviemore to your stop. Glasgow airport services all the main European capitals including Geneva which is a 2.5 hour flight and there are some very cheap flights.
But for those living in the UK and Ireland, having this on their doorstep must be great.
From Toronto to Glasgow: 7 hours – Drive Time to resort 2.5 hours – Train: 2.5 hours (scenic route).
From US East Coast: 7 hours
From US West Coast: 11 hour
From Gatwick to Inverness: 1.25 hours – 30 minutes drive.
And last a ski resort in the United States which is also a year round destination of lovers of the outdoors. And with luxury homes to rent on the shore of the spectacular Lake Tahoe, and with resort hotels, casinos, great food and entertainment on the doorstep, it is a wonderful place to vacation. (And I know that Tahoe is Sally’s favourite place having visited in the spring, summer and winter).
I think that this video says everything about Tahoe which includes its all year round activities, not just the terrific skiing. Courtesy of Expedia
There are plenty of options from large lodges on the lake to condos and resort hotels, prices do vary throughout the year and you can find some great deals during gaps between the main vacation months. You can explore all the options: Tahoe Accommodations.
You will never go hungry in Tahoe with a wide range of ethnic and North American restaurants to choose from: Eating out Tahoe
Activities for non-skiers
There is plenty to do if you do not want to hit the ski slopes, from Blackjack and a visit to an art gallery to a cruise around the lake, there are also wonderful shows in the evenings at the casinos with top headliners: Winter activities
How about this for a ride of a lifetime courtesy of HeavenlyMtnResort
Official site: Tahoe.com
From the UK with 1 stop in Los Angeles or San Francisco – 14.5 hours Drive Time from Reno 1 hour 20 minutes (shuttles available)
From US East Coast – 5.5 hours
From Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe airport – 54 minutes – Drive Time 7.5 hours.
From Toronto to Reno – 4.5 hours.
Thanks for dropping and to Debby for putting together these travel destinations that offer something to look forward to if not now, in the near future..
A reminder that it is always important to check out every detail when traveling abroad with up to date recommendations and also government advisories on Covid.
About D.G. Kaye
Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.
D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.
When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
“I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.”
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”
“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”
Books by D.G. Kaye
One of the reviews for Have Bags Will Travel
“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.
A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.
I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.
D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.
As always Debby loves to hear from you with comments and questions.