Winter vacations offer a magical escape into a world blanketed in snow, where cozy cabins and crackling fires create the perfect backdrop for unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a host or someone seeking a peaceful snowy retreat, these essential cold weather survival tips will ensure you have a warm and cozy vacation rental experience.

What Hosts Need To Know About Winter

Winter Villa in the Mountains

Choose Your Winter Wonderland

The three rules of picking a property for a winter retreat are location, location, and location. Determine your target demographic and which sorts of activities you wish to facilitate. If you wish to appeal to skiers or skaters, pick a property near hills and lakes. Try to pick a property that is easily accessible, with paved roads and wider streets, if possible. The best rental properties are in areas known for their winter activities and scenic beauty, with nearby companies providing access to off-property activities like winter sports, Christmas ceremonies, and cozy restaurants.

Create a Warm and Inviting Space

Make sure your vacation rental is equipped with heating, and consider properties with cozy fireplaces or space heaters. Stock up on extra blankets and warm throws to create a welcoming atmosphere for your stay. Yellow or orange lights provide a softer, warmer glow than white or blue lights. Putting up seasonal decorations, like wreaths and Christmas trees, or potpourri and tinsel, can create a more welcoming and home-like atmosphere.

Plan Ahead and Stock Up

Winter retreats can experience limited availability, so plan ahead and stock up on any necessities needed at your rental property. This ensures that your guests have everything they need, and spares them any potentially dangerous trips on icy, snowed-over, or otherwise dangerous roads.

Check Your Fireplace and Heating Systems

Before guests arrive, double-check that the fireplace and heating systems in your vacation rental are in good working condition. Bring in dry firewood, split kindling, and scoop out the ashes from all fireplaces on your property. Doing this ensures your guests a warm, cozy, and carefree retreat throughout their stay.

Keep Accessways Clear

Look into snow removal services for your driveway and walkways to ensure guests have safe access to the entirety of the vacation rental, even in snowy conditions. If you are gone for a long time, this will be essential. If the weather is more mild, or you have covered pathways, simply applying salt or sand may be enough.

Keep Emergency Contacts Handy

Put together a list of local emergency contacts, including your number, emergency services, a local repairman for your heating systems, towing services, and other numbers you see fit to include so your guests have resources to contact in the event of an emergency.

Accommodate Pets Comfortably

If you permit pets, ensure your vacation rental is pet-friendly and equipped with the proper amenities. Set aside an extra towel or blanket for dogs that come in from the cold, and consider placing a dog bed a safe distance from a fireplace or heater.

Explore Indoor Activities

Winter retreats often involve more time indoors, so provide resources for indoor activities like board games, puzzles, movies, and books. Offer entertainment options to keep your guests engaged, even as snow piles up in the windowsills.

How Travellers Can Experience a Winter Retreat

Drinking Hot Chocolate

Dress in Layers and Stay Cozy

Winter weather, depending on the region you are visiting, can range from mild to frigid. Layer your clothing to easily adapt to temperature changes, and don’t forget warm winter clothing like hats, gloves, coats, and scarves. Waterproof boots and snow pants will keep your feet warm and dry, saving you from the unpleasant feeling of soaking your shoes or getting snow in your boots.

Gear Up for Winter Sports

If part of your getaway is partaking in winter sports, bring your equipment or check if nearby businesses offer rental services.  Being prepared ensures you make the most of the snowy wonderland around you.

Prioritize Safety in Winter Conditions

When planning on your winter adventure, check local weather forecasts, road conditions, and travel advisories. If driving in snowy conditions, equip your vehicle with snow chains or snow tires and always have an emergency kit on hand. Dress warmly whenever you are outside. Exercise caution before skating, and ensure the ice is thickly frozen enough to support all who wish to skate.

Relax in a Hot Tub or Sauna

If your vacation rental includes a hot tub or sauna, take advantage of these amenities to relax and warm up after a day of outdoor activities. It’s the perfect way to unwind and enjoy the winter scenery.

Respect the Winter Environment

Practice eco-friendly habits and respect the winter environment by following Leave No Trace principles, especially in natural winter settings. Leave the snow-covered landscapes as beautiful as you found them.

Stay Warm Outdoors

When venturing outdoors, staying warm is paramount. Dress in thermal layers, insulating your body heat. Wear a waterproof outer layer to protect against snow and wind. Don’t forget a hat, neckwarmer, and gloves to prevent heat loss through your extremities and prevent frostbite.

Recognize and Treat Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a serious risk in cold weather. Look for signs of hypothermia in members of your group, and immediately treat anyone who has been in cold water. Learn the symptoms, such as shivering, confusion, and fatigue. If you suspect hypothermia, get to a warm place, remove wet clothing, and warm the person gradually with blankets and hot drinks. Do not immerse the person in hot or warm water.

Making Memories at Your Winter Retreat

Winter retreats offer a plethora of snow-covered adventures waiting to be explored. By following these essential cold weather tips, you can ensure a comfortable stay while creating lasting memories amidst winter’s embrace. Whether you’re seeking adventure on the slopes or prefer a peaceful escape in a winter wonderland, these tips will help you and your guests enjoy the winter weather to the fullest.

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