Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences

Post originally Published February 2, 2024 || Last Updated February 2, 2024

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Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Packing Light Gets Tricky

Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences

Packing light is an art form that takes practice, but it becomes especially tricky when chasing chilly summers. Many popular cool-weather destinations require clothing and gear you simply don't need back home in the summer. bulky sweaters, insulated jackets, sturdy boots, knit hats, gloves - these items take up precious space in your suitcase. And if you're road tripping between destinations, you'll need duplicates so you always have a dry set after washing.

Don't underestimate how much extra room winter wear requires. Travel experts suggest packing half the clothes and twice the money for trips like these. It's also smart to wear your heaviest items while in transit. Loading up on layers means you can peel them off as the temperatures climb each day.
Resist overpacking by making a detailed list of everything you'll need. Focus on versatile pieces that mix and match well. Rely on merino wool and technical synthetic fabrics that provide warmth without the bulk. They also dry quickly if washed. Limit footwear to 2 pairs max - one winter-ready, one lighter.

Many advocacy packing lists suggest bringing just 2-3 outfits for a weeklong trip. This forces you to wash clothes, which is easy if you pack fabric wash sheets and sink-drying supplies. Just beware of long drying times in cooler climates. And realize laundromats may be scarce once you leave major hubs.

If desperate, wearing damp clothes won't make you sick as mothers say. But it will leave you feeling clammy. Pack twice as many socks and underwear as shirts/pants. Those small items pack down easily when dirty. Plastic bags keep clean/dirty separated. A medium compression sack squeezes everything down.

What else is in this post?

  1. Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Packing Light Gets Tricky
  2. Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Unexpected Expenses Add Up
  3. Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Crowds Galore at Cool Spots
  4. Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Harder to Get Reservations
  5. Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Risk Missing Out on Summer Fun
  6. Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Can't Always Escape the Heat
  7. Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Disrupting Your Normal Routine
  8. Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - FOMO Sets In Back Home

Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Unexpected Expenses Add Up

Chasing those elusive cool temps often means heading to spendy spots like Alaska, Iceland, New Zealand, or the Swiss Alps. Even budget-friendly Antarctica cruises run several thousand dollars. And once you arrive, costs pile up in unexpected ways.
Lodging, meals, activities - everything carries a premium in pricier destinations. A basic hotel in Reykjavik or Queenstown costs as much as a luxury resort elsewhere. Expect $15 airport sandwiches and $40 pub lunches. adventure tours and park fees add up too.

Rental vehicles require insurance you can’t decline, so tack on $30/day or more. Gas also costs more abroad, especially in remote regions with limited supplies. Flying between areas compounds expenses. Those short jaunts between islands or cities often run a few hundred bucks each.
Don't forget about the gear needed for chilly exploits. Quality waterproof coats, trekking boots, and performance outdoor apparel carry hefty price tags. You'll go through more sunscreen and bug spray too. Recouping gear costs across future trips softens the blow.
Once on the ground, peer pressure shifts spending into overdrive. Friends opt for fancier restaurants and excursions. You don't want to miss out so you pay up. Or you scrambles to hire the same professional guides and drivers as others. One couple ended up spending $50,000 for their two week “budget” Patagonia vacation.
It's wise to pad the budget by 25-50% more than you expect for cooler climate vacations. Be ready to throttle back on discretionary purchases once you see how fast baseline costs deplete funds. Research prices extensively beforehand so sticker shock won't sway decisions. Consider what you can comfortably afford, not keeping up with companions. Frugal choices still deliver amazing experiences.

Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Crowds Galore at Cool Spots

You've been dreaming about an Icelandic adventure all year long. Or maybe New Zealand's lush landscapes are calling your name. But beware - everyone else is chasing the same coveted cool weather vacations. Popular destinations now swell with summertime crowds. prime seasons align across hemispheres so visitor numbers spike. What used to be peaceful, wide-open spaces now crawl with selfie-snapping tour groups. Good luck capturing those iconic Instagram shots without dodging peeps.
Pastoral prague and charming Czech towns overflow with backpackers and beer lovers. Amsterdam packs in pot-smoking partiers by the canal-full. The famous fjords of norway funnel tourists into bottlenecked narrows. Self-driving the Pacific Coast Highway? Don't forget to pump the brakes for sluggish RVs crowding epic Big Sur.

I treasured the tranquility of Montana's Glacier National Park during past winter visits. But returning in August was startling. Massive recreational vehicles crammed tight into coveted campsites. hungry bears wandered near trails, displaced by human activity. Tour boats disrupted the smooth waters of Lake McDonald. Don't even think about snagging a wilderness permit.
Switzerland's an idyllic Alpine paradise, right? Sure, if you enjoy queueing on the Eiger's ridgeline behind 300 sweaty mountaineers. Or elbowing through tour groups for selfies in Lauterbrunnen Valley. At least the cows grazing atop the Alps still have some peace.

Tack on an extra hour (or three) for crowds when visiting any famed site. That goes for driving 17-Mile-Drive along Monterey's coastline or gazing at Yosemite's epic waterfalls. You'll wait in line for the privilege. Or arrive at dawn to beat rush hour at snap-worthy spots. Just pray crowds don't detract from the grandeur.
Travelers craving tranquility amidst cooler climes still have options. Lesser-known Alaska delivers pristine vistas and abundant wildlife without the crowds. Pair busy Reykjavik with rural Icelandic escapes. Journey inland from NZ's honeypot beaches. Anywhere hikes start and tour buses stop, serenity resumes.

Timing is also key to avoiding crowds. Shoulder seasons deliver thinner hordes, smaller price tags, and optimal weather. May and September host far fewer tourists than demand-spiked summer months. Plus you'll escape brutal heat across the American South and Europe.

Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Harder to Get Reservations

Booking tables at the trendiest restaurants. Scoring tickets for that can’t-miss show. Landing a campsite inside a national park. Securing reservations for desired activities gets trickier when chasing cool weather vacations.
Savvy travelers plot detailed itineraries months before departure. This allows ample time to lock in tough-to-get reservations through official channels. But even the most prepared guests still get shut out of coveted experiences.

At Yellowstone National Park, campsites fill up the minute the reservation window opens. It’s not unusual to see dates disappear in seconds as virtual visitors flood the overloaded system. Even arriving at opening hour and repeatedly refreshing your browser can’t guarantee you’ll snag a spot. And you’ll need to book 6 months out minimum for peak times.

In Reykjavik, Iceland, securing seats at Michelin-rated Dill Restaurant requires booking the first day reservations open - 3 months ahead for peak summer. That coveted 8 PM Saturday slot? Long gone before you get a chance. Even grabbing a 6 PM Thursday table will take persistence and luck during the busy season.

Don’t expect to easily get tickets to an Auckland show by a popular Kiwi musician or comic. Locals snap up the best seats as soon as sales begin. If you don’t act quickly, you’ll wind up in the nosebleeds or box seats off to the side. The stunning theater and enthusiastic crowd can’t offset the disappointing view.
When overlaying your vacation dates with another region’s peak season, you reduce the odds of seamlessly securing your first choice activities and experiences. This requires modifying expectations. Remaining flexible about “must-do” items and open to alternatives prevents disappointment.

Travelers determined to do Yellowstone “right” end up rebooking multiple camping reservations across different parts of the park until one sticks. This takes time but almost always works eventually. Others explore alternative lodging options nearby, despite costing more. That provides guaranteed access even if just for day trips into the park.
In Iceland, diners desperate for Dill during the season book any table they can get - even a 5 PM seating on Tuesday. This at least allows bragging rights about having dined there. Then they simply enjoy other great Reykjavik restaurants the rest of the trip. It’s still an exceptional foodie destination.

For entertainment, New Zealand visitors purchase tickets to other promising shows featuring less famous yet still talented local artists. The crowds are smaller but energy just as infectious. The experience satisfies their craving to enjoy live performances on a Kiwi stage.

Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Risk Missing Out on Summer Fun

The siren song of cooler climes tugs hard come summer. Who can resist chasing foggy fjords, snow-capped sierras, and lush antipodean landscapes? But escaping the heat means missing out on quintessential summer fun.
For starters, you’ll trade beach trips for bracing ocean dips beneath gloomy coastal skies. No leisurely sunbathing and breezy tropical cocktails. Just hypothermia-temp waters and moody moments between cloudbursts. Still picturesque - but far from laidback.
Say goodbye to balmy outdoor concerts in the park. Al fresco dining loses its luster bundled beneath heat lamps and blankets. Festivals favor rain ponchos over flirty sundresses. And you’ll view epic fireworks through mist rather than marveling under starry summer skies.

Backyard barbecues turn into shivering tailgate parties in the local stadium parking lot. Good luck keeping charcoal hot and cooked meats warm. Grilling gives way to heartier comfort fare. Outdoorsy types must swap kayaking and whitewater rafting for snowshoeing across frozen landscapes. Surfers hang up their boards; mountain bikers stash their rides in favor of skiing or sledding. Sayonara sunshine adventures.

Don’t expect leisurely camping trips filled with mallow-roasting under dazzling night skies. Pitching tents and sleeping bags atop snowdrifts loses its luster quickly. And you’ll yearn for warm locales as the sun sets promptly mid-afternoon. Long days centering around friends and family fade into frost.
It all comes down to mindset. View cooler escapes as exploration through a different lens. Immerse yourself in steaming hot springs beneath snowy vistas. Embrace the muted beauty of fog veiling a forested fjord. Sip heady whiskey nightcaps next to crackling lodge fireplaces. Trade frenetic fun for restorative tranquility.

But a few pangs of FOMO still creep in when seeing your social feeds filled with familiar summer scenes. Spotting a beaming friend clutching a just-caught mahi mahi doesn’t inspire Nordic nostalgia. Nor does a frothy mint julep or sunscreen-slathered selfie at the Slip ‘N Slide park. Reminders of what you’re missing abound.

Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Can't Always Escape the Heat

Chasing cooler temps seems like a foolproof plan to escape summer's swelter. But even coveted cold-weather getaways can deliver a surprise dose of heat that leaves you hot and bothered. Don't assume your off-the-beaten-path Alaskan escape or remote Icelandic road trip will lack humidity just because they boast chilly climates.
In Southcentral and Interior Alaska, periods of 80+ degree temps are becoming more common as climate change alters patterns. Fairbanks topped 90°F numerous days last summer - great for locals, less ideal for sweating visitors. Even Anchorage saw temperatures creep above 70°F, which prompted tourists to peel off their layers prematurely. Pack shorts just in case, and watch weather forecasts so you're prepared.
New Zealand draws travelers craving crisp conditions only to surprise them with intense sun in some regions. Northern cities like Auckland average highs near 70°F in peak season. Even Wellington on the southern coast sees 60°F days that feel baking if you aren't acclimated. Locals don suitably somber attire while visitors sweat through their puffy coats. Seek shade to avoid overheating.
Don't believe Iceland always lives up to its frosty name either. While certainly cooler than lower latitudes, Reykjavik still enjoys extended periods in the 50-60°F range come summer. Other areas even top 70°F, especially during rare heat waves. This "hot" Icelandic weather sends travelers scrambling to buy shorts and tanks in a land of turtlenecks and rain jackets. Adjust wardrobe appropriately.
Switzerland seems like an idyllic escape from summer swelter. But when Föhn winds blow down the Alps, they send temperatures soaring 15-20 degrees higher than normal. Sudden spikes into the 80s and 90s catch visitors off guard. This phenomenon is most extreme in mountain towns like Chur and Lucerne. Even Zermatt may hit 70°F on Föhn days, leaving you drenched beneath your woolens.
It's easy to dismiss Australia's "winter" climate, forgetting that their seasons are flip-flopped. While chilly in the Outback, popular stops like Sydney and Melbourne enjoy pleasant 70°F days in June-August. Even Tasmania sees temps reach the 60s, meaning you won't escape the heat entirely on your cooler Aussie escape.

Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - Disrupting Your Normal Routine

Chasing cooler climates during summer disrupts routines you've worked hard to establish back home. This seemingly small change creates ripples affecting fitness, nutrition, sleep, work, and relationships. While breaking from monotonous patterns sounds appealing at first, the impact snowballs over weeks spent elsewhere.
Your delicately balanced workout regimen crumbles quickly without the usual gym sessions. Those long-trained muscles slip out of shape bereft of weights, cardio machines, and scheduled classes. Yoga and stretching help, but can't replicate focused strength training. Running outdoors works - if the weather cooperates. But straying from meticulous programming risks decline.

Meal planning and healthy eating also suffer during extended cooler climate trips. Accommodation kitchens make nutritious cooking tough. Local restaurants emphasize hearty comfort foods over clean eating. Odd hours and lengthy activities throw off customary meal times. Stressed systems crave familiarity through nutrition. The irresistible aroma of fry bread beckons.
Most travelers face some jet lag adjusting to new time zones. But this persists when constantly moving between destinations across trips spanning several weeks. You never quite sync your sleep-wake cycles before it's time to shift again. Fatigue becomes your faithful companion. Light-deprived northern regions disrupt circadian rhythms further by shortening summer's daily sun period. Enjoy those midnight sunsets.
Remote working helps bridge the gap professionally while traveling. But spotty Wi-Fi, odd hours, and distraction-filled lodgings make getting things done a challenge. Focus wanes sans a proper office environment fine-tuned for productivity. Critical work may lag despite best intentions to multitask. Some bleary-eyed travelers even keep home hours for important video conferences - forcing them to catch up on sleep later and forfeiting precious daylight.

Lastly, lengthy absences strain relationships with loved ones yearning for their presence. Digital connectivity helps bridge the gap, but can't replicate daily in-person interactions. Pets especially miss their human companions. Partners tire of solo parenting duties during trips lasting weeks or months. Bonds fray without enough together time. Each tends to their own interests rather than sharing new experiences. Close connections slip.

Chasing Chilly Summers? Think Twice About the Unintended Consequences - FOMO Sets In Back Home

The dreaded FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out - bites hard when you return from a dreamy cool weather getaway. As you drag your suitcase up the driveway, reality sinks in. Your idyllic escape has ended. Time to resume the daily grind.

But scrolling through social media only rubs salt in the wound. Friends are living it up with backyard barbecues, beach bashes, and summer festivals. You spot pics from the epic fireworks show you missed. And learn your favorite local hiking trail got overgrown while you were trekking New Zealand instead.

Pangs of regret hit seeing the boat you could've joined for nitrogen ice cream day out on the lake. Or the lively bluegrass concert in the park that didn't make your crowded itinerary. Even mundane things like community pool parties and popsicle socials at the library trigger FOMO. You and your family missed out on making joyful memories together.
It's worst for those escaping through the peak of summer. A quick getaway in early August means returning just as seasonal fun hits overdrive. From state and county fairs to camping weekends and outdoor movies, you'll hear about nonstop festivities that continued in your absence.

Teens feel especially wistful about leaving friends to continue summer adventures without them. They'll see pics of beach bonfires and Theme Park trips they didn't get to attend. Your kids may lobby hard for one more getaway before school starts to recreate what they missed out on.
Some travelers even wrestle with job envy. Co-workers who stayed local speak excitedly about passion projects accomplished over quiet summer weeks. You regret not being present to join important initiatives that progressed. Opportunities passed you by while you were focused on your own escape.
Jetsetters also lament missing chances to visit distant family and friends. Summer's relaxed pace allows quality time with loved ones free of holidays' hectic hustle. You couldn't fully disconnect and focus on relationships while in vacation mode. Vows to be more present next year offer little immediate comfort.

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