Visit the Christmas Markets in Europe This Festive Season

The holiday season is here which means, shopping season is here too. Choosing the perfect presents for your friends and family is part of all the fun that comes with this occasion. However, did you know that the best place to shop for presents is the famous Christmas markets in Europe? However, you do not have to go solo to these shopping meccas on the holiday. There are luxurious river cruises and personalized tours that you could take to make the most of your European holiday.

River Cruises With a Theme

You can get aboard Uniworld Boutique River Cruise to see different markets. In fact, this time round Uniworld has introduced 6 themed holiday cruises. This includes a mix of different markets of Europe. Be sure to try the Classic Christmas option, which is an 8-day trip and sails guests all through Germany. It halts at Nuremberg, where tourists can go to the Würzburg market and the “Gingerbread Capital of the World.”

Germany Christmas Markets & More

Trafalgar tours offer an 8-day tour experience of the German markets. This includes visiting the country’s oldest known Christmas market and a castle protected by UNESCO. Apart from Germany’s markets, the tour includes going to the Christmas markets of Switzerland and Austria, as well. In addition, there will also be a Swiss dinner at a local family’s house in Lucerne.

Endless Holiday Cheer

Contiki is another tour company that caters to the age group of 18-to-35. Their 7-day tour to Christmas markets in Germany includes not only the iconic markets that are well-known for traditional sweet snacks but also morning cruises on Rhine River and evenings in Frankfurt for tasting gluhwein. There will be stops at a nearby vineyard in Koblenz. They can enjoy hot chocolate while on the way to Rothenberg, the walled city, and partake in a workshop for gingerbread-making in Nuremberg. The tour ends on a party note in Munich where tourists are taken to the Neuschwanstein Castle, a visit to the traditional beer halls, followed by a final walkthrough to the Christmas markets only for last-minute shopping.

3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpacker’s Gear

Young man going hiking up in the mountains
3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpacker’s Gear

When it comes to backpacking, not all gear was created equal, as shown on its price tag and the experience of skilled backpackers. If you’re looking to upgrade your accessories and make your next camping trip or day-hiking adventures much more convenient, you’re in the right place. Here are three must-have essentials to add to your gear right now.

For Long Hikes, Get a Quiet, Lung-Saving Pad

Woman camping in the outdoors, laying on a Nemo Tensor Insulated sleeping pad
3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpackers Gear

When you’re doing long hikes at mid to high altitudes, the last thing you want is to exhaust your last waking breaths on a noisy sleep setup, which many new inflatable pads provide. An alternative solution is to sacrifice a bit of your comfort for the sake of the quietude and convenience of having a foam pad. If your bed at home has a memory foam mattress, this will feel familiar, although not as thick. Therm-a-Rest Z-lite and Nemo Tensor Insulated are both good options for different budgets.

Every Backpacking Gear Needs a Compactible Day-Pack

Sea to Summit's 20L Ultra-Sil Nano Daypack
3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpacker’s Gear

In backpacking, it’s all about meticulous planning. To make your gear more flexible, it’s best to have a day-pack in your backpack. It’s like a Matryoshka doll, one bag or package goes into a larger one, which stuffs into an even bigger package. That way, you can quickly rearrange your gear depending on your plans. There’s no need to carry everything if you’re only doing a short hike. Sea to Summit’ 20L Ultra-Sil Nano Daypack is a pretty good option.

A Side-Zipping Backpack

Gregory Paragon 68 side-zipping backpack
3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpacker’s Gear

No, it’s not a fashion trend, it’s a real lifesaver. When you’re hiking, it’s often the case that the stuff you may need sinks somewhere in the middle section of the backpack, and you have to dig through everything to get to it. Side-zipping backpacks make that search much easier and quicker. Try out Gregory’s Paragon 68 pack, and you’ll see the difference right away.