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35

There are two options, both roughly equidistant and neither an obvious winner: Japan is about 10 hours from Sydney, with direct flights to Tokyo. While snow is rare in Tokyo itself, there is tons of the white stuff anywhere in the Japan Alps (eg. Nagano), on the Japan Sea coast (eg. Kanazawa) and up in Hokkaido, where ski haven Niseko has become a virtual ...


32

It's always worth having some extra clothing in your hand luggage -- you've noticed luggage can go missing and even shopping for replacements can be problematic if you're not prepared for the conditions on arrival. A thin fleece and thermal layers don't take up much room. In fact they can be stuffed in the pockets of a coat suitable for the cold end of ...


22

My favourite resource for such questions is weatherspark, which tells me that for Bangkok: Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 23°C to 35°C and is rarely below 20°C or above 36°C. ... The cold season lasts from November 18 to January 31 with an average daily high temperature below 32°C. The coldest day of the ...


20

Vladivostok is not a warm-water port, but is kept ice free by ice breakers, according to Encyclopedia.com, allowing shipping into the harbor. Vladivostock is Russia's major Pacific seaport, the main base of its Pacific fleet, and a base for fishing and, formerly, whaling fleets.


20

Five and half hours are more than enough for any half way reasonable operating condition. However, in January its possible that you will encounter outlier conditions such as a major snow storm. There is no guarantee against that, and no safety margin will be truly "safe", even if you fly in the day before. While it's not likely to be that bad, it can happen. ...


18

You should buy your clothes in Kiruna. There are plenty of excellent outdoor stores in the city centre. Although it is regularly -25°C to -30°C in the valleys outside the city (where tours such as sled dogging tours take place), it's not cold in the city centre, where temperatures rarely drop down below -20°C (you might be surprised that a dry, calm, and ...


17

I guess it depends on what you want to do, and how long you're staying. Traveling around the country might be a little more difficult, but if you're just staying in the Reykjavik area you should be fine. I just got back from a short trip to Reykjavik, and had a great time. As another commenter said, more darkness means more time for the Northern Lights. ...


16

If you come from a tropical country, the jacket your've linked to is surely not enough. I'm from Saint-Petersburg, and even I would add something to this jacket. I suggest you wear a long jacket to cover your back, something like this: FjällRäven is not very cheap, but it is lightweight and made with durable materials - I use this brand, and that is why I'...


16

There is no common legal standard and in most countries also no common obligation to have them with you - provided that you do not drive on a road that explicitly requires them. Those however are normally only mountain passes, not highways. There is generally a rule that you are only allowed to drive with chains on 100% snow-covered roads so you do not ...


15

This depends heavily on the weather and where in Iceland you are. If you are staying in Reykjavík, you'll need to drive some distance out of town to truly get a good view of the northern lights. In more remote destinations it may simply be a matter of stepping outside. Of course, it could be cloudy the entire week. There are no guarantees. Indeed, even ...


15

TL;DR There are multiple factors involved with being able to drive in cold temperatures even with the onset of cold temperatures being fairly sudden 2-3 days notice. You should be looking at the following major components: Engine, Cabin, and Tires and looking at them separately and then there are additional subsystems and conditions that will make for an ...


14

Gloves I currently reside in Sweden and the locals, especially up north, use two pairs of gloves. The most important point is that the big one-finger gloves (aka mitts) are very warm, but will prevent precise manipulations (such as taking pictures, finding something in your pocket, zipping and unzipping, etc.), while the five-fingered ones usually are ...


14

I know that German law requires tires apt for snow in winter time Very close, but no cigar. The original law is: § 2 Abs. 3a Satz 1 StVO: Bei Glatteis, Schneeglätte, Schneematsch, Eis- oder Reifglätte darf ein Kraftfahrzeug nur mit Reifen gefahren werden, welche die in Anhang II Nummer 2.2 der Richtlinie 92/23/EWG des Rates vom 31. März 1992 ...


14

Low-cost airline Jetstar offers inexpensive flights from Australia to Japan, which certainly ticks all your boxes. A northern city such as Sapporo normally has snow around Christmas and will have many Christmas-related festivities and decorations. There are also some Christian churches, if you are so inclined. Citizens of Australia and New Zealand can enter ...


14

After the ТЭЦ-2 (Thermal Power Plant - 2) was built in 1984, the port in Vladivostok (Zolotoy Rog Bay) is ice-free for almost the whole year. Before that, ice breakers helped making it ice-free.


13

Well one good reason to go would be more darkness. And more darkness = more hours during which to see the Northern Lights! If you do go, make sure to go when it's a new moon for even more darkness, and have a look at our question on aurora sightings. Also check our question on the best time of year to visit Iceland.


13

Having recently hiked rim to river and back, I can tell you that hiking in the Canyon has been one of the most transformative events of my life. It's beauty is beyond words. The most important thing to remember is don't be this guy. Take your time, and enjoy the beauty. Staying there, getting there. Ideally, you would spend the night as near to the rim ...


13

Renting Winter-Equipped Cars in Italy I think it is actually possible to rent a car, equipped for winter road travel, in Italy. Indeed, Hertz agrees with me: To help you enjoy safer, more reliable and more comfortable journeys, we offer a range of winter driving accessories: Winter tyres - for significantly improved handling and stopping ...


13

Winter-Equipped Cars in EU This page provided by Europcar is one of the few centralised information sources I could find on the topic. I also found this tool from Continental, allowing you to mouse-hover over different countries to check for regulation. Bulgaria Quoting from Europcar: There is no legal requirement for the use of snow tires. You ...


13

When traveling in winter conditions, you can't expect to be "babied" in urban conditions at all times. Cars break down, facilities lose power, planes use airstairs. Prepare for unexpected cold. My standard go-to anytime I need to be prepared for unexpected cold is Capilene long johns, arctic grade. They are excellent insulators, but don't overheat you (...


12

The site skridsko.net is crowd sourcing information about skating in all regions of sweden. You can search there when it starts to get cold enough. I live in the Stockholm area and here municipalities provide with skating lanes on a couple of lakes and also have information on their home pages about the avilability and ice quality. The lake Norrviken north ...


12

Typically there is very little amount of snow in Tbilisi which usually melts in a day or two in most parts of the city but it can also pile up and go icy (in 2008 we had snow for about three weeks). Wind and rain is more common. I'm not sure what you mean by 'special winter clothes' but a sweater and a coat should be enough most of the time. You will also ...


12

I have been to Prague over a weekend once so here are my suggestions based on that trip. I am sure there are much more to consider. Hradčany castle on the left bank of Vltava is impressive and the area around it worth a stroll. A bit to the south is a park on a hill reachable with a funicular. At the top is an old mirror house. The old town is really ...


12

Yes you can. If there is no snow/ice you are allowed to drive with summer tires, but it's not a good idea. But if your tires have M+S symbol it's allowed to drive with them in winter (in summer too) Here is a link to the source (only in German)


12

Here are some of the 'hacks' that I've used: It's winter, there's often a heater on, or heatpump, or fire. Try and hang the clothes near to (but not on) the heater. Turn them frequently - you don't want them getting too hot or burnt. Use air - moving air. Hang in a doorway for the internal flow, or if possible, outside during the day. Beware to take them ...


11

Hats It goes without saying that you'd need a proper hat, and there are some models that can protect your face as well as your frontal lobes. Here are some less common options that can provide superior protection to your gentle facial features. Beard hats Yes, I know -- they look hilarious. From second-hand experience, they work wonders (a friend of mine ...


11

As a native Londoner: The weather in the UK is notoriously variable, so the only way to know for sure is to check nearer the time. But it's likely to be around freezing, maybe as low as -10C or as high as +10C. I would certainly bring some warm clothes. Snow is possible, but doesn't happen every year. If the weather is very cold or snowy, prepare for ...


11

TL;DR Cold will kill you. There are things you can obtain in the cold place, and simple things you can do while driving, that might save your life. Driving in the cold can be dangerous to the point of being deadly. I've been driving in Ontario (and living in the countryside) for over 35 years. I've been in the ditch countless times (usually some guys in a ...


10

Istanbul is far enough to the south to have decent daylight in January. You won't lack things to do in four days. Or Athens — think of it as a chance to visit it off-season.


10

There is normally a 'winter wonderland' in Hyde park with fairground rides and stalls: The South Bank normally has a German style Christmas market. There is also normally a couple of outdoor ice rinks one of which is at Somerset house which is very pretty. If you are here for Christmas Day there is no public transport. And a reduced service normally ...


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