It is sad how most Indians opt out of a Euro trip in winter owing to the freezing cold. For a population that spends half a year in extreme heat, I believe there is no better vacation than one spent exploring the snow covered lanes of a foreign land. It is extremely simple to prepare for one such trip. Other than the must-have pullovers and sweaters, remember to carry the smaller woollen essentials – knitted tights, beanies, socks, gloves and scarves. A pair of good boots will get you through the thickest layer of snow. And in case you are backpacking and can’t afford too much space, you could always choose to buy a woollen blazer or any other warm variant of it after you reach your destination.

Once you have all your winter essentials in place and are well covered, your sole purpose should be to go out there and have fun. I travel extensively and my music has taken me to Europe far too many times. I have enjoyed the freezing winters there with one universal mantra, “Do as the locals do!” The best part about the cold, you will learn, is that you are bound to constantly eat and drink to keep yourself warm. While all the malls and restaurants around Europe are very well heated internally, I survived one extremely cold winter out in Bergen, Norway sitting around a bonfire with the locals and savoring a five-course meal with the national drink, Aquavit.

The freezing cold is also a perfect excuse to party. Amsterdam, with its affordable hostels and buzzing night life, is one of the best winter destinations according to me. A number of music and cultural festivals are lined up for the months of January and February, and you have the option of cycling through its streets and experiencing a different side of the city.

For those on the lookout for a honeymoon destination, I would suggest Lucerne in Switzerland which is so perfect and has an old world charm to it. In spite of how touristy the rest of the country might seem, you will find your own space here. Similarly, Paris, the favorite of all romantics, is less crowded during the first half the year. You could soak the winter while you sit sipping the best coffee in one of its many quaint cafes.

Monica Dogra: A graduate from the New York University with a degree in music, Monica Dogra formed her much acclaimed electro-rock group ‘Shaa’ir + Func’ way back in 2005 and made her debut in Bollywood as the lead in Dhobi Ghat in 2011. A frequent traveller, Monica has performed in many international music festivals including the Glastonbury Festival in UK.

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