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9 Reasons Why Winter Vacations Kill Summer Vacations

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With Winter fast approaching lots of people think the ideal holiday is a beach front hotel and a cocktail. A few of us here at Places You’ll See disagree with that statement so we have decided to come up with a list of reasons why Winter vacations are better than Summer vacations.

Skiing and Snowboarding

There’s not much that tops a bluebird day with a foot of fresh snow. Every year thousands of people around the world flock to the mountains chasing the snow. Whether you’re a skier or a boarder the mountains in Winter can offer as much fun as anywhere in the world. This Winter head north to some of the worlds iconic snow resorts including Whistler, Aspen or Vail. If you’re looking for something a little different this Winter check out some of the European resorts such as Chamonix, Innsbruck or Val Thorens. If you’re one of those people chasing deep untracked powder Japan if the place to be although it doesn’t have the same after ski atmosphere as the resorts in Europe and North America.

The Northern Lights

The northen lights in Winter

The northern lights are one of the most beautiful, captivating and aw inspiring sights in the world. They are only found a long way north (or south for the Aurora Australis) and they can only be seen in the Winter. Some of the most famous places for seeing the northern lights include all of Iceland, Lapland in northern Norway, and Fairbanks Alaska. You can take Northern light tours or if you are looking for something truly unique and magical Kakskauttanen Resort in Finland offers glass igloo accommodation allowing you to spend the night cuddled under a blanket watching the lights roll by above you.

Apres Bar Parties

There is just something about the vibe of Apres bars and after ski parties that regular bars just cannot compete with. The nightlife in some Apres bars such as Krazy Kangaruh or Rond Point is so famous that people travel to them even if they don’t want to ski or snowboard. A sunny afternoon on a mountain with a live band playing and everybody having a great time is something all people should experience at least once in their life. And you never know, you might even find some time to go skiing or boarding while you wait for the bars to open up again.

Dog Sledding

Step back into the olden days with a dog sled across the snow. Dog sledding tours can be found in a number of Winter towns throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Sit back, relax and take in the serenity as you glide silently though snow covered trees. Just a tip we have learned: When giving your weight it’s better to exaggerate how much you weigh so they use more dogs otherwise you might find yourself walking up a hill because there were not strong enough dogs to pull you up.

A Jacuzzi In The Mountains

Grab a bunch of beers, a few friends, and sit in a jacuzzi outside. The cold of the air on your face and warmth of the water make for an amazing time. If it’s clear you get to sit back and see all the stars that you don’t normally get to see in the city. If its cloudy you might get lucky and see some snow start to fall from the sky.

Ice Skatting Outdoors

Ice Skating On A Lake

In the Winter and if you are far enough north you can enjoy ice-skating the way it is supposed to be done. Forget indoor arenas, ice-skating should be done outdoors on lakes or canals. If you find yourself in Ottowa during the Winter make sure to grab some skates and head to Rideau Canal or if you happen to be in Europe when a cold front hits you might be one of the lucky people that gets to skate around the canals of Amsterdam. Remember to always play it safe and make sure the ice is deep enough to safely hold your weight. Speaking from experience a Winter swim is not much fun.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing at sunset

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, then you have to try ice fishing at least once in your life. Head onto the water and see if you can’t jag a hungry trout looking for some snacks to get through the Winter. When you do hook a fish remember to keep the line away from ice or you might never get to see that hungry trout. A quick tip: A small cover tent, a heater, beers and a good friend or two make this a much more enjoyable adventure.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling

For the adrenaline junkies who love the sound of an engine and the air rushing past your face then you can’t go past a snowmobiling trip. While they may seem slow as the cruise around ski resorts with the sirens blaring looking for people skiers and boarders breaking the rules a snowmobile in the backcountry is an adrenaline junkies dream. These things are fast, scary fast! Go out for an afternoon and you’ll be smiling the whole time.

That Fresh Mountain Air

The number one thing to enjoy about Winter holidays is the fresh, cold, mountain air. It makes you feel alive. Forget humid tropical beach, a cold clear mountain view is the best way to start the day.

Got a friend that disagrees with you? Send them this article and prove them wrong.

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World’s First All-Weather Autonomous Bus Rolls Out in Finland

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Most autonomous vehicles require great weather and clear roads to function, which means they can’t drive during certain, less pleasant times of the year. But a new robot bus has been designed to drive even in heavy rain, snow, or fog — and it’s rolling out in Finland.

The Gacha, which features tech by Finnish autonomous-driving company Sensible 4 and a design by Japanese retailer Muji, is the world’s first autonomous shuttle bus for all weather conditions.

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Gacha’s autonomous driving technology ensures the vehicle’s superior positioning, navigation, and obstacle detection performance thus allowing autonomous driving throughout the year regardless of the environment and conditions, according to a statement from the City of Helsinki.

Gacha is 14.7 feet long, 7.8 feet wide, 9 feet high — it can seat 10 passengers with space for six additional standing adults.

Photo Credit: Justus Hirvi / Bonzu / MUJI

The four-wheel-drive all-electric autonomous vehicle is capable of maximum speeds of 25 miles per hour, plus the electric motor has a range of 62 miles with wireless charging offered as an option.

After its unveiling in Helsinki, Gacha is set to drive and take passengers in three Finnish cities as part of real-life traffic tests. Sensible 4 and Muji are finalizing plans for the first Gacha fleet, which is expected to roll out in 2020.

Photo Credit: Justus Hirvi / Bonzu / MUJI

In Finland, weather has been an important factor in opening the market for autonomous buses or robotaxis. Sensible 4 has focused in testing and validating self-driving technology test in the arctic Lapland conditions.

“We are developing these vehicles so that they can become part of daily transportation service chain. Autonomous vehicles can’t become mainstream until their technology has been insured to work in all climates,” said Harri Santamala, CEO of Sensible 4.

Photo Credit: Justus Hirvi / Bonzu / MUJI

Design-wise, Gacha boasts Muji’s minimalist aesthetic. Gacha is designed with no front or back, and features a LED light belt, made from the combination of the headlights and communication screen, while the seating follows the soft, rounded square shape of the bus.

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This Little Robot Blasts the Bacteria in Your Hotel Room Bed

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We all know the drill: A hotel room may look tidy, but there’s bacteria lurking in those neatly pressed sheets. In a 2012 study, researchers found 81 percent of hotel room surfaces sampled had some fecal bacteria.

But before you start stressing about your next vacation, there’s a little robot that can help. Ventur Studio’s CleanseBot is a travel-sized cleaning robot designed to sanitize and disinfect hotel room surfaces — no chemicals used.

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Equipped with with artificial-intelligence tech and 18 sensors, CleanseBot uses multi-directional, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation — UV-C lamps — to blast away 99.99 percent of germs and bacteria on any surfaces, but most importantly, on your hotel bed.

The UV-C light has also been proven to help prevent the spread of airborne viruses, according to Ventur Studios.

Photo Credit: CleanseBot/Ventur Studio

To blast away the bacteria on your bed, just set the robot down on the bed for 30 or 60 minutes, and it works to sanitize and disinfect sheets and blankets. Its sensors can detect obstacles, allowing it to change directions and climb over materials.

You can then pick up the bot in handheld mode to sanitize electronic devices, light switches, hard surfaces, children’s toys, and even pet toys. When in handheld mode, sensors automatically switch off the upward-facing UV-C light.

Photo Credit: CleanseBot/Ventur Studio

Weighing less than half a pound, Ventur Studio says the CleanseBot kills 99.99 percent of bacteria, germs, and dust mites. In addition to its three cleaning modes (under blanket, climbing, and handheld), CleanseBot is also a power bank able to charge devices with its 3700 mAh battery.

Ventur Studio currently has patents for the CleanseBot, including technology that keeps the tiny machine from falling off a bed, and another for the wheel technology, which allows the robot to go over any type of material or surface.

Photo Credit: CleanseBot/Ventur Studio

On Jan.7, CleanseBot hit the ‘million club’ on Kickstarter — 10,474 backers had pledged $1,187,861 to bring the project to life.

The Kickstarter sale price is $99, and all orders and units are expected to ship in April 2019.

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This $800 Robot Suitcase Will Follow You Around Airports

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Wheeling clunky luggage before a flight can be stressful. Thankfully, ForwardX Robotics, an autonomous-focused company, developed a better travel companion: A robot suitcase that follows you around airports.

On Monday, ForwardX Robotics announced in a press release that it will showcase the Ovis Suitcase, an autonomous piece of luggage that’s powered by AI and self-navigates through terminals, at  CES 2019. ForwardX Robotics said the Ovis Suitcase, which will cost $799, will be available to customers by the first half of 2019.

After debuting the CX-1, a suitcase prototype model, at CES 2018, ForwardX Robotics upgraded the Ovis Suitcase with cool high-tech features, including side-follow movement, a GPS tracking module, and a manual mode for escalators and stairs.

Unlike standard luggage, the Ovis Suitcase uses self-driving technology and algorithms to side-follow users anywhere, including airports, city streets, and hotels. Computer vision technology enables the Ovis Suitcase to spot obstacles and move around them, so users won’t have to worry about it bumping into objects.

On escalators and stairs, users can place their hand on the Ovis Suitcase handle to switch it to manual mode. Users can wear a smart band that notifies them when the Ovis Suitcase is more than 6.5 feet away, and a GPS tracking module allows users to find their Ovis Suitcase if they leave it behind in a car or hotel.

Ovis Suitcase (Photo Credit: ForwardX)

Following CES 2018, ForwardX Robotics raised more than $1.4 million for the Ovis Suitcase through its Indiegogo campaign. ForwardX Robotics, which previously raised $10 million in series A funding, just closed its series B funding round with another $20 million. With the Ovis Suitcase, ForwardX Robotics aims to provide customers with high-tech, hassle-free travel experiences, so they don’t have to worry about luggage issues on the go.

“Most robots today are programmed to do a single task. Our AI-enabled robots can perform several different functions with very limited help from humans, similar to self-driving vehicles,” Nicholas Chee, the CEO of ForwardX Robotics, said in the press release. “We see that as the next true breakthrough in robotic technology.”

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