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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-Electric, Jet-Powered, Five-Seater Air Taxi Completes Test Flight

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German electric air taxi startup Lilium unveiled Thursday its jet-powered, five-seater prototype, which conducted its first flight earlier this month.

The Lilium Jet is part of an app-based flying taxi service that the company expects will be “fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025.”

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The full-scale, full-weight prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically. The aircraft design has no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox and only one moving part in the engine.

“In less than two years we have been able to design, build and successfully fly an aircraft that will serve as our template for mass production,” Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand said in a statement. “Moving from two to five seats was always our ambition as it enables us to open up the skies to many more travelers.”

The battery-powered jet is capable of traveling 186 miles in 60 minutes on a single charge. (Photo Credit: Lilium)

The battery-powered jet is capable of traveling 300 kilometers (186 miles) in 60 minutes on a single charge, and will connect cities through a network of landing pads. Commuters will be able to book rides from their nearest landing pad through the Lilium smartphone app.

“At the push of a button, passengers will be able to use the Lilium app to locate their nearest landing pad and plan their journey with ease,” the company said in a press release. “Choosing from a network of pads across cities and regions, passengers will enjoy journeys that are comparable in price with a taxi, yet four times faster.”

The Lilium air taxi service, operational in 2025, allows commuters to book rides from their nearest landing pad through a smartphone app. (Photo Credit: Lilium)

The Lilium Jet took flight for the first time on May 4, after completing extensive ground testing at Lilium’s HQ in Munich, Germany, the company said. The prototype aircraft, which is controlled remotely from the ground, has also begun a rigorous flight test campaign, the first step toward certification of the aircraft to safety standards comparable to those of large commercial aircraft.

The full-scale, full-weight Lilium Jet prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically. (Photo Credit: Lilium)

In 2017, Lilium completed testing of a two-seater prototype, which first demonstrated Lilium’s “signature transition flight maneuver,” where the aircraft shifts from vertical to horizontal flight, and laid the groundwork for the five-seater prototype.

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Google Combines Trip-Planning Features Under One Roof

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Google is making it easier to plan your next trip online.

Following last year’s rollout of similar mobile tools, the company on Tuesday announced a major revamp of its web-based travel platform.

The new google.com/travel landing page features information about previously reserved journeys, and lets users effortlessly switch between flight, hotel, and package searches.

“As you plan a trip, your research and reservations will be organized for you in Trips,” Richard Holden, vice president of product management for travel, wrote in a blog post.

Finally, the web and mobile versions are on feature parity, making it simple to start outlining your summer vacation on the commute, consult the whole family from the living room, and finalize arrangements from the comfort of your bed.

Look for the ability to directly edit saved trips and add new reservations (coming soon), as well as sections highlighting recently viewed hotels and activities.

“When you want to continue planning, all of your research will be waiting for you,” Holden boasted.

Scroll down to see travel articles and find out more about a destination, like suggested day plans, popular restaurants near your hotel, and events during your dates.

Google also baked in weather forecasts for upcoming or potential trips, “so you can make sure you’re prepared, rain or shine,” according to Holden.

If this is all a bit too much, users can opt out of private results by adjusting the web and app activity settings.

And while this week’s updates tend to focus on desktop, Google has introduced a handy new mobile function for neighborhood newcomers: Google Maps points out popular areas nearby and what they’re known for.

Visiting Vancouver for the first time? Find out more about Gastown, Coal Harbour, and Yaletown with the tap of your finger.

“Our goal is to simplify trip planning by helping you quickly find the most useful information and pick up where you left off on any device,” Holden said. “We’ll continue to make planning and taking trips easier with Google Maps, Google Search, and google.com/travel—so you can get out and enjoy the world.”

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Researchers Have Invented a Quieter, Less Terrifying Airplane Toilet

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If you’re a frequent flyer, you know how loud airplane toilets could be. Flushing could produce a noise so terrifyingly loud, it almost seems like the whole lavatory is being sucked out through that tiny hole.

But changes might be coming: Researchers from Brigham Young University have invented a vacuum-assisted toilet that is about half as loud as the regular airplane commode.

“People have told us they don’t want their kids to be scared to use the bathroom on a flight,” said lead researcher Kent Gee, BYU professor of physics. “So, we’ve used good physics to solve the problem.”

While aviation tech has developed, the airline industry hasn’t been able to improve vacuum-assisted toilets over the last 25 years. That’s because getting airplane toilets to flush with very little water requires a partial vacuum, which at 38,000 feet, pulls air at nearly half the speed of sound. When things move at that speed, any disturbance at all to the flow — like the bend of a pipe or a valve — generates significant noise.

And with cabins now quieter than ever due to newer airplanes, toilet flushes reverberate much more throughout the cabin.

“Airline companies have always had standards for the toilet noise, but they’ve never met those and there has never been much pressure to do so,”said Scott Sommerfeldt, BYU professor of mechanical engineering. “Now with the reduced cabin sound levels, the sound of the toilet flushing is more noticeable and customers are pushing back.”

To solve the problem, the BYU team focused on three valve conditions during the flush cycle: the initial noise level peak associated with the flush valve opening, an intermediate noise level plateau associated with the valve being fully opened and the final noise level peak associated with the flush valve closing.

The researchers added additional piping to increase the distance between the toilet bowl and the flush valve and made the pipe attachment at the bowl more of a gradual bend as opposed to a sharp 90-degree angle.

Tests of the new contraption show aeroacoustically-generated noise dropped up to 16 decibels during the flush valve opening and about 5 to 10 decibels when the valve is fully opened.

“It’s a great mix between physics and engineering,” said grad student Michael Rose, lead author on the team’s paper published in Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics. “The toilet is much quieter and now kids won’t think they’re going to get sucked out.”

The researchers have filed three patents on the new toilet and are now working with an industry partner to bring it to market. The invention works with existing airplane toilets — only the elbow need be removed during a retrofit, while the valve and the bowl can remain where they are.

The vacuum-assisted tech could also be used for toilets on cruise ships and trains and even in green building projects where housing units are looking at ways to reduce water usage.

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