Top Ice Hotels Worldwide – How to Vacation Differently This Winter

The holidays may be behind us, but winter has just begun. If you’re looking for vacation ideas then be sure to consider these ice hotels and all of their offerings before booking your next vacation.

Most of these resorts made of ice are only open during the winter months and are re-sculpted each year. All but a few offer ice-sculpted suites that are more like works of art than a hotel room. Depending on where you stay, they may provide all of the accommodations of a resort, including bars, restaurants, spas, saunas and extracurricular activities. Skiing, snowboarding, northern lights and ice sculpting classes may be on the docket. Be sure to check into these hotels’ amenities before deciding on which one you might visit.

  1. Ice Hotel – Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
  2. Hotel de Glace – Quebec, Canada
  3. Igloo Village Kakslauttanen – Saariselka, Finland
  4. Hotel of Ice – Balea Lac, Romania
  5. Snow Village Finland – Kittilä, Finland
  6. The Snowcastle of Kemi – Kemi, Finland
  7. Kirkenes Snowhotel – Kirkenes, Norway
  8. Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel – Alta, Norway
  9. Eskimska Vas – Slovenia
  10. Iglu-Dorf Andorra – Grandvalira, Spain
  11. Schneedorf Snow Village – Oetz, Austria
  12. Aurora Ice Hotel – Chena Hot Springs, Fairbanks Alaska United States

From Alaska to Finland, these ice hotels offer a variety of unique activities that will quench any traveler’s desire to do something different this winter.

Whenever taking a trip, be sure to consider travel protection from a reputable provider such as CSA Travel Protection.

There are only a few more magical months left of winter, as the first day of spring (March 20, 2015) will be here before you know it. Embrace the season and find a winter wonderland to make your next vacation destination.

About CSA Travel Protection

CSA Travel Protection, a Europ Assistance Group company, is dedicated to providing valuable travel insurance and emergency assistance services to protect travelers’ vacation investments and provide the peace of mind one deserves while traveling. With over 20 years of experience, CSA has developed a reputation for standing behind its customers and by offering products and services to meet their needs. Through award-winning customer service, extensive experience and industry-leading innovation, CSA is with its clients every step of the way.

Insurance is underwritten by Generali US Branch, New York, New York; NAIC #11231. Generali US Branch operates under the following names: In California: Generali Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. (U.S. Branch) In Virginia: The General Insurance Company of Trieste and Venice – U.S. Branch. 

How to Stay in the Holiday Spirit during the Busiest Travel Season of the Year

Traveling during the holiday season can be tedious, especially if you find yourself packed into confined areas for hours or made to wait in long lines through security. According to the AAA Thanksgiving 2014 travel forecast, this will be the busiest Thanksgiving travel season since 2007 with as many as 46 million Americans taking a trip. So, how do you stay in the holiday spirit while traveling?

  1. Realistic expectations. If you hope for the best and plan fort the unexpected, then you’re setting yourself up to have a more pleasurable experience altogether. That way, if something does happen, you’ll be more prepared for it. It’s also good to consider travel insurance and carry a copy of the policy. That way, you can read your description of coverage if something unforeseen like a flight delay or cancellation does happen.
  2. Comfort. A little neck pillow or something light to use as a blanket can make you feel more relaxed. If you’re traveling for more than a few hours, it might be worth taking these items as long as you have the space in your carry on. Be sure to check the latest measurements for carry-on baggage (Delta, United, American Airlines), as it has changed in the recent past.
  3. Entertainment. While most planes offer some sort of in-flight entertainment, it might be worth downloading a new holiday playlist, movie, book or whatever you enjoy. That way, you’ll have something to pass the time. Don’t forget about downloading something for the kids too. Noise canceling headphones might be another thing to bring if you have the space.
  4. Treats. In the spirit of sharing this holiday season? You may want to consider bringing festive snacks for you and your family. Be sure to bring enough to last the entire trip, especially if you’re traveling with small children. Gum or something to chew during takeoff and landing may help your ears pop.
  5. Plan ahead. Having a game plan before you depart will make your experience better than if you wait until the last minute. Know where you’re going, give yourself plenty of time to get there and travel as stress free as possible. Have a back-up plan just in case something unexpected does happen. Even if you don’t end up using it, it’ll be nice to have it in your back pocket. Be sure to do your homework ahead of time. Know the TSA rules, especially if you’re bringing presents on the plane. (TSA Helpful Hints for Holiday Travelers), check for flight delays (FAA) and the weather before you go to the airport. There are all kinds of apps that you can use to help with this as well. (iTunes Apps Store Travel)

If you’re traveling in the U.S. or flying halfway around the world, you should consider travel insurance. Be sure to research what’s available and get the correct policy to meet your needs from a reputable travel protection provider, such as CSA Travel Protection.

No matter where you’re going or who you’re spending the holidays with, be sure to follow these five helpful holiday travel tips and make your trip merrier.

About CSA Travel Protection

CSA Travel Protection, a Europ Assistance Group company, is dedicated to providing valuable travel insurance and emergency assistance services to protect travelers’ vacation investments and provide the peace of mind one deserves while traveling. With over 20 years of experience, CSA has developed a reputation for standing behind its customers and by offering products and services to meet their needs. Through award-winning customer service, extensive experience and industry-leading innovation, CSA is with its clients every step of the way.

8 Places to Experience Breathtaking Fall Colors Around the World

Fall color is one of earth’s biggest spectacles. Many places right here at home in the United States offer an incredible display of fall leaves on auburn and golden trees. It’s not too late to see the leaves changing color in some parts of the United States. The leaves may be past their peak in the Northeastern U.S., but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t alternatives.

If you’re itching for some fall foliage, then here are some places around the world to consider. Just a warning…their autumn appeal may be so great, that you might want to plan a vacation.

Fall foliage along a river  Crystal clear lake surounded by fall colors  Bright fall colors in trees on the edge of a lake

Check out this list of destinations, their tourism websites and time of year when you should visit.

  1. Dandenong Ranges, Australia – Time to visit: March
  2. Jiuzhaigou Valley, Chengdu, China – Time to visit: October
  3. South Island, New Zealand – Time to visit: April
  4. Patagonia, Argentina/Chile – Time to visit: April
  5. Lake Ashino, Kanagawa, Japan – Time to visit: Late October/Early November
  6. Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan – Time to visit: Mid to late November
  7. Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire, England – Time to Visit: September through December
  8. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming – Time to Visit: September
  9. Serpentine Hot Springs, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska – Time to visit: September
  10. India’s Kashmir Valley, Kashmir, India – Time to visit: August through October

If these fall destinations are calling your name, then it may be time to take a trip and explore. If you do, be sure to consider travel protection from a reputable provider such as CSA Travel Protection.

Though looking at photos of beautiful fall scenery online can be inspiring, vacation photos are always better when they’re your own.

About CSA Travel Protection

CSA Travel Protection, a Europ Assistance Group company, is dedicated to providing valuable travel insurance and emergency assistance services to protect travelers’ vacation investments and provide the peace of mind one deserves while traveling. With over 20 years of experience, CSA has developed a reputation for standing behind its customers and by offering products and services to meet their needs. Through award-winning customer service, extensive experience and industry-leading innovation, CSA is with its clients every step of the way.

Top Three Reasons to Visit the Tallest Skyscrapers

Sept. 3 was national skyscraper day—a day to celebrate the tallest buildings, the architects who designed them and the people who built them. It’s reported that architectural forefather Louis H. Sullivan’s birthday (Sept. 3, 1856) is the reason why it’s celebrated on that day. Although national skyscraper day has come and gone, you can still celebrate by admiring the tallest buildings in your home town.

In case you were wondering, here’s a list of the top 10 tallest skyscrapers in the United States. New York City, Chicago and Atlanta are home to these buildings.

U.S. top 10 tallest buildings:

  1. One World Trade Center, New York (1,776 feet)
  2. Willis Tower, Chicago (1,451 feet)
  3. Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago (1,389 feet)
  4. Empire State Building, New York City (1,250 feet)
  5. Bank of America Tower, New York City (1,200 feet)
  6. Aon Center, Chicago (1,136 feet)
  7. John Hancock Center, Chicago (1,128 feet)
  8. Chrysler Building, New York City (1,046 feet)
  9. New York Times Tower, New York City (1,046 feet)
  10. Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta (1,040 feet)

If you’re interested in learning where you can find the tallest skyscrapers worldwide, here’s a list. Although there is some discrepancy about how to measure these buildings (include the antenna or flagpoles), Dubai’s Burj Khalifa building remains the tallest while New York City’s One World Trade Building is the fourth tallest.

Top 10 tallest buildings worldwide:

  1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2,717 feet)
  2. Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China (2,073 feet)
  3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Mecca, Saudi Arabia (1,972 feet)
  4. One World Trade Center, New York City, USA (1 ,776 feet)
  5. CTF Finance Centre, Guangzhou, China (1,739 feet)
  6. Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan (1,667 feet)
  7. Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China (1,614 feet)
  8. International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong (1,587 feet)
  9. and 10. Petronas Towers 1 and 2, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1,483 feet)

If you think that these manmade marvels make great travel destinations, then you aren’t alone. In 2013, 1.87 million people visited the top of the Burj Khalifa building alone.

Top three reasons to visit the tallest skyscrapers:

  1. Rule benders. The architectural race to see which country can build the tallest skyscraper still charges on and there doesn’t seem to be an end in site. Each time a new skyscraper tops the list, it’s pushing the limits for how tall a building can be built. There are many reasons why the record is tough to beat. Money and the elevator system seem to be two of the toughest challenges. This gives yet another reason to marvel at these architectural feats.
  2. Location. Location. Location. The world’s tallest skyscrapers are built in some of the most interesting cities with much more to see and do. For example, if you’re visiting One World Trade Center in New York City, you’ll have the opportunity to take in all the sites the city offers. Central Park and Broadway shows are just a few.
  3. Art and history. Just to name a few U.S. examples, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world for more than 40 years, making it historically significant. It’s also a premier example of Art Deco architectural design, which was popular in 1929 when it was erected. One World Trade Center is said to be one of the greenest and safest skyscrapers ever built.

If you’re planning a trip to New York City or any of the destinations on this list, then prepare to be amazed by these tall structures and all that they offer. Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, you might want to protect your investment and consider purchasing travel insurance as well.

About CSA Travel Protection

CSA Travel Protection, a Europ Assistance Group company, is dedicated to providing valuable travel insurance and emergency assistance services to protect travelers’ vacation investments and provide the peace of mind one deserves while traveling. With over 20 years of experience, CSA has developed a reputation for standing behind its customers and by offering products and services to meet their needs. Through award-winning customer service, extensive experience and industry-leading innovation, CSA is with its clients every step of the way.