When To Go
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When To Go

An important consideration in the planning phase of a trip to Europe is to determine just when to go. Depending on your reason for the trip, some times of the year are better than others for making the trip. Here are a few possibilities.

For example, if the cost of the trip is important to you, you may want to avoid making plans to travel in high season. In June, July, August, and September, every aspect of a trip will cost more. Airline tickets, hotel rooms, you name it. Now if you choose to make the trip at the most affordable time of the year, then a November through March trip will cost less. This could mean your trip could be lengthened compared to a trip in high season.

If there are specific events you would like to attend, then those dates will set your travel plans. Same with weather you hope to find. If you expect flowers to be in bloom, grass to be green with warm days and cool nights, then May and June are the times to go. Snow in the Alps is December through March, for sure.


August is the least desirable month to go since it is the highest of tourist season dates. The big cities smell badly. Like in a Doris Day movie of long ago, a little girl says of her piano teacher that she smells like the cracks in the sidewalk. Where do you think they got that line? From Europe where the cracks in the sidewalks do smell badly in the heat of high summer. After all, those same cracks have been accumulating the crud of the universe for hundreds of years. Sanitation is usually wonderful, over there, but then no place is like home.


My favorite time to travel is November into December. Mountain tops are well covered in snow. Mountain towns are picturesque in their mantle of snow. Even walking in snow is a blast for me. Train rides through mountainous regions are beautiful. Here are a few more reasons I like November-December.

Museums are mostly empty. There are hotel rooms everywhere at reasonable rates. The department stores have displays tied into Christmas. There is no waiting time at most restaurants. And believe this or not, the food portions in restaurants seem greater in Winter making them a greater value. 

Trains have fewer reservations and fewer passengers. There are not as many tourists. This means you will easily find a seat on any train you want to use. Airfare is substantially lower. And the plane will not be loaded to capacity, perhaps allowing you to find a couple seats together to stretch out to sleep during the flight. One time on a winter trip I had all five middle seats in a 747 to use as a bed. Don't expect that to happen in July.  Salespeople seem more patient when you buy things. I mean, I could go on and on. Use your imagination. Why do you think way off season would be a good time to travel to Europe? You get the idea.

That's why I like an off off season trip. If your job will let you get away then, that is a fantastic time to travel.

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