Best and Worst Times to Travel to Europe

When planning your European trip, check your arrival and departure dates and see if they take into account peak, off-peak and shoulder periods traveling.

Peak periods are the times when the majority of travelers fly in and out of countries and these periods usually coincide with the school holidays, Christmas, Easter and New Year. The country you are flying into will have peak periods is unique to that country, so expect flights and accommodation to be booked are heavy and expensive tickets. This peak period covers basically end December-january (due to the Christmas period) and late June to late August (summer vacation). Travel during the Christmas holidays can be difficult as airline ticket prices soar and ski resorts begin overloaded. Public transport is also reduced in most areas since only a few trains on Christmas Day. The “shoulder period” in the spring and fall and low or “off-peak” periods are usually in the remaining months in the winter.

If you only have a limited time to see Europe, your best bet is to fly in and out during a shoulder period. The prices are almost at their lowest and travel conditions are great because you can avoid the crowds and high prices. If you have lots of time to spare in Europe, try flying in the low season, when rates are cheapest, so you need to spread more money on your stay. It is always a good idea to start checking airfares 3-4 months before you leave. Discount airlines begin to reward early bookers and there is plenty of time to wait if you think they are too high. The cheapest tickets might pop up on the internet or at the ticket office at any time. And while you’re at it, make sure you’ve already booked your accommodation for six weeks to two months before you leave. It’s a good idea to book a hotel for arrival and departure days. The rest can be set aside afterwards. Remember also to check for trip hazards and updates. Your government and insurer would draw the line when a particular territory they visit you have been warned. Stay informed about the dangers and the uprisings in the country you are visiting and doing last-minute updates to conditions just before you leave check.

For most seasoned travelers, the best time to see Europe is from April to June and September-October, when the weather is still warm, leaving the holiday traffic, housing and transportation are regularly priced.

Unlike some of the worst time to visit most parts of Europe (mainly the western and southern countries) is the month of August. This is when many Europeans and leave their vacation in nearby countries as well. Cities are deserted, and as a result, property prices skyrocket and finding a bed can be very difficult. Buses and trains will often be packed and it can be a struggle to get a place as you cross his land. Even most tourist shops may be closed and sites because the owners have gone on vacation too! There is little doubt that July and August are the busiest tourist months in Europe (mainly due to the US holiday) and it will need a lot of patience and money. Avoid this month as much as you can. If you really must travel during peak season, your best course of action is to continue to get away from the big cities and choose the off-track towns and villages and enjoy the local culture.

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