Break from the Pack - Fall and Winter Travel Brings New Views
September 1, 2015
Fall is the time to break from the pack and choose to visit Europe in the shoulder and off-seasons. For travel between the U.S. and Europe, low season begins right after Labor Day and continues through mid-January. Shoulder season then picks up with many deals still to be found through March. High season picks up late May through August.
Shoulder season and low season are my favorite times to travel for a variety of reasons, and with fall about here and winter not far away, this is the perfect time to change your attitude about when to visit some of the remarkable spots in Europe.
For the pocketbook, non-summer travel can be a real budget pleaser. But don’t take it from me, look for yourself. Go to a great airfare search engine like Kayak (www.kayak.com) and check the fares to your favorite destinations in Europe.
Compare the fares and availability for late October or early March versus the peak summer months. You may be shocked at the savings if you are able to avoid summer travel. But the savings are not just in airfare. Compare the nightly rates at a few hotels and you’ll find similar differences. The same is true with many restaurants, museums, tours, etc
But I can hear the murmurs now: “Sure it’s cheaper. But the weather will be miserable and there’s really nothing to do.”
First, the weather certainly isn’t more miserable than the hot humid summer weather; it’s just different. Have you ever walked the cobble stone streets of the Left Bank to let a light drizzle and fog reveal a totally different character of the city?
Or have you enjoyed the warmth and fragrances of a London tearoom while relaxing after a chilly shopping stroll along Regent Street or Piccadilly Road? Or warmed up with a steaming plate of mousaka at a seafront café in Mykonos surrounded by locals chatting in their native language about the day’s events?
And nothing to do? Try standing with no one else around, gazing at the remarkable beauty of Michelangelo's statue of David in Florence. Or blend with only the locals in the maze that is known as the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. You can even ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower without waiting in long lines.
Summer in Europe is about crowds, high prices, crowds, sweltering heat, crowds and impatient locals. Winter, spring and fall are about quiet streets, relaxing meals, friendly and talkative locals, and cultural insights to local traditions and customs. Oh, I almost forgot, don’t forget the lower prices and much smaller crowds.
Fall and winter are almost upon us now and soon I’ll share my thoughts on some of the most enjoyable places to visit and things to do during these unforgettable seasons.
QUICK REFRENCE: OFF SEASON TRAVEL IN EUROPE, TRAVEL MAY THROUGH AUGUST, BENEFITS OF OFF-SEASON TRAVEL, CHEAPER TRAVEL IN OFF-SEASON