Shoulder Season Is
The Best Season To Visit Europe
Shoulder season is considered by veteran travelers [as well as those new to the game] to be the best of the best for traveling in off season Europe.
The weeks roughly aligned from mid-September to mid-November, and between mid-March and mid-May, are quickly becoming the sweetest seasonal spots to travel to western Europe.
Depending on who you ask [includ-ing industry insiders] this middle of the road, off peak travel season is the cherry on top of your travel parfait.
Travelers choose shoulder season as the best season to visit Europe not only because of economics, but perhaps more importantly, the free-dom from traveling in Europe with the rest of the world!
In translation, this means there are across the board discounts during shoulder season travel, while the hordes of summer tourists have all gone home.
During off peak travel season, prices for every part of your trip will be more reasonable than during peak season.
Hotels drop their Fall rates due to dwindling customers, and in Spring they've not yet raised rates in anticipation of peak summer crowds.
They’re often open to negotiating room rates and are eager to win your business.
Local transportation is cheaper and much more accessible, with fewer tourists to ride.
Even restaurants offer seasonal price adjust-ments and will eagerly welcome you through their doors.
Though more and more travelers look to off peak travel season as the best season to visit Europe, the crowds of Spring and Fall remain magically thinned out from the masses of summer tourists.
Attractions are operating full tilt, especially if you travel within a few weeks either side of peak travel season.
The weather during shoulder season for travel throughout Europe is mild and tolerable.
While shorter days and jackets will be the norm for your trip, it’s easier to get around, it takes less time to get where you're going, and it's easier to get into the places you want to see.
For most sights and attractions, you can walk right in!
The simple fact that there are no entrance lines to endure for hours just to get into major attractions, allows you to intensify your travel schedule and see more of what you came to Europe for.
Is It The Perfect Time To Travel?
Shoulder season travel throughout Europe is almost perfect.
But the weather can be unpredictable.
Like anywhere in the world, Europe can have late blasts of cold in Spring, winters that come earlier than usual, untimely heat waves, and unexpected rainy seasons.
Be sure you take travel clothes that will keep you protected from the elements.
A light jacket for wind or rain. Cotton layers for chilly mornings and cool evenings.
Solid shoes that go from exploring the 16th century fort in Civitavecchia,
to dining in that quaint little bistro in Bruges. Shoes that don't scream tourist.
Be realistic in what you expect your trip during shoulder season to be. Learn average temperatures and rainfall for your trip destination, but be prepared for changes in off season Europe weather.
Just as during low season travel, there will be give and take between climate and temperatures, costs and crowds.
Only you can decide if the trade-off is worth it.
So, how do you decide when to travel to Europe? The best answer is when you want to.
Once you know how the travel seasons can impact your travel plans, you can make an informed decision for the best season to visit Europe.
And if you plan accordingly, you'll be in control of your trip, the cost of your travel, and [at least partially] what to expect from the weather.
For more information on how to choose the best season to travel to Europe, check out the following pages:
Traveling in Peak Season is not for the faint of heart. Learn how to deal with the crowds, the costs, and the chaos of peak season travel in Europe.
Traveling in Low Season finds a different side of Europe. Toss your weather concerns aside and discover the Continent's true soul.
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Travel Tip: When you purchase your airline ticket for any travel season, the date of your departure determines the price you pay for your ticket.
If you depart from your home city any time in the airline’s peak travel season, your total ticket price will be based on high season prices.
Conversely, if you schedule your departure from home on the very last day of low season, your roundtrip airline cost to Europe will be at the low season price. As a rule, airlines do not combine seasonal fares.
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