The cost of going to Europe tends to fluctuate with the passing of the months. The low season tends to bring fewer crowds and is typically less expensive to travel. The high season, on the other hand, tends to bring in large crowds and augmented airline tickets.
If you have a job with a strict schedule or are applying for a visa within a certain window time, it’s important that you are cognizant of when you will be traveling well before you book your flight or rental car. Picking the right time can make all the difference in your experience—and the impact on your wallet.
Summer Time: For Those Who Can Afford It
The most expensive time to fly to Europe tends to be during the summer months. Summer is the high season in Europe, with people all over the world traveling through the continent to enjoy the warm weather and beautiful landscapes.
This window of time makes sense. During the summer months, many people are out of school and able to travel far for long periods of time. And for some professionals, it’s a great time to vacation days to travel around the world.
Airlines know that this is when people want to travel the most, and it will augment airline prices accordingly. The peak season starts around the first week of June until late August, and the price hike during those months makes booking at this time no small financial feat.
Winter Time: Cold But Cheap
Many believe the least attractive time to fly is during the cooler months. This is when people will require jackets and more clothing to enjoy the different European cultures and attractions.
However, this is also one of the best times to fly in terms of price. Many savvy international students tend to book semesters during this time to save on airfare. For the casual traveler, remember that Europe has the best skiing resorts in the world, so don’t feel like you are missing out on festivities during the off season.
This is also a time when crowds are thinned out, allowing you to have a more immersive experience in Europe. The winter season usually is between mid-October and ends around mid-March.
Spring and Fall: The Time For Savvy Shoppers
Spring and fall months are the best times to visit Europe thanks, to the combination of inviting weather and robust but still relatively small crowds. For savvy shoppers, there are still opportunities for you to secure affordable airline tickets during this time.
This is also the time of year when the true beauty of the landscape can be appreciated the most. In the spring, the fresh bloom of flowers after the cold months mean plenty of photo opportunities without the burden of a hot summer sun. For lovers of fall foliage, the months between summer and winter provide breathtaking views and a good excuse to enjoy the continent’s many fall festivals.
The spring season starts from late March into the middle June, and for the fall season, it's late August up until late October.
Be Aware Of Locations With No Promotional Slants
There are certain regions of Europe that are magnets for tourists regardless the time of year. For example, the Isles of Santorini share the same warm weather and beaches as the Peloponnesian Peninsula, but the Isles of Santorini are promoted much more as the go-to spot for people who want to visit a Grecian beach.
If you're cognizant of such promotional tactics, you can enjoy other wonderful places in Europe and enjoy still thin crowds–even in the summer season. If traveling by car, take advantage of your mobility and visit remote, off-the-beaten-path areas that may be a bit difficult to reach via public transit. By leaving over-used tourist routes, you can visit towns that are less expensive and still have a life-changing experience.
Traveling Off-Season Allows You To Enjoy A More Relaxed Crowd
People traveling during the off-season will almost always enjoy fewer crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere. The vacation season brings a flood of tourist, which tends to create a sense of urgency, forcing you to absorb too much information, sights, and sounds too quickly as you rush to elbow your way through the crowds.
The off-season, on the other hand, allows you to slow down and experience local colors, traditions, customs, and even allow a chance to connect with the local residents without either party feeling overwhelmed.
Of course, work and school schedules tend to dictate when most people are able to travel. But if you’re planning a longer stay in Europe, the off-season allows you plenty of time to fully immerse yourself in the country of your choosing. Coupled with the freedom of renting a car and getting around at your own pace, you’re guaranteed an experience that’s both enlightening and peaceful.
Headed to Europe before the end of the year? Take advantage of our fall specials by booking soon and save even more money! Available for select vehicles and contract terms.
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