Fall in Jackson Hole, WY Photo by Alexandra Season plays a large part in vacation planning. Not only due to the weather, both at home and at your destination but also it affects the cost. The crowd factor is another thing to consider. If you plan to go Paris in June be prepared for long lines everywhere. If you plan to get away with your spouse on a cruise in April, be prepared for the college crowd during Spring break, or even kids out of school for their spring vacation.
Fall in Jackson Hole, WY Photo by Alexandra
Season plays a large part in vacation planning. Not only due to the weather, both at home and at your destination but also it affects the cost. The crowd factor is another thing to consider. If you plan to go Paris in June be prepared for long lines everywhere. If you plan to get away with your spouse on a cruise in April, be prepared for the college crowd during Spring break, or even kids out of school for their spring vacation.
In regards to the weather, you have to decide how much of a priority good weather will be. Obviously if you are going skiing, you want lots of snow on the ground and you aren’t quite as concerned about what is falling from the sky (as long as it’s not rain). If you want a sun and sand you want to avoid that destination’s rainy season and then again you may not want to be there during it’s hottest time either. If a few sprinkles of rain are going to ruin it for you, then that is a priority, but keep in mind how long you are going to be there. My sister-in-law is a flight attendant and my brother was able to fly to Beijing in first class while she worked the flight. He was there for three days and when he got back he complained; “it rained!”. Please, three days? Free trip? And he was complaining about a little rain? One has to keep their perspective at ALL times when it comes to travel. And there are NO guarantees that the weather will be the way you want it to be, even if it is the right season.
Conversely, weather tends to be a great crowd controller as well. If you choose a destination where sightseeing is the main attraction but you don’t want to have to deal with too many people (i.e. you want to be able to see the Mona Lisa closer than 20 feet) then pick an off-season time. Early Spring and late fall, even the winter months are great times to visit Europe. Not only is it less crowded, but it’s definitely cheaper. The best part about traveling off-season is that the locals are friendlier, more willing to take the time to talk (or try to talk to you as you mangle their native tongue) etc. and they don’t have dollar signs in their eyes, well, not as much! You get more of a real feel about the place, almost as if you were a local yourself.
One of my fondest memories was being in Venice in mid-November and it was raining. I made my way to St. Mark’s square, sat at a cozy table in a café and ordered an outrageously priced cappuccino, but hey, it was VENICE! When I was making my way out of the square, it had flooded and everyone had to walk on platforms that were raised about a foot and a half off of the ground. So there you are all jammed together with your umbrellas trying to make your way like lemmings and not wanting to fall off the “sidewalk”, heads down moving forward. Suddenly there is a stop and there is an “intersection” on this sidewalk, and sure enough there is a Venice traffic cop controlling the flow. I had to buy an umbrella while there, still have it and it’s a favorite because of the memories of that day.
On another trip I was sailing on the Windstar(www.windstarcruises.com) from Le Havre, France to Lisbon, Portugal in early May. This was pre-internet, so my friend and I didn’t have an easy way to check the weather. We expected warm sunshine and instead we got chilly sunshine! Thank goodness the ship had sweatshirts for sale and we wore them almost every day. Nowadays the internet is a wonderful source for weather information so you know what to expect. Bottom-line; be prepared for inclement weather and have a wonderful time!