When Should You Go?

By Wendy VanHatten

Let’s say you’ve just started thinking about a trip to Europe and you’re not sure when to go. You’ve read about traveling during peak season and off season, but what does that really mean?


In travel industry info, the year is divided into three seasons. Peak season is about mid-June through August. Shoulder season is April through mid-June. Off-season is November through March. Each season has pros and cons. Still not sure when to go? Here are a few things to think about.

  • Peak Season: If summer is when you can get away, you’ll find plenty of sunny weather, more daylight, and often larger crowds in Europe. Attractions are open longer hours, museums are closed fewer days, and festivals abound in many cities and villages. Some things you might want to take into consideration when planning your trip during this season include, higher airfare, higher lodging costs, more crowded public transportation, and plenty of things to do and see.
  • Shoulder Season: You’ll probably still find decent weather, possibly lower airfare, and less crowds. Some facilities or attractions may be closed until the start of summer, so check. Typically, lodging costs are less and public transportation is less crowded. Keep in mind for your airfare that if you fly over peak season in only one leg of your round trip, you may still pay the peak season rates.
  • Off Season: You’ll most likely pay less for everything during this time, including airfare, lodging, food, and transportation. You’ll still see all the sites, but with less people around. You may have to adjust your schedule as some museums or attractions shorten their hours. It’s always a good idea to check the hours online before you go. The weather will play a part during this time of year, so pack accordingly. Check the weather before you go and dress in layers. Chances are, you’ll have more opportunities to visit with the locals during off-season.

Whenever you go, plan accordingly and Have Fun!