Most people tend to plan their vacations in the summer. It’s pretty common for a good reason: The weather is nice, the kids (if they have any) are out of school, and most work and business schedules are designed to accommodate a summer vacation.
But if you want a different experience on your trip next year, you might consider visiting Europe during another season. Here are some of the benefits of doing so:
- Cost. Since summer vacations are so popular, and summer is the only time many people can take a vacation, these trips are often expensive. This is because many travel companies, hotels, and other tourist attractions know this, and they raise their rates accordingly. If they can still keep their bookings full this way, why not? But in the off-seasons, many of these hotels and agencies that are booked solid in the summer will find themselves nearly empty. They’ll be willing to offer great deals to savvy tourists just to keep some steady money coming in for their businesses. If you take a vacation during an uncommon time of the year for vacations, you can really save big.
- The unique features of each season. I’ll get into more detail in a bit, but I’m sure you can imagine what I’m talking about. Europe has seasons just like the rest of the world. Plants start growing and flowers bloom in the spring. The fall offers cool weather and autumnal festivals, including, of course, Oktoberfest. Winter offers the gorgeous sights of snow-covered mountains, and winter sports such as skiing and ice skating.
Here are a few travel packages from our partners that offer the chance to see the unique features Europe offers in each season of the year, all at an affordable price.
- Just for one example, the Netherlands are well-known for their gorgeous tulip fields, and if you go visit during the spring, you can see them in full bloom for yourself.
- If you want to see the tulips, but also want a little more variety in your vacation, you might try Globus’ twelve-day excursion through the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium, ending in Paris.
- Another great way to see nature is to take one of Insight’s “Country Roads” tours. These tours will take you away from the major cities and roads, allowing you a more leisurely pace, while seeing the natural beauty and local culture in Europe. You might, for example, visit Italy, Switzerland, or Ireland.
- Autumn is not only the time to see the leaves changing color, but of course, is the time of Oktoberfest, the classic festival celebrating Bavarian culture, food, and drink. While plenty of places have their own Oktoberfest festivals, the original one is the sixteen-day festival in Munich, Germany, with strict rules only allowing local beer to be served, alongside the traditional German food, such as various kinds of wurst (sausage) and other pork products, along with sauerkraut and red cabbage. That’s just a small sampling of what you might see at Oktoberfest.
- To see Munich’s Oktoberfest, you might book Globus Tour’s German Highlights package or their Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna tour.
- Trafalgar’s Bohemian Highlights tour doesn’t go through Munich, but you’ll have the opportunity to see how many different other cities in Eastern Europe celebrate the festival, as you’ll pass through Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in addition to Germany.
- You may have read a previous entry on our blog about the German Christmas Markets. These beautiful festivals are simultaneously a gorgeous communal celebration of the holiday and a vibrant expression of the local culture. Each village has its own unique market, with local food, arts, and crafts. Trafalgar offers a nine-day tour of the German Christmas Markets, which will take you through Berlin, Dresden, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Rothenburg, Weimar, and Wurzburg.
- In addition, Trafalgar offers a separate nine-day travel package which visits the Christmas Markets of Austria and Switzerland in addition to Germany. This tour takes you through Innsbruck, Lucerne, Munich, Oberammergau, Salzburg, Vienna, and Zurich.
- Similarly, Insight Tours offers a slightly different itinerary through the German Christmas Markets. If you’d like to visit the Christmas Markets of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, Insight offers two separate tours– the Alpine Christmas Markets tour and the Winter Wonderland tour.
- Insight also has a tour of Greece running this winter that has been in operation for over 20 years due to popular demand. In a unique twist, they offer the same itinerary in reverse. You can not only see some of the important historical locations in Greek culture, you’ll also have a chance to visit Olympus while it’s covered in snow– a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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