If your social feed is starting to fill up with pic after pic of beautiful beaches, delicious pastries in Paris and top attractions in other European cities, you might have a major case of summer travel FOMO. Well, I’m here to let you in on a secret…
IMHO, summer might actually be the WORST time of year to travel. That’s right. Those edited photos you see don’t tell the entire story.
Here’s the real deal. Plane tickets are overpriced in the summer. Europe gets hot and crowded AF with tourists from May-August. Kids are out of school, so your plane ride is going to be less than pleasant. Some Europeans take their month-long vacation in July and August, so those beach destinations are going to be even more packed and some restaurants might be closed.
If you want to avoid all that, here’s what to do instead. I say plan your main trips of the year around the shoulder seasons of fall and spring. September, October, April, and early May. You can score major deals, the weather is still pleasant and you might have entire beaches and attractions to yourself.
I actually learned this tip when I studied abroad in London. I had to arrive at school there the day after Labor Day. Even though some of my friends went early to travel in Europe, I realized if I waited until September, tickets were so, so much cheaper. London in the fall was amazing and less crowded, too.
We recently got tickets to Greece for October for one-third of the price they would cost in August!
As for what to do until then, why not find a lake or beach nearby to relax at this summer? Go camping. Have a campfire in the backyard. We spent last weekend at Lake Champlain in Vermont. We left early Friday morning so there was very little traffic getting there and the lake was drop dead gorgeous.
After finding your piece of paradise, you might even give your friends a major case of FOMO of their own.
What’s your favorite time of year to travel?