Friday, November 01, 2013

Start of Savings Season

If you are travelling in the northern hemisphere and especially in Europe, the months from November through March can be a great time for tourism and savings. You will want to avoid the Christmas-New Year period, when prices tend to rise, but otherwise it can be the time of year when the costs are lowest and the crowds thinnest.

The latter is an especially big factor in major European cities and their attractions. Most of the big European museums and palaces now require timed tickets during the summer months, but in winter the crowds are much smaller. And intense cold and snowstorms are becoming less common in Europe, just as they are in North America.

I have enjoyed two visits to Berlin in December, one to Moscow and Petersburg in that same month, and travel to Paris, Brusssels and Geneva in January.European resort areas such as the French Riviera, the Amalfi coast of Italy, and the coast of Croatia are good destinations for long-stay vacations at low cost in winter. Check with a travel agent for specifics.

 For the lowest hotel rates in big cities, try to time your stay for weekends when business travellers go home. Winter is a good time to explore train travel and the various types of rail passes available in Europe. Trains tend to be able to get through storms that may ground air and car travellers.

If you are a skier, the pre-Christmas period is a good time to find bargains either in Europe or North America.


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