Without any doubt, there are many advantages to off-season travel. Not only is air travel cheaper in winter than it is in July or August, but it is also easy to grab a good deal on long-distance flights between North America and Europe. Additionally, most hotels offer better rates to those who choose to stay in them in winter. You will discover that the landmarks you might want to visit are less crowded and they are filled with locals rather than tourists, which can be a good thing as you will have a chance to see more attractions without stumbling upon hundreds of other people.
Preparing for Travelling during Winter Months
With all this in mind, it is worth remembering that off-season travel means that you might need to travel during colder months. Even in Southern Europe winters can be chilly, not to mention the snow that is so common in Scandinavia and Central Europe from December to March. You will want to check weather forecasts before embarking on any trip to avoid disappointment. Alternatively, if you cannot cancel your plans, it is wise to bring a warm pair of shoes and a warm jacket with you. Some gloves and a fur hat can come in handy, especially if you are heading to countries located in colder climates.
Plan Your Trip Carefully
Planning any trip carefully is the key to a successful vacation. It is of utmost importance to plan ahead to avoid disappointment. Many people come to see the landmarks they had been dreaming about visiting for years only to discover that those landmarks are closed for the season. Trains and buses usually adjust their schedule to the number of travelers taking a journey during winter months and you can expect to need to wait longer for transportation in winter. Some activities or events might be available only during weekends, so it is essential to plan everything accordingly in advance.
Be Prepared for Language Differences
Europe is home to dozens of languages and dialects. You might be surprised to discover that not everybody in Europe speaks English and you will not be able to communicate easily with everybody you come across, especially if you opt for off-season travel. While this might not be a problem in bigger cities such as Paris or Rome or in your hotel, the moment you decide to visit the countryside, make sure to have a small dictionary in your pocket or at least learn a few words or phrases in the language of the country you chose to visit. One way to avoid this problem is to visit English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom or Ireland. If you don’t want to be limited, you will need to be prepared for difficulties in communication between you and some of the locals.
Be Flexible in Your Schedule
The moment you set foot in Europe, you need to be prepared for anything. Since many things can go wrong at any time, it is essential to have a backup plan to any possible scenario you have planned for your trip. If you can’t visit a monument because of bad weather, try to go to other places and have fun.
Keeping your journal can mean plenty of fun, so I suggest that wherever you go, you take your travel journal with you.