When's the best time to do a Euro trip during college?

When's the best time to do a Euro trip during college?

by Erisa Hughess
Stripes Europe

The good thing about being a student is that you have all the time in the world to travel the world. The bad thing about being a student is that you don’t always have the money to travel, especially during the peak seasons. That is why every college student needs to find the best season to travel on a budget without missing out on major sights. This brings us to the question: When is the best time to do a Euro trip during college?

Any time is a great time to tour Europe as far as youthful travelers are concerned. Even when the main sites seen by travelers of all ages are too expensive for your budget, you still can wander away and be with other youthful tourists in more off-the-beaten-path places. Wandering around neighborhoods allows you to make new contacts, learn new languages and sometimes make lifetime friends. Besides, curious young college students like you will always have something to discover no matter the part of Europe you tour.

One trick that will help you lower your budget when air tickets hike during peak seasons is booking a flight reservation early, getting your visa approved, and then only booking an actual ticket once you find a budget airline to fly with. You will also cut down your budget for the next Euro trip by taking local transportation instead of booked bus tours. This old continent has the best road and rail networks, and public transport is sub-par. You will also be fine eating and drinking in little-known gems instead of spending a lot in upscale tourist restaurants and pubs. Lastly, you can tour Europe at any time of the year by leveraging the many discounts available for college students.

But all things being equal, when is the best time to travel to Europe during college? There is a short and a long answer to this question.

The short answer: March to June and Sept. to Oct. These months represent the spring and fall seasons, both of which are fairly warm, yet they are outside of the peak holiday periods. That means smaller crowds and cheaper flights, food options and accommodation as compared to the European summer and Christmas break.

The long answer: Well, it depends what you want to see, where in Europe you want to go, your budget and a host of other factors. Let us break this down:

What do you want?

If you want to avoid crowds, the summer and winter months are not ideal because they are the busiest months for any Euro destination. As we mentioned, you will find spring far more appealing to you because they are far less crowded.

If you’re on a budget,  the fall and spring months will offer you the most favorable travel costs. However, you can still afford a Euro trip in summer or winter if you book your flight and accommodation towards the end of the season. This is a time when the working tourists are going back home, so Europe is a little less busy. If you are touring Europe during winter, just avoid the Christmas and New Year’s holiday week.

Where do you want to go?

Eastern and Central Europe 

Eastern Europe is best known for its hiking trails and warm to hot summers. The only time that you may want to avoid this region is during winter months. These months are too harsh for a student explorer. Besides, it is almost impossible to engage in hiking or any other outdoor activity that makes Eastern Europe a popular tourist destination when everything is filled with snow. Central Europe, on the other hand, can be visited all year round because the winter isn’t too extreme. However, spring and fall remain to be the ideal months for a youthful traveler because of the few crowds, cheaper options and pleasant weather.

Mediterranean

This region literally shuts down during the low seasons and only opens its local accommodation and restaurant doors during the peak season of summer. If you cannot afford the peak prices, travel during the first two weeks or the last two weeks of summer.

Northern Europe

Summer is the peak season here. However, for general sightseeing, it is best that you travel during spring or autumn when the temperatures are mild to warm. This area of Europe is arguably the best for outdoor activities.

Make the most of your European adventures, just be sure to know where to go and when. Remember to watch out for special events such as business conventions and major sports matches as such events precipitate crazy price fluctuations. Happy travels!

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