Many adventurous people want to visit Europe. However, the peak seasons in summer and fall can be difficult to book reservations. Taking a European vacation during winter offers more options for hotels and tickets to popular attractions. You may need to make a few adjustments for traveling in winter. But, don’t let chilly weather and potential snow storms stop you.
Here are five tips to keep in mind as you visit Europe in winter.
- Attractions have shorter opening hours. In most cities, the most popular tourist attractions are open during winter. However, they typically have shorter opening hours. Be sure to check the attraction’s website to verify the hours of operation in order to organize your day appropriately. Even so, winter is a good season to visit as crowds will be smaller and the queues much shorter than in summer. If you are visiting rural regions of Europe, check to see if an attraction is open at all. Many are closed during the winter.
2. Flight delays may result in refunds. You may encounter a flight delay due to winter storms. This can be a frequent occurrence depending upon the weather. You may be entitled to a refund if you file a flight delay claim. A delay may cause you to miss connecting flights or other transportation modes that you have paid for in advance. Don’t hesitate to check for a refund.
3. Limit the amount of luggage you carry. Keep it simple with as little luggage as possible. It’s always a good idea when traveling, but more so in winter. You don’t want to struggle with extra luggage on snowy streets, and having only one well-packed suitcase leaves one hand available to carry the umbrella during rainy days. In addition, you will have a much easier time getting on and off trains or in and out of taxis.
4. You can drive in Europe during winter. If you choose to rent a car to tour Europe in winter, double-check with the rental company about special tires that may be required. In many countries, winter tires are mandatory from December through March. Most rental companies include the special tires in the cost of the rental. Most major roads and city streets are cleared of snow regularly by snow plows. However, you should always take extra care and drive defensively when traveling in snowy, wet and icy conditions.
5. Plan your visit ahead of time. Winter months in Europe attract many visitors from all over the world. Snowboarders and skiers flock to the mountain resorts in France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. Other visitors like to experience the charming European Christmas markets in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. You may enjoy the milder winter climate of the Mediterranean countries or the delightful winter atmosphere of the rural hamlets surrounded by snow-covered forests.
Winter is an excellent time to visit Europe. You encounter shorter queues and easier reservations. Just keep the above tips in mind to make the vacation as smooth as possible, and you should have an excellent trip.