When is the best time to do a Eurotrip?

  • Peak Season: Mid-June to August
  • Shoulder Season: April to Mid-June and September to October
  • Off-Season: November to March

PEAK SEASON

Mid-June – August

Get ready for the sunny, long days, exciting nightlife, and the crowds that come with it. Here are crowds and intense heat. 

To help keep your cool, here are some tips: 

Don't follow the crowd

Go to the busy places as early or late in peak season as you can. Most cities look completely different depending on when you go. Most people visit famous cities at the height of the summer season so be sure to skip these cities on its peak. Florence on June 10 and Florence on July 10 are two very different experiences.Here are crowds and intense heat. 

Although Europe’s tourist crowds can generally be plotted on a bell-shaped curve that peaks in July and August, there are exceptions. For instance, Paris is relatively empty in July and August but packed full in June and September for conventions and trade shows. Business-class hotels in Scandinavia are cheapest in the summer, when business travel there is down. 

In much of Europe (especially Italy and France), cities are partially shut down in July and August, when local urbanites take their beach breaks. You’ll hear that these are terrible times to travel, but it’s really no big deal. You can’t get a dentist, and many launderettes may be closed, but tourists are basically unaffected by Europe’s mass holidays. Just don’t get caught on the wrong road on the first or fifteenth of the month (when vacations often start or finish, causing huge traffic jams), or try to compete with all of Europe for a piece of French Riviera beach in August. 

Spend the night

Another trick to enjoy your favorite cities while avoiding the crowd is to spend the night in famous small towns such as Toledo (near Madrid), San Marino (near huge Italian beach resorts), and San Gimignano (near Florence). Small towns normally lack hotels big enough for tour groups and are often inaccessible to large buses.

Likewise, popular cruise-ship destinations, such as Venice and Dubrovnik, are hellishly packed during the day — but more bearable at night, when the cruise crowds sail off. These popular destinations take on a more peaceful and enjoyable atmosphere at night, when the legions of day-trippers retreat to the predictable plumbing of their big-city or beach-resort hotels.

Know the cities to go to during peak season

Travel in the peak season in Scandinavia, Britain, and Ireland, where you want the best weather and longest days possible, where the horrible crowds of other destinations are rare, and where sights are sleepy or even closed in shoulder season.

Scandinavia has an extremely brief tourist season — basically from mid-June to late August; I’d avoid it outside this window.

SHOULDER SEASON

April to Mid-June | September – October

In shoulder season, you’ll enjoy decent weather, long-enough daylight, fewer crowds, and a local tourist industry still ready to please and entertain. It combines the advantages of both peak- and off-season travel.

Shoulder season varies by destination

Because fall and spring bring cooler temperatures in Mediterranean Europe, shoulder season in much of Italy, southern France, Spain, Croatia, and Greece can actually come with near peak-season crowds and prices.

For example, except for beach resorts, Italy’s peak season is May, June, September, and October — not July and August. As mentioned earlier, Paris is surprisingly quiet in July and August.

Forget summer, go during spring or fall if you can

Both weather and crowds are about the same in spring or fall. Mediterranean Europe is generally green in spring, but parched in fall. For hikers, the Alps are better in early fall, because many good hiking trails are still covered with snow through the late spring.

On a budget note, keep in mind that round-trip airfares are determined by your departure date. Therefore, if you fly over during peak season and return late in the fall (shoulder season), you may still pay peak-season round-trip fares.

OFF-SEASON

November – March

Embrace the cold and explore beautiful destinations unencumbered by large crowds, long lines, and the intense heat.

Also known as the budget-friendly season

Off-season airfares are often hundreds of dollars cheaper. With fewer crowds in Europe, you may find you can sleep for less: Many fine hotels drop their prices, and budget hotels will have plenty of vacancies. And while some smaller or rural accommodations may be closed, those still open are usually empty and, therefore, more comfortable.

The opposite is true of big-city business centers (especially Berlin, Brussels, and the Scandinavian capitals), which are busiest with corporate travelers and most expensive off-season.

Enjoy having Europe all to yourself

Off-season adventurers loiter undisturbed in Leonardo da Vinci’s home, ponder Rome’s Forum all alone, kick up sand on lonely Adriatic beaches, and chat with laid-back guards by log fires in French châteaux.

In wintertime Venice, you can be by yourself atop St. Mark’s bell tower, watching the clouds of your breath roll over the church’s Byzantine domes to a horizon of cut-glass Alps. Below, on St. Mark’s Square, pigeons fidget and wonder, “Where are the tourists?”

Off-season adventurers enjoy step-right-up service at shops and tourist offices, and experience a more European Europe. Although many popular tourist-oriented parks, shows, and tours will be closed, off-season is in-season for high culture: In Vienna, for example, the Boys’ Choir, opera, and Lipizzaner stallions are in all their crowd-pleasing glory.

Come prepared for the cold and wet weather

Because much of Europe is at Canadian latitudes, the winter days are short. It’s dark by 5 p.m. The weather can be miserable — cold, windy, and drizzly — and then turn worse.

Pack for the cold and wet — layers of clothing, rainproof parka, gloves, wool hat, long johns, waterproof shoes, and an umbrella. Dress warmly. Cold weather is colder when you’re outdoors trying to enjoy yourself all day long, and cheap hotels can be cool and drafty in the off-season. But just as summer can be wet and gray, winter can be crisp and blue, and even into mid-November, hillsides blaze with colorful leaves.

Plan for shorter days and early closing

Make the most out of your limited daylight hours. Some sights close down entirely in the off-season, and most operate on shorter hours, with sunset often determining the closing time. Winter sightseeing is fine in big cities, which bustle year-round, but it’s more frustrating in small tourist towns, which can be boringly quiet, with many sights and restaurants closed down.

In December, most beach resorts shut up as tight as canned hams. While Europe’s wonderful outdoor evening ambience survives all year in the south, wintertime streets are empty in the north after dark. English-language tours, common in the summer, are rarer off-season, when most visitors are natives. Tourist information offices normally stay open year-round, but have shorter hours in winter. Search for:Search …

How to Travel with A Baby

Whether you’re going on holiday or visiting family, traveling with a baby can get overwhelming and stressful.

WATCH parents, Kristen and Siya, share their experience from checking-in at the airport to flying with their 4 month old baby.

BOOKING THE TRIP

Pack days before

Make sure you have your baby’s documents and passport (if going out of the country) ahead of time.

Pack the baby’s things days before to lessen the stress and to avoid essentials getting left behind.

Tip: Spread out the baby’s clothes between the baby’s diaper bag and check-in bag just in case one of the bags get lost.

Reserve a bassinet ahead of time

Although most airlines do provide bassinets free of charge for infants under 2 years of age, not all are free or available. It’s always best to call the airline before your trip to confirm your baby is on the reservation and to request for a bassinet.

For toddlers, if you choose to book a seat for them instead of having them on your lap, make sure your car seat is TSA compliant.

AT THE AIRPORT

Wait until the boarding gate to check-in your stroller

Car seats, collapsible strollers, and play pens are checked-in for free. You are allowed to check-in any 2 of those items at the gate. Like Kristen and Siya, it’s best to check-in the stroller at the gate to easily get through security without having to physically carry everything with you.

DURING THE FLIGHT

Whip out those disinfectant wipes

As we all know, planes can be extremely dirty. They don’t exactly get cleaned as thoroughly as we would like, which is not ideal for any baby. Make sure to wipe down the plane seats, buckles, and food trays like Kristen and Siya have before settling in.

Have a changing pad ready

Having a changing pad, or in their case, dog pee pads for easy disposal to lay over changing stations will help your baby avoid getting in contact with nasty bacteria.

Relieve ear pressure with pacifiers or bottles

Have your baby suck on a bottle of milk or a pacifier during take-off or landing to help pop their ears from cabin pressure.

What are your tips and tricks when traveling with a baby?

How to Get Free Upgrades on A Flight – From an Airline Gate Agent

  • Watch the video below on tips to get a free upgrade according to a gate agent
  • Gone are the days of free upgrades on your honeymoon or other milestone celebrations
  • Gate agents do get reprimanded for handing out free upgrades to just about anyone
  • Although the chances of an upgrade are slim, there are ways to improve your odds: dress appropriately and ask

Back in the day, mentioning to the gate agent that you’re on your honeymoon or celebrating a special milestone like a 25-year anniversary would get you a free upgrade to first class or at least business class. Well, times have changed. 

Most articles advice you to flirt with the gate agent to hopefully score that coveted upgrade. In reality, most of them have become immune to such things (also because they can sense your ulterior motive from a mile away). On the other hand, gate agents who do give out a free upgrade get reprimanded by the airline. As mentioned in the video below, during his days as a gate agent, he gave an elderly couple a free upgrade on their way to Florida. The couple was ecstatic but he was later reprimanded and was suspended for a day without pay.

Airlines no longer give out free upgrades to just anyone. If the flight is oversold and the airline would need to upgrade some passengers, the airline’s computer would generate a a priority list for gate agents to refer to. Although the algorithm is based on many factors, the priority list usually goes like this: 1) frequent flyers, 2) passengers who’ve paid expensive tickets or who’ve paid extra to be waitlisted for the higher cabins. 

If you’re a casual traveler and you’ve paid a pretty good, low price for your ticket, the odds of getting upgraded are pretty low for you. 

However, there are some ways to improve your odds. Can’t hurt to try, right? 

Dress Appropriately

First class and business class seats are marketed as luxury experiences. Passengers chosen for an upgrade are expected to dress the part. If you do get chosen and you’re not dressed appropriately, chances are you will be skipped on the list. The flight agent will have to give the upgrade to the next person dressed well. 

That said, you don’t need to come in dressed in a tuxedo or a pin-striped suit. Business casual usually does the trick. Definitely no ripped jeans, flip flops, and PJ’s. 

Present Yourself and Ask

Now that you’ve got the dress code right, make your way to the counter and simply ask if the flight is oversold. If the flight is not oversold, well, you’re out of luck – slim chance of an upgrade. If the flight is oversold, then ask if there is an extra seat and hand over your boarding pass. This at least puts you top of mind and shows that you are dressed appropriately for an upgrade. 

As mentioned in the video, when there aren’t anymore frequent flyers to upgrade, it is acceptable practice for gate agents to suggest a passenger to bump up just to save time on accounting for everyone. Most likely, someone that would come to mind would be the person who asked about an upgrade and who is dressed for the part, right? 

 

These small acts, of course, don’t guarantee a seat in the mile high club but they at least improve your chances if you are lucky enough to be shortlisted in an oversold flight. 

Video:

Travel Guide: Palawan, Philippines

Travel to Coron, Palawan

Photo: ourawesomeplanet.com

Coron is the third-largest island in the Calamian Islands in northern Palawan in the Philippines. It is home to one of the world’s best beaches, limestone cliffs, and cave pools. 

4 Day Itinerary

DAY 1: Coron Island Ultimate Tour

Kayangan Lake

Accessible by a steep 10-minute climb, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Kayangan are nestled into the mountain walls

Siete Picados

Isles of the Seven Sins, commonly known as Siete Pecados, is a group of seven islands known for its coral reefs and diverse species of colorful tropical marine life

Twin Lagoon

There are two sides to this photogenic lagoon where salt and fresh water meet. Boats dock in one half and and the other half is accessed by swimming through a narrow crevice.

Coral Garden

The colorful reefs and rich biodiversity makes this one of the best diving and snorkeling spots in the island. Explore explore a sunken WWII vessel.

Atwayan Beach by Journey Era
Atwayan Beach

Named after the shells, known locally as “tuay,” that abundantly cover the shore, Atwayan Beach is one of the best in Palawan with its powdery white sand and turquoise water.

DAY 2: Island Escapade Tour

The Malcapuya, Banana, and Bulog Dos Islands tour loop is a whole day tour which takes you across the Culion straight and into a group of islands teeming with natural wonders.

As your boat passes a natural channel you will see the pearl farms of the nearby islands and the seaweed plantations being harvested by the local community.

This tour does a loop of the three nearby quiet and peaceful islands of Malacapuya, Banana (known by its fruity shape) and Bulog Dos islets all of which have white sand beaches and beautiful clear waters.

Philippine Travel Guide

Malcapuya Island

Philippine Travel Guide

Banana Island

Philippine Travel Guide

Bulog Dos Island

DAY 3: Calauit Safari Tour + Black Island Side Trip

Malbato Chapel

Located on top of a hill overlooking the sea, the chapel boasts of its unique facade made of stones and sea shells.

Calauit Safari Park

Calauit Safari Park covers almost 3800 hectares. Formerly known as Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, it is home to various species of exotic African and endemic Palawan flora and fauna.

Philippine Travel Guide

Black Island

Fall in love with stunning cave pools, limestone cliffs, and hidden beaches of Black Island

Tips

  • Bring a reusable bottle. Plastic bottles are not allowed on the island
  • Bring aqua shoes to protect your feet from  sharp rocks
  • You can always book your tours on the day at the town proper but it’s best if you book in advance

Advice from Top Billionaires

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Jeff Bezos, Amazon

businessinsider.com
businessinsider.com

“If you never want to be criticized, for goodness’ sake don’t do anything new.”

-Jeff Bezos
Net Worth: $107.8 Billion

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images | time.com
Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images | time.com

“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.”

-Bill Gates
Net Worth: $105.3 Billion

Bernard Arnault, Louis Vuitton

Photo: forbes.com
Photo: forbes.com

“Luxury good are the only area in which it is possible to make luxury margins.”

-Bernard Arnault
Net Worth: $94.7 Billion

Jack Ma, Alibaba

Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images | time.com
Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images | time.com

“Never give up. Today is hard. Tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”

-Jack Ma
Net Worth: $37.1 Billion

Elon Musk, SpaceX | Tesla

Photo: cnbc.com
Photo: cnbc.com

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

-Elon Musk
Net Worth: $20.1 Billion

Amancio Ortega, Zara

Photo: businessinsider.com
Photo: businessinsider.com

“Innovation and constant improvement must keep on being the motivating idea of our generation throughout the 21st century.”

-Amancio Ortega
Net Worth: $68.7 Billion

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway

Photo: Getty Images | cnbc.com
Photo: Getty Images | cnbc.com

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

-Warren Buffett
Net Worth: $81.9 Billion

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Photo: BERTRAND GUAY / AFP | BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images | time.com
Photo: BERTRAND GUAY / AFP | BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images | time.com

“Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today.”

-Mark Zuckerberg
Net Worth: $65.8 Billion

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Photo: forbes.com
Photo: forbes.com

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”

-Sir Richard Branson
Net Worth: $3,800,000,000