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Time of year to travel

We are planning a trip to London, Paris and Germany. Our situation is only giving us three weeks in November to travel. I would appreciate any advice about traveling that time of year. Should we forget it and hope something else comes along?

Posted by
269 posts

We like traveling in November - just dress accordingly. Less crowded, but shorter hours at museums. If you have specific museums, castles or locations for day tours you really want to see - check for hours now before planning which city or country you should organize your travel around. Though, of course, airline tickets, which would be a major expense, so see where is feasible to start and end your trip .

Posted by
6105 posts

Going to northern Europe at that time has many trade-offs. Things will be less crowded, prices will be lower (including airfare).

But days are shorter, some things close earlier, and of course the weather will be cool or cold, probably wet, maybe even frozen at times. That means some activities that would be delightful in summer (enjoying a picnic outside, long walks, etc.) require dedication (and specific types of clothing), good luck, or may need to be skipped.

To a large degree, how these trade-offs shake out for you will depend on your priorities. Only you can decide if they work for you.

Not sure what else might "come along" that would change these things...

Posted by
439 posts

I like traveling in Nov. Just prepare yoursel, look at opening, closing times. You will find you won’t need as much time because it won’t be as crowded. Dress a bit warmer, bring waterproof shoes, layers

Posted by
7111 posts

I got to London nearly every year in November. I like the cooler weather and dress accordingly.

I love the Lords Mayor Parade and Remembrance Day in early November.

The Christmas decorations and street lights in Mid November.

Enjoy soups and pot pies, not massive hordes of tourists, little rain and buying my holiday cards which benefit charities.

Sun starts to set around 4pm so plan accordingly.

Posted by
29255 posts

I was going to suggest waiting to see if Claudia piped up with her accounts - we meet her whenever we can on her regular trips over her - and she beat me to it. Just make adjustments and you can have a great time in London and Paris. Germany is a very large country with varying climate depending on where.

So - where in Germany?

Posted by
6146 posts

We lived in Germany for four years and loved the country, we hated the long cold, dark season from late Fall to Spring. Driving to Italy in Spring was so nice, once you passed over the Alps, its was nice and warm.

We have traveled extensively for the past 8 years, since I retired and the only time we go somewhere in the cold season (Winter or late Fall) is to the Southern Hemisphere, where it is warm.

Britain was pretty nice for our 4 week driving tour of Wales and England in October last year. However, late in October, we were in the Lake District and one day it rained and coupled with the cold, we didn't even want to go outside.

I personally think November is too late for Northern Europe. I would stick with May or October. Crowds are not as bad as the Summer.

Posted by
3579 posts

November is a great time to travel. No tourist mobs, culture is in high gear, and you can really enjoy yourself. Plus you will find cheaper hotel/airline prices than would be available when the North American crowds show up for the summer. I'm going to Paris this November for 5 days with an additional few days to Dortmund to visit friends. I can't wait.

At the end of November, if Advent has started, you will see London streets decorated for Christmas. In Germany and in parts of France like Strasbourg, you will see Christmas markets pop up.

Before my husband and I were married, a girlfriend and I took 5 day trips to London during the Thanksgiving long weekend for a huge dose of nightly theatre. We loved it. We did this for 4 or 5 years as an annual tradition. Again, November is great.

Posted by
1280 posts

November isn't ideal, but if it's just a big city tour, then you have to take what you're given. Cities are always going to be busy, but Ye Olde Cute and Quaint rural areas are probably not a good choice.

I've had jobs where trying to arrange vacations during the busy summer season is more difficult than negotiating Mid East Peace! I did a London trip in late November, and the cold was enough to impress this Chicagoan. But, there were Christmas decorations everywhere, and most of the trip was dedicated to museums, theatre, and classical music performances.

I typically go in early May as the days are getting longer, but the massive tourists crowds aren't there yet. Plus, that works out well with work since I don't have kids and I know coworkers are somewhat restricted when they're planning their vacations during the busy summer season.

Posted by
288 posts

We have gone to Europe the last 3 US Thanksgiving breaks and have had a great time. Prices were more affordable, you can be less rigid in schedule as accomodations are generally easier to find. Fewer lines at many sites. Christmas activities are starting to pop up. Bring some layers and focus on cities. Look at your weather a bit ahead of time so you can plan museums on cooler/wetter days and be out walking on nicer days. Plan for early dark, but the cities stay alive at night. Go and enjoy it.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you all so much. Your information and suggestions are very helpful. We are deciding if we want to end in Germany, Black Forest area, or Vienna. We did Germany Christmas markets once. We usually travel in September or October and once in May. This might be a refreshing change.
Thank you.