We are planning a trip to Germany and Austrian Alps area late next summer or early fall. Any suggestions as to the best time of season to travel, considering airfare, room rates, Germans' vacation times, weather, etc?
We like to travel in late September/early October because the accomodation rates are lowest, crowds are less and the weather still quite pleasant. While the temperatures can be cooler at this time, there are still many sunny days, and the leaves start turning glourious colours. We just returned from the Germany/Austria alps, and parts of Germany have a 2 week school holiday that ended on the Oct 4 weekend. Germany has a "National Day" in mid/late September -- the celebration of joining East and West Germany, and also a "Thanksgiving" celebration in early October. The school holidays this year coincided with these dates. We had no problems with accomodation in Austria, but the Autobahns can be crazy on the days next to the weekends. We've always been advised to do major autobahn travel on Saturday or Sunday as the majority of the trucks are required to park.
Re-unification day is 3 Oct. every year. This will be a bank holiday with stores closed, but tourist attractions open. The school holidays in the fall, like all the other school vacations through the year is staggered throughout Germany and they change each year. You need to find out when the vacations are in each state you will be visiting as they rotate around. Every vacation, in every state will be different each year. This will also change your air fare prices, depending on where you land and depart. Sometimes a considerable amount.
For the best rates with any tour operator, the best times to go are the off season. Before May 15 after September 15