Savvy Travel Decisions

The World's Preferred Source for Unique and Helpful Free Travel Information...The Best Time to Travel - Weather or Not!


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WEATHER OR NOT

 

Bernard Venom

Depending on your interests, you may prefer to spend your vacation time relaxing and soaking up the sun on a sandy beach or a relaxing cruise, swimming, snorkeling or diving, sailing or canoeing, hunting or fishing, water or snow skiing, golfing, playing tennis, camping, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, bicycling, horseback riding, para-sailing, attending a spectator sporting event, sightseeing at historical, natural wonders, or man-made sights and attractions, attending culinary or music festivals, attending the performing arts, visiting museums, bird-watching, performing volunteer public service, reuniting with friends and/or relatives, or just plain vegetating and relaxing at home or spa.

 

Most active working employees are entitled to 1-4 weeks of hard-earned paid vacation, (Time-Off) in the United States, (five to six weeks in several European nations), depending on their years of service to the employer.

 

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

 

The choice of allocation of one’s limited leisure time, whether to chill and remain at home and work in the garden, make those delayed household improvements or travel on an eagerly awaited vacation, requires several critical decisions by you:  

 

  • Destination: First, you must decide: Where do you wish to vacation? When planning, be certain to check Passport/Visa and health requirements of your intended destination/destinations, as well as your originating country’s restrictions on travel.  U.S citizens should check the latest State Dept. Travel Alerts: http://travel.state.gov/travel/warnings.html  or call 202-647-5225. 

 

  • When? Often times, your choice is limited either by seniority or “black-out” periods determined by your employer. The intended focus of your vacation also plays a major factor on when to travel. If you wish to snow ski, certainly don’t plan to visit Aspen or Park City during the summer months. South America, yes for skiing in the summer months as the seasons are reversed, but skiing on rocks in the Northern Hemisphere could be hazardous to your health!  Caribbean cruising in the Fall months of August, September, October, & early November is playing Russian roulette with rain & hurricanes. The summer months are warm, hot, steam bath. Planning a European fling? Determine when the Europeans close up shop and take their vacations: avoid, as many closures take place.

 

  • Duration? How long do you wish to be gone from home? Sorry, but ‘Unlimited’, while certainly desirable in your wildest dreams, assuming your budget could handle it, is not a viable answer to your employer! If you are self-employed, unlimited vacations often lead to ruination of businesses-while you’re off gallivanting around the world, your most trusted employees may be stealing you blind!

 

  • Time of year to travel? This is perhaps your most critical decision, as it will affect your comfort, enjoyment, affordability and overall cost. We will point out the preferable times to visit as well as to avoid. Always check far in advance for major conventions in convention cities like Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York City, which could adversely affect your choice of room availability. Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul are other prominent convention destinations. If you wish to attend special events or festivals, be forewarned that you will predictably encounter crowds and lodging will command maximum rates. Major government and/or religious holidays and observances can adversely impact the willingness of retail merchants, restaurants and attractions to remain open. You should always check current information for the exact dates of events & festivals, holidays, and local observances before finalizing your travel plans.

 


 

Many hotel and resort rates are capacity controlled or are quoted according to holiday, special event or festival, prime, shoulder, and off-seasons. It is often advantageous to time your city visits for weekends, as many downtown hotel properties that cater to business travel during the week, offer attractive weekend discounts to leisure travelers. Conversely, your costs will probably be less at resort properties by avoiding weekend stays. Popular travel times and maximum reserved lodging capacity translates into room shortage and higher room tariffs.

 

If you intend to fly, check with the airlines for the least expensive days and flight times to your destination.  Wednesdays are typically the most inexpensive for flights.  Second least expensive?  Tuesdays and Saturdays.  Very  early morning or late red-eye nighttime flights also tend to be less costly.  Considerable cost savings is often realized by heeding this advice. If possible, try to avoid Holiday periods, Fridays and Sundays, when airline and rental auto rates are traditionally the most expensive.

 

Traditionally severe weather periods to avoid, hurricanes, tornadoes, rainy or snow seasons, (unless you are a skier), excessive heat or cold periods will also be so noted. Weather is unpredictable-one can only play heed to past weather patterns and hope for the best. 

 


Copyright by Toonclipart

 

Timing is absolutely critical when determining when one travels based on his or her interests.

 

If you seek a sunny vacation destination with emphasis on aquatic activity, you obviously do not want to visit during traditional heavy rainfall or hurricane periods.

 

If your vacation interests revolve around snow skiing, you had best head to Colorado, Utah, or the European Alps during the winter months of mid-November through March, and South America during the U.S.’s summer months of June, July & August. 

 

If Caribbean cruising is preference, avoid the traditional hurricane months of August through mid-November. Alaskan bound cruisers are out of luck Mid-October through late May. 

 

The old nemesis, El Nino, has been known to put a damper on many a vacation. Fortunately, this Pacific Ocean phenomenon & curse occurs with intervals of two to five years. The jet stream heads south affecting the U.S. Southeast and Gulf states, Southern California and the Northwest. The Caribbean and Latin America also experience excessive rains along the coasts and drought in certain areas. 

 

Between El Nino and Al Gore’s Global Warming, it’s enough to justify doubling a meteorologist’s pay!

 

Don’t stand under a tree when it’s lightning:

 

Lightning is not the threat it appears. Less than 50 people die in the U.S. annually due to being struck by lightning.  Make no mistake, being struck is by no means pleasurable, but you can get your jolt from many other sources than holding onto a nine iron while standing under a tree during a lightning storm.  You are far more likely to be injured or killed by a tornado, hurricane, or typhoon.  Believe it or not, experts say that the safest place to be during a lightning storm is inside a metal-bodied and metal–roofed vehicle.

 

Do not use telephones or cell phones during an electrical storm, even if you are in a vehicle. 

 

 

Weather is a tricky matter with difficult predictability - just ask your local TV Meterologist.  They often hedge their predictions in ambiguity:  "There's a 50-50 chance tomorrow that it will rain." 

 

 

Adverse weather has dampened many a vacation.  Should you purchase Weather Insurance?  Good Luck!  See:  SAVVY TRAVEL TIPS under Travel Insurance.

 

 

You can, however, hedge your bets against adversity by:

 

  • Arriving a day early at your cruise port sailing departure location if you are planning an ocean cruise.
     
  • Purchasing a non-stop airline ticket to your destination rather than risk possible flight delans in connecting cities.  Leave on early morning flights rather than later to avoid the possibility of non-arriving aircraft due to inclement weather. 
     
  •      Notifying your destination hotel of your flight cancellation so as to avoid being charged for a room that you will not be able to use. 

 

 

Copyright by Toonclipart

 

 A helpful weather site is the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration site: http://www.noaagov/wx.html.

 Outside the United States: AccuWeather: http://www.accuweather.com.

 http://www.2travel.com is an excellent source of worldwide climate information.

 http://www.holiday-weather.com provides temperature and humidity information in well designed charts plus two, five, and seven day forecasts.

 http://www.weatherunderground.com provides hourly forecasts for over 24,000 locations.

 Swimmers may wish to check with http://www.sea-temperature.com for the current water temperatures.