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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For backpackers: 

BEST TIME TO VACATION IN EUROPE:  (See individual nations) 

Northern Europe:  April, May, early June, September, early October:  low season rates, less crowded. 

Caution:  Unless you like crowds and are willing to pay maximum lodging and airfare tariffs, avoid the traditional summer travel months of June, July, and August.  You are better off putting up with seasonal weather flucuations than standing in line everywhere.  Scandinavian countries can experience cold weather beginning in October.

The next time you complain of U.S sales taxes, take a look at Europe’s Value Added Tax (VAT).
Sweden: 25%Ireland: 21%France: 19.9%Germany: 19%United Kingdom: 17.5% VAT applies on lodging, food and beverage, car, limo and van rentals, and purchases. VAT reclamation can be a tricky process.  The rules vary by nation on which VAT Tax is refundable.  Applications for VAT refunds must be submitted within six months of travel date.
A number of financial service companies are available to attempt to secure VAT refunds.
You must complete an application and attach copies of receipts.  A service fee is charged, usually 10 - 30% of the VAT recoverable.