One of the most common questions I’m asked is “how do you afford to travel all of the time?” First and foremost, you have to be open to all travel possibilities. Most recently for me that meant traveling to Europe in the winter.
Aside from Christmas markets and snowy ski slopes, travelers typically don’t see Europe as a desirable winter vacation spot (unless of course you’re traveling south to the sunshine). But I lucked out when American Airlines mis-posted some fares and was able fly roundtrip to Paris for $328, so there was no way that predetermined notion about winter time was going to hold me back!
Again… $328!! That alone is enough to convince me to travel in the colder months!
Traveling offseason also means the “Rare Find” or highly rated Airbnb’s are more likely to be available. Split the price of a beautiful one-bedroom with your travel buddy and your travel cost will drop immensely (more to come on this because, oh boy, do I have some gems to recommend)!
While a good tourist attraction will never be rid of visitors entirely, traveling offseason will drastically decrease the crowd size, too. During the summer months, Paris’ iconic Louvre can have wait times up to two hours while we strolled right through the doors in mid-November! It also never hurts to bring along your student ID, if applicable, for discounted museum/tour rates.
Traveling to Europe in the winter months allowed for wandering the streets of Bruges in solidarity, quiet murmurs in museums and tranquility in Luxembourg’s Grund while we strolled between the river and the fortress walls.
While I’m painting a picture of ease and accessibility, don’t think for one moment I wasn’t cold the entire time. For every day of clear skies we also received a day of rain and the least amount of layers I wore was three. The temperatures ranged from 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind chill didn’t help when it decided to appear, but being in my mid-20s and knowing I can tuck away in a warm museum makes winter travel worth it. Plus, I’ve visited France in June and I sweat then just as much as I’m shivering now, so take your pick!