The Best Time to Visit these 10 Popular Destinations
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When is the best time to visit popular destinations like Italy, New York, Bali, and South Africa? If you are keen on travel, some of these places are probably on your travel bucket list. If so, you’re bound to be curious about the best time to go to these regions.
As with most things, when it comes to travel, timing is everything. What makes it the best time to go on a trip? Is it the fact that the climate is agreeable? Do you like to travel during a particular season to avoid overcrowding? For frugal spenders, finding the cheapest time to go globe-trotting is always ideal.
Whatever tips the scales in your favor when it comes to the best time to travel, it’s always helpful to get advice from people who have visited the same region on several occasions.
The 10 places we chose are both varied and scattered across the globe so that whether you are interested in island hopping or fast-paced city life, you’ll have the information you need to plan the timing of your trip accordingly.
Have a look at our list below and if any of the places take your fancy, to save time, click on the link and you’ll be taken directly to the destination you’re interested in.
Best time to visit Paris?
Expert Opinion: April to June
We are lucky to have Paris-born travel blogger, Roobens Fils, weigh in on our travel discussion about the best time to visit Paris.
Based on his expert knowledge of his city, he believes the best time to go to Paris is between April or June. Failing that, September is also a good month. He explained to us that during this time “the weather is nice and the city is not too crowded with tourists.”
Travel enthusiast and blogger, Julien Mordret, is proud to call himself an ‘exploration junkie’ and lives near Paris. So, we were also keen to hear his opinion on the best time to visit Paris.
“In May and June, you have the best chance to experience warm temperatures and glorious blue skies. Another reason to visit Paris during this time of year is the abundance of flowers that adorn the parks and gardens.”
“Heat waves are more common and it can get insanely hot!”
Best time to visit Italy?
Expert Opinion: January
Naddya is on a mission to have the best travel experiences. When we asked her to weigh in on the best time to go to Italy, she told us that Italy’s many attractions bring in hordes of tourists all year long. So, if you want to see the country’s world-famous sites with as few people as possible around you – January is the best time to visit Italy.
“Winter in Italy (except in the mountains) is rather mild with occasional rain and moderate sunshine. You can spend rainy days exploring art galleries, cathedrals, museums, or Italian cuisine. The sunny days are perfect for trips to the countryside.”
Travel blogger, Ilham Alan, lists Italy as one of her favorite destinations.
She knows that Italy is more than just incredible cities, and if you want to visit the stunning coastline like the Amalfi Coast, a different time of year will be better.
“I would say that the best time to travel to the Amalfi Coast of Italy is in June. The weather is hot but not brutally so. Also, to counterbalance the heat, you can get some cloudy and rainy evenings. Another plus point is the beaches tend not to be packed around this time.”
Best time to visit Greece?
Best beach weather – June to September
Most affordable time – March to April and October to November
Owner and founder of travel boutique agency, Caroline Williams, points out that the best time to visit Greece wholly depends on where you want to go.
If you enjoy island hopping, Caroline explains that “most islands shut down in October and don’t get back up and running until April”. So to enjoy Greece’s attractive beaches and buzzing festivals, Caroline believes that June through to September are the best months to go.
Looking for affordable trips to Greece? Caroline advises going to Greece in early Spring (March – April) and late Fall (October – November).
“You will pay 3 times as much, see 3 times as many people and experience excruciating heat as temperatures rise up to 100 degrees.”
On a side note, if you enjoy wine like Caroline’s husband “grapes are harvested in September, so you will be right on time for those wine tours!”
Best time to visit New York?
For the perfect climate – March to April
For winter activities – December to January
Blogger, Alex Tran advises against travelling to New York between June and September because it’s humid and very unpleasant.
Her favorite time to go to the Big Apple is during springtime between March and April because the weather is great.
However, if you’re fond of winter activities, she also recommends visiting New York from early December to early January.
“I also love coming to New York during winter. When I do I make sure I ice skate at Central Park. It’s so beautiful being able to see an urban environment frozen over and covered in snow.”
Jen agrees with Alex on January and February being “terrific months to visit the Big Apple. She goes on to say,
“Don’t let the cooler temperature scare you! Hotel rates plunge after the New Year as do the crowds. Airfares are less than $300 from within the continental US. Spring (April) is also a wonderful time to visit as the weather is warming up, flowers are blooming, and the air is fresh.”
New York-based writer, Tracy Kaler, believes the best time to visit New York is early- to mid-May. Her reasoning is pretty hard to fault,
“May represents the quintessence of springtime in New York, and New Yorkers’ pleasant moods reflect the city’s rebirth and the newness it brings each and every year. Even long-time NYC residents relish that sweet feeling that comes along in May.
May is fabulous for jetting around to all corners of the five boroughs – from Washington Heights in Manhattan to City Island in the Bronx to Flushing, Queens to Coney Island, Brooklyn and St. George in Staten Island. It’s a beautiful month – not too warm and not too cool – to see it all.”
Best time to visit San Francisco?
Expert opinion: September to October
When we asked San Francisco-based travel blogger, Rowena, the best time to visit her city, she told us September was an ideal time to go.
“Karl, our famous fog, typically leaves then, making the days beautiful and much more enjoyable. The city is packed with events for travelers with varied tastes. Music festivals, street fairs, performances, sporting events, and more often free of charge. It’s our summer and we make sure to savor every moment of it!”
Marketer, Zeshan, is of the same opinion with regards to the best time to go to San Francisco,
“The best time to visit San Francisco is between September and October. The weather at this time is warm enough to enjoy the outdoor activities and hikes around the city such as Mount Tamalpais and Lands End, and you can still experience the wonderful changing colors of autumn.”
“Similarly, springtime is another good time to visit San Francisco due to the cool temperature and lack of rain. All the surrounding mountains and hills are also freshly green from the wintertime rain which makes for a beautiful view from wherever you are.”
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Best time to visit Bali?
Expert opinion: November
Travel and beauty enthusiast, Erin Clarkson, advises travellers they only need to avoid the torrential downpours that belt down during the worst rainy season months of January and February. She explains,
“Bali has a tropical climate, so it’s hot all year-round. I visited in November, at the start of the rainy season, and it was quite beautiful. The landscape was very lush, and I lucked out with only one small rain shower during a 10-day trip.”
Best time to visit Hawaii
Expert opinion: February to April
Cheapest time to travel: September to October
Avid explorer and yoga lover, Alex Tran, is fond of traveling to Hawaii to escape the freezing cold in her hometown, Seattle.
“My favorite time to go is from February through to April because the weather is perfect. There may be rain here and there, but overall it’s sunny with clear blue skies and non-obstructed views of the ocean. “
When we reached out to personal finance blogger, Jen, her advice on the best time to visit Hawaii was based on the cheapest time to travel.
“September and October are perfect months to visit the Hawaiian Islands. Airfares to Hawaii from Los Angeles are in the $450 to $500 range as opposed to $700 or more during the holidays or peak summer time. The weather in Hawaii is almost always perfect but the fall is simply perfect. Crowds are smaller and lodging is easy to book at a better price.”
Best time to visit Australia?
Expert opinion – January
Managing Destination Editor for Lonely Planet, Evan Godt, recommends January as the best time to visit Australia.
“Sure, it’s hot, it’s busy and it’s brash—but Sydney in midsummer is also thrilling and plain gorgeous. January ushers in hundreds of events comprising the Sydney Festival. Three weeks of everything from circus acts, burlesque and opera performances to family activities. Beyond these attractions, Sydney’s natural wonders beg to be explored. Enjoy the cool coastal breezes of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park or Royal National Park.”
Best time to visit Iceland?
Expert opinion: September
Over the past few years finance and travel blogger, Leighton Prabhu, has visited Iceland on several occasions during different seasons.
“I’d recommend September because you still have a good deal of sunshine but you’ll avoid the peak vacation time for families. During the peak of summer, the sun sets for roughly about 1-2 hours. So it can be hard to get sleep if you’re sensitive to light and don’t have blackout curtains in your bedroom. I’d avoid the peak winter months, as there is little daylight. The only benefit of visiting in winter is that you’d have a higher probability of seeing the Northern Lights.”
Best time to visit Thailand?
Expert opinion: November to March
Alex Tran loves to write about food, yoga, active wear and is keen on exploring new parts of the world.
When asked the best time to visit Thailand, she said,
“Go any time between November and March. The weather is humid and sunny, but it’s better than during monsoon season, which is July through to October.”
When is the Best Time to Travel?
Ultimately, deciding the best time to travel will vary from person to person.
Our travel community has provided a useful starting point that will support your thought process when choosing the best time to go to our listed locations.
When you’ve decided where and when to go, thanks to the helpful tips and suggestions given by our experts, you’ll also have some options of what to do.
Have you traveled to any of the above places? If so, we would love to hear your opinion on the best time to visit – and why.
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