When spending your money on travel, you want to make sure you get the most out of your experience by being well-planned and informed before hitting the““you don’t want to visit already-rainy Ireland during the rainy season or California’s Death Valley during a heat wave. That’s why it’s important to time your trip accordingly to make sure that you’re able to enjoy all the wonderful sights your destination has to offer and not get stuck in your hotel room. Check out the best places to visit during each season, and start planning your next vacation!

The Spring

As the weather across the Northern Hemisphere begins to thaw out from the winter, you may want to head a bit more south; countries along and near the Mediterranean coast are boasting favorable conditions, and as it’s just before the beginning of their tourist season, it will likely be less crowded as well. Consider planning trips to Spain, Portugal, or Greece around this time. Spring is also a great time to visit Africa for the same reasons; the weather is agreeable and hasn’t quite reached the unbearability of the summer months with heat and humidity. Springtime is not particularly conducive to travel in Asia; countries like Thailand and India are experiencing extreme heatwaves, and monsoon season is only just beginning to wind down near the end of spring.  I have enjoyed the bustle of Madrid, the fun shopping in Hania (Crete), and the laid back peaceful spirit of the Algarve region in Portugal.  A trip to Knossos is unforgettable,  You may decide to leave a footprint behind in these warm and friendly locations as you consider your return for retirement!

The Summer

If you’re hoping to travel to Europe, summer is your best bet. The warm weather and favorable climate make summer the peak season of travel for most of the continent; it’s also the best time to visit the countries of Northern Europe that are typically colder and drearier like the Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. If you head even farther north, you can explore countries like Iceland and Greenland where the sun is up around the clock. It’s also a great time of year to head to the southern hemisphere and visit Australia. While the cooler temperatures may make it too chilly to swim, it’s still a great time to explore the country and, since southern Australia is right in the middle of its winter season, you can even try skiing in the land down under!  My favorites for summertime include Paris and Avignon (Festival d’Avignon is a world class theatre event), and West End theatre in London.  Of course any time of the year is magical in Venice, but summertime will literally blow  your socks off!

The Fall

Autumn is a great time of year to travel to the countries in Europe that were too unpleasantly hot and humid to visit during the summer months. The Mediterranean — especially countries like Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Crete, and Greece — is lovely this time of year, and I can speak from personal experience that it’s a beautiful time of year to spend in Turkey. During the time that I lived and worked in Turkey (2015-2016), autumn was a memorable season on all the senses.  It’s beginning to cool down on this part of the globe and the mild temperatures that usually follow the high heat of summer makes it an exceptionally pleasant time to visit.  I guarantee you will taste the best peaches in the world during an Istanbul autumn, and they are everywhere in abundance at street markets.  The high quality of produce in Istanbul (divine tomatoes year ‘round)  is a cornucopia of taste and nutrition.

The Winter

Believe it or not, one of the best times to travel to the continent of Asia is during the winter months. Throughout most of the rest of the year, this part of the globe experiences extreme heat waves, humidity, and monsoons, but during the winter months the days are often sunny and the temperatures mild. While northern areas may experience some snow, areas in southern Asia like Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and the Maldives are beautiful this time of year. Winter is also a great time of year to check out the countries of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean while the temperatures are pleasant. But the perfect winter go-to for me will always be Poipu on the island of Kauai where I spent 4  years as a tanned Kama’aina in the 90’s in our own USA!