Seeing my headline today, you may in fact think you’ve come to the wrong place. Perhaps you think I have a screw loose. Or lost my mind. After all, I’m usually the one encouraging, advocating and inspiring you to travel to France and Italy. Every. Chance. I. Get.
I have admitted in the past that traveling to Italy may not be for everyone. And though I hope that my posts, photos, advice and musings here over the course of the last 4-plus-years, has either inspired or helped you plan a trip to Italy or France – today, I’m actually here to shock you once again by explaining why a summer trip to either of these locales, is not something I recommend to my clients.
Let me give you the reasons why:
1. Because it’s crowded. Everyone and their mother, especially those with children, makes plans to travel in the summer. Since the dawn of time, people have been planning, saving all year-long and looking forward to that summer vacation. What that means is long lines at museums, packed planes, buses, trains and cars on the road. I’d rather not fight the crowds and be able to get more done in less time, with less traffic.
2. Because it’s more expensive. How do you think airline industries, travel and tour companies and hotels react when they know that a deluge of visitors hit their cities? They will raise the prices to take advantage of the situation of course. Why? Because they can, that’s why. It’s considered high travel season, so you’ll pay premium prices for the two largest expenses you’ll incur – airfare and lodging.
3. Because you won’t have the best availability. It stands to reason that with more folks traveling to a given area, you may not get first choice on things like hotels, tours, excursions or even that special restaurant that you have been dying to try. This may force you to plan way ahead and even book museum visits and other excursions well in advance. Worse yet, for those who don’t have the luxury of planning in advance, it may lead to disappointment.
4. Because it’s hot. With the exception of some parts of northern locations in both Italy and France, most other areas will be downright sweltering in the heat of the summer. Not only can temperatures reach 100 degrees, but that sun beating down on you all day can be very, very strong and takes a lot out of you. Not only will it make sightseeing uncomfortable, you’ll likely be exhausted pretty quickly and won’t be able to accomplish as much as in more temperate weather.
5. Because locals in France and Italy are on vacation. With more and more people advocating mingling with the locals when traveling, summer will be a difficult time to do just that. Just when you’re arriving, they may be packing and heading out-of-town. So, that mom-and-pop restaurant, gourmet epicerie or artisan boutique that you’ve flown half way around the world to see, may be shuttered due to a vacation, which can often last all or part of July and August. It can also pose issues if you had your heart set on hiring *the* local-in-the-know tour guide. If they follow the rules of their culture, they’ll be taking some time off too.
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