While your friends may be gearing up for a jam-packed summer holiday in Europe, prices are skyrocketing right along with the temperature. But don’t give in to the peer pressure quite yet! Your dream of strolling the winding streets of Paris, floating the canals of Venice, or exploring the alleyways of Dubrovnik can quickly turn from picturesque to one giant queue during peak travel season. Check off your bucket list destinations and experiences without the headache, crowds and cost by waiting until November through March, the off season, to book your dream trip.

Save your wallet

An obvious draw for off-season travel is the amazing deals you can score. With fewer tourists comes less demand so that you, savvy traveler, can save. Flight prices tend to drop, and paying less for your tiny seat and three pretzels in economy is always a win. Take that cash to the bank (or maybe a fancy rooftop bar for a celebratory cocktail?). Accommodation is also more available, so whether it’s the 5-star hotel of your dreams or the AirBnB you’ve had on your wishlist, it could be yours for a fraction of the peak season cost.

Less sun? No worries!

The days may be shorter in the winter, but don’t let that bring you down. Thinking of booking a magical sunrise session with Flytographer? In many parts of Europe, sunrise can start as early as 4:30 in summer, but during the winter, it’s much later. Not only will you have the picturesque spots to yourself, but a 7:30 or 8 a.m. start time actually feels do-able. An early sunset is the perfect excuse for an early night in, snuggling by the fire or soaking in a warm bubble bath before bed. You won’t need a “vacation from your vacation” by the end of your trip, and you can return home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Embrace the holiday cheer!

Some destinations are meant to be experienced with a side of magical snowfall and a cute, fuzzy sweater. Countries like Norway and Sweden are some of the best places in the world to view the aurora borealis, and further embrace the winter wonderland with cross-country skiing in national parks or husky mushing. While the famous Christmas markets in Vienna or Munich might be packed with visitors, seeking out smaller towns will reward you with a true fairy tale atmosphere. Warm your fingers with a cup of mulled wine, and grab a fresh-baked gingerbread cookie or three for the road!


Follow the sunshine

If winter coats aren’t quite your thing, there are still plenty of warmer destinations to explore. The Andalucía region of Spain retains mild temperatures through the winter, so you can explore standout cities like Granada or Seville without the crowds or the melt-your-shoes heat. Plus, tapas and a lively nightlife scene can be found year round. If you or your travel partner is a major history buff, a Mediterranean city like Athens, Greece is calling your name. Take a stroll through the past at the Acropolis, and with smaller crowds, you won’t have to worry about 500 people photobombing your Parthenon photo.

While foregoing your summer trip for a winter one might not immediately come to mind, it’s truly the way to go for a more relaxed and authentic experience. Europe is calling your name any time of the year.