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June or August: Ireland/London/Belgium/Paris

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Jul 27th, 2015, 10:02 AM
  #1
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June or August: Ireland/London/Belgium/Paris

Hi, My husband and I are taking our two middle schoolers to Europe next summer. We plan to spend the majority of our time split between Ireland and Belgium plus a few days in Paris and London just so they can get a quick taste of those cities.

Recently, we've traveled in the fall but with taking the kids, we can't do that. We can go the last two weeks of June or the 2nd and 3rd weeks of August. Which would be better in terms of crowds/prices/closures, etc? Since the majority or our time outside of Ireland will be spent in cities, I'm thinking August might be better since many residents leave the city then, so it could be less crowded? But do things close down in August?

Thanks for any and all opinions!
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Jul 27th, 2015, 10:30 AM
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No the contrary IMO - residents leaving cities like Paris in August have little impact on long lines at museums and tourist sights like the Eiffel Tower and hotel rooms - mid-June is still before the high season rush of August when yes many Europeans vacation and come to places like London, Paris, etc.

Ireland too.

I would say definitely mid-June is a more optimal time - hotels easier to find in your price range and museum lines considerably less.
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Jul 27th, 2015, 11:59 AM
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I'd never go I. August unless I had to (and I have to next month because of a special event)

The days are longer, the weather is generally better, the crowds are smaller, air fares are less . . . All in June.
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Jul 27th, 2015, 12:00 PM
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Meant to add , European and UK schools don't break til July so June is generally much less crowded.
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Jul 27th, 2015, 12:22 PM
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June can be cheaper too on air fares and available hotel room selection being wider.
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Jul 27th, 2015, 12:51 PM
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Thanks all. That was my initial thought as well, June is better. Then I was reading an overview of Belgium on, I think Fodors, and it said that August is a good time to visit the cities for the above reasons. Hence my question.

My kids get out of school june 14 plus snow days so it could be as late as the 17th. They might have an obligation starting June 27 which could throw a wrench into the June plans. So I was hoping there was something to this August thing.
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Jul 27th, 2015, 02:12 PM
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June 14? Good gosh, where are you?

Um, how old are the kids? You're talking about four destinations in 14 days with "most" of your time in Belgium and Ireland with just "tastes" of London and Paris - that could be a LOT of moving around. Do you have a scratch itinerary?
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Jul 27th, 2015, 02:23 PM
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I don't know about Ireland nor even Brussels/Belgium but hotels are a lot cheaper in August than in June in Paris.

June is Paris is totally overbooked (Le Bourget, fashion week, Roland Garros) whilst August has not that and nobody works in France in August.

Basically the Belgians take their holiday sooner (civil works holiday usually start around 10 of july for 2-3 weeks). And I have no idea of the vacancy of hotels in Bruxelles during summer.
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Jul 28th, 2015, 01:11 AM
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Don't know where you're from, but if you don't like hot weather and are used to living with central air conditioning, you should not come in August.

Nobody can predict the weather with any certainty - it has hit the low 40's C several times already this year, and the last two days it has only reached about 21C - most unusual, as the rest of the year has been. But historically, mid-to-late August is when the worst of it happens.

Today's news stated that many more French nationals are planning to visit Paris - an increase of 18% over last year - since money is tight. Many more shops and restaurants are taking abbreviated vacations - since the economy is so bad, they're trying to make up for the year's losses. The Italians, Swiss and Germans make up a large group of visitors, too.

The days of a blissfully empty Paris in August - or pretty much anytime - are over.
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Jul 28th, 2015, 07:40 AM
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Big Russ: We are in Eastern PA, I guess June 14 is considered late? They start around Labor Day.

Kids will be 14 & 13. We know it is moving around a lot but we are accustomed to that type of travel. We don't have any specific itineraries mapped out other than probably spending the time in the West/Southwest part of Ireland--you know, where all the masses will be. And in Belgium, focusing on Bruges to Brussels. My ancestral town is outside of Ghent so I do want to check that out. We will spend no more than one day in London. I've studied, lived and worked there over the years and my husband has spent a good deal of time there as well. So the kids will literally get the European Vacation treatment--look kids, it's Big Ben! They can go back on their own dime later to check it out more. Paris will be 2+ days, again, giving them a quick glimpse and they can decide to return later if they want.

Manouche: Thanks for the insight on the changing economy/habits. We are from the mid atlantic so are used to muggy heat waves. This year, the worst so far has been June for us, so I know weather can be a crapshoot and you cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Now I get the appeal of homeschooliing--you can plan your travels when everyone is back in school and not have to deal with the crowds, heat and extra expense and hassle. Just a few more years of schooling though and we'll be back to that schedule.
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Jul 28th, 2015, 09:25 AM
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>>the West/Southwest part of Ireland--you know, where all the masses will be.<<

Not if you go in June. The biggest crowds (in all your proposed destinations really) don't hit til mid July through the end of August/early Sept.)
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