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need advice on travelling times this summer!

need advice on travelling times this summer!

Old Mar 18th, 2003, 04:28 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 41
need advice on travelling times this summer!

I am planning a trip to Europe and I was planning on going the last week of June to visit family (London and Italy). I now have a friend who wants to travel too but won't be able to meet me until August. This is when we intend to head to Germany, Amsterdam, Paris around 10th of August. She is attending a wedding in Switz. august 30 but we want to travel together prior.
What I'm worried about is travelling in August I’ve heard about it being so busy and unpleasant, is this still true? I’m worried about not finding decent accommodations (hostels and modest hotels). I know that the south is extremely busy what about Germany and Amsterdam, Paris?? Is it better to postpone the whole trip and wait until September? Is there a difference is busy-ness between the first two weeks in September and middle of August or is it the same.
Any suggestions would be great. I will be a first time traveler to Europe.
Renata is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2003, 05:36 PM
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All of Europe is pretty crowded in August, Renata. Why are you worried about finding accommodations? Are you not planning to book in advance? That might be risky in August.
We've traveled in August in Europe quite a few times, but have always booked our hotels in advance. The only drawbacks are the heat, the crowds, and, in Paris in particular, the fact that quite a few things are closed because the Parisians are on vacation. I actually like Paris in August, but you can't expect every place you've read or dreamed about to be open - museums, etc., of course are, but not every restaurant or shop.
StCirq is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2003, 05:21 AM
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We went to Paris in august once, and that is definitely the last time. Never again under ANY circumstances. It's too hot, really hot, no AC, everything is closed, blech.
mariacallas is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2003, 07:17 AM
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I live in Zurich, and what I have found in August in Europe generally is that the smaller (and to me more charming) shops and restaurants are either closed or on very limited opening hours. If you can travel after the wedding on August 30, that would be better.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2003, 09:27 AM
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i traveled all around from september 1-30. of course you deal with lines at some places, but, i did not find that crowds were a huge problem. the weather was wonderful.

i was in southern germany, austria, amsterdam, paris, london, brugges... all during that time.
gsgal is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2003, 12:10 PM
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I've been in Paris in early September and enjoyed it a lot. It's a different atmosphere than the summer vacation month of August, but it's definitely *not* an unbusy time. In fact, you will likely be more able to find a hotel room in August (when many Parisian hotels have discounts because it's less busy for them) than in September, which is one of the busiest hotel months in Paris. If you plan ahead, you'll certainly be able to book a modest hotel room in Paris for August. Hostels may be another story, I don't know how their vacancies would be in the two months, I'd guess they are fuller in August due to traveling students on vacation.

I might postpone until September for weather reasons, or just because it's less of the vacant, everyone on vacation time, and because there will be few performances in August (concerts, ballet, etc) which are important to me -- however, not because of difficulty finding a hotel room. Don't know about Germany.
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Old Mar 19th, 2003, 01:00 PM
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I have only been to Paris once and it happened to be in August. It was beautiful!

(mariacallas is posting negative comments on many threads recently.. as you can figure for yourself most certainly "everything" in Paris is not "closed")

We did make hotel reservations ahead of time. The weather was gorgeous and the city is amazing. Period.
suze is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2003, 08:08 PM
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thank you all for your advice. Its so much better thank pondering should I's or shouldn't I's. I'm noticing that it is quite a personal opinion but hte majority suggesting that September is better.
st cirq-I was planning on booking I'm just afraid that a majority of the low budget accom. will be gone that's why I need to decide fast! what did you find there in particular was closed?
gsgal- were prices for accom. and restaurants beginning to come down in the first two weeks of august or is there not much of a difference at this point?

In overall I don't think I am too worried about France and Amsterdam but more so of Paris and other areas in France. For the popular 'closed' signs everywhere. Will keep you posted on my decision.
Thanks everybody!
Renata is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2003, 05:31 AM
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If you have a choice, I'd visit Paris in September rather than in August. I live in a hot state and honestly, I thought I'd die in Paris in August, and my room had air conditioning. Then I understood why so many Parisians go on holiday in August.

And I happen to disagree with the comment below by the rude poster who has never been to Paris in September. As you know, weather varies. It was frustrating that so many desireable places were closed, no, not all of them, just many of the favorites.
mariacallas is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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I live in a very hot place (Wash DC) and don't find France typically that hot in summer at all. In fact, July is statistically hotter than August in Paris in several sources I've seen (they vary a little, but Aug. is not hotter than July. Here is a nice summary page of Paris weather with Meteo France stats which demonstrates that fact:

I have been to Paris in July numerous times and it was very rarely that hot. In fact, August has an advantage over July because it doesn't rain as much on avg. I have never used air conditioning in Paris in July and I've been there for the entire month twice.

It is a slower, vacation month of course, that's the main thing that would concern me. Most things are not closed, only some restaurants and small shops. No museum or tourist attraction is closed. I think the very luxe expensive places (such as Michelin starred restaurants) tend to be the ones closed, but that shouldn't concern you.

In Paris, many hotels have 10-20 pct discounts in August, actually. However, these would likely be above the real low budget level you are seeking.
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 06:54 PM
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Correction: (should read - the rude poster above - and an aside to her)
I have not made any negative comments on any boards ever.

On another thread you said, "I'm not willing to bad-mouth a city, hotel, or restaurant publicly". It's odd that you would bad-mouth an undeserving human being so readily.
mariacallas is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2003, 05:01 PM
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ok so here I am back again and have decided on going this summer. I figure this is the time for me right now as i just graduated from university and have the time to travel longer period.
So for the last little while I have been on the planning of where I want to go and would like your HELP!! (maribel and bobthe navigator feel free to jump in!
We plan to see portugal, spain, italy (i'll worry about the other destinations for another chat time). My mother and I will be together for 5 weeks (2.5 weeks spain and portugal & 2.5 weeks italy) She is flying out of Toronto, Canada and I out of London, U.K(after seeing a relative there). We will meet sometime between June 29-July 1st. Our interests in Spain are (primarily madrid and barcelona with day trips still to plan.
On a side note: We were thinking about training from barcelona through southern france to end up in Genova, Italy but we are realizing its really not within our budget to spend time in this area due to the season and we don't like quick overnight or one day one night stops. We like getting the full fell for things. Instead we may take a plane from Barcelona to Genova depending on cost of course where we will be stying with family in Sevona. SOoooo we are choosing to spend more of our time in Portugal (still VERY interesting and less expensive).
1) My question is with with 2.5 weeks what is best: to arrive in Portugal (lisbon or Porto) and then head east (by train) towards Madrid OR to meet in Madrid then side trip portugal (by train) leaving from Toledo or salamanca and then head to a city in Portugal (portalegre, evora, guarda) any others recommended?? pLease mention small villages too if possible.

2)Are the beaches in portugal in July overcrowded? would you go?
Our interests for Portugal are to really take in culture, scenery see small villages, relax, possibly head to a beach if possible, some sightseeing.
Cities we plan to see near madrid are:
el escorial
other suggestions for places?? i think we would dedicate about 7-8 days for this. I should mention that we will be staying just outside of Madrid in Mostoles.

We want to stay in Barcelona (4-5 days)(from madrid thinking of getting there by train as we will both have eurail or by plane to save sometime to savour more of Barcelona- then off to Genova!! I appreciate all your help. I may not be as organized with my plans quite yet as others that i have seen. But I value so much the opinion on this chat. as a budget treaveller I have used lonelyplanet but I find this site so much better for GREAT trave advice...I have resorted to lonely planet striclty for accomodations.
thanks a bunch,
Renata is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2003, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Some places require reservations, others don't. Example: Last summer we traveled in July, made a reservation for a 2 star hotel in Lyon the morning of our arrival; but needed no reservations in Bourg en Bresse and Troyes. Nor did we need reservations in Orthez. But we had reservations, and would have needed them, in Langeais (late June) and Blois. We had problems in Bourges because of a convention. Other years we couldn't get a room within 30 km. of Beaune, but had no problems in the Bourbonnais and the Massif Central. If you plan to stop in well-known tourist locations, get a reservation. If you plan off the beaten track travel, you probably can do it without a reservation.
Michael is online now  
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