What’s The Best Season To Travel?

I’m a summer-loving person. Don’t like the cold and tend to avoid traveling to places that are shivering through winter. Maybe that’s why I’ve never seen snow before.

That’s not to say I think visiting a place in the midst of frosty temperatures isn’t worthwhile. I’m sure there are loads to see and do, just like in summer, spring and autumn.

Pink but thirsty flowers in Melbourne's spring | Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring.

Pink but thirsty flowers in Melbourne’s spring | Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring.

It’s hard to pick a perfect time of the year to travel, be it a trip abroad or a few kilometers from our backyard. Each season is beautiful in its own right.

When we visit a place during a certain season, we have the opportunity of seeing and doing things particular to that season. Travel to Japan when it’s spring over there, you’ll see cherry blossoms in their full pink bloom. Europe’s fairly cool summers makes it a good time to visit its beaches then. Visit Canada in the winter and you can have the time of your life skiing on its snowy slopes like the Big White.

When I was fourteen, my parents took me on a one-week trip to Melbourne (I was studying in Singapore then) in December, the first month of summer in Australia. My parents wanted to pick strawberries here and summer was the season for this. We did just that at a strawberry farm in the east and the mild 18’C temperature made squatting down and grabbing these fruits very bearable.

Some say it’s best to travel to a place where it’s spring. Spirited spring, a season where flowers bloom, birds chirp and temperatures are pleasantly balmy. But Mother Nature is always fickle. You can have a sourly cold spring day and a scorcher the next, at least in Melbourne where we can have four seasons in one day. And earlier this winter and spring in the northern hemisphere, Niagra Falls froze over twice. A rare marvelous sight, actually.

A few years ago, I visited Malaysia’s Penang during the cooler monsoonal period of December. It didn’t rain when I was there. Instead, every day was a hideously hot 35’C (95’F), sweat creeping down my back each time I left an air-conditioned place.

Some say the worst time to visit a place is when it’s going through biting winters. Snowstorms, slippery roads, travel delays and frostbite are just a few of the unfavourable conditions we might have to put up with. Not to mention the bulky winter clothing we need to lug around, which is a pet peeve of mine.

There’s also not forgetting budgets and timing when it comes to choosing the best “season” to travel. My parents always took me on holidays to Malaysia when the mid-and-end-of-year school holidays in Singapore rolled around – we were all free to travel together then and it didn’t cost us too much to drive up to Kuala Lumpur.

So what’s the best season to travel? It depends. Depends on where we’re going, what we want to do, how much we can afford to spend. Some of us travel to escape the freezing winters or blistering summers at home. Then there are some of us who travel for the love of life and seeing the world regardless of season. It’s down to personal preference.

As for the best time of the year to travel to Melbourne? We have summer in December and winter in June, so if you like to shiver come down in the middle of the year and beginning/end if you like surfing. We don’t have snow unless you go up to our mountains and heat waves don’t happen too often. Personally, I think it’s great to visit Melbourne any time of the year. Never too hot, too cold or too wet to try a lamington or a Tim Tam.

Do you travel to a country during a particular season? What’s your favourite season?

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52 thoughts on “What’s The Best Season To Travel?

  1. Agree that fall & spring are great times to travel…so much activity (wildlife and within cities) during this time of year. The colors as well make everything so pleasing to the eyes and I think biologically we are happier and more in-tune to chase our dreams during this time of the year. But these are also the very reasons why a nice crisp/cold winter day with ice & snow can be so rewarding…kind of like a walk on the wild side 🙂

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    • Love how you describe the seasons, Randall. Widlife and animals, I completely forgot about that while thinking about seasons. Naturally spring and autumn are the best seasons for these creatures. I alawys feel sorry for the animals hiding away at the zoo on a 30’C plus day. Not only are do they feel uncomfortable, tourists who visit might not get a glimpse of them.

      “…more in-tune to chase our dreams” in spring. It’s a season of a new beginning, a time when we’re probably tired and stiff from the cold and wanting to get up and show the world what we we can do. We can feel warm in winter – just crank up the heater. But I’m sure this is true – no one wants to spend a trip overseas holed up in a heated room. Why anyone would do that is beyond me. I’m sure we would all prefer to brace the angry wild winter anytime over that 🙂

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  2. You’ve never seen snow? I don’t like the cold, but the more experiences the better. Do you want to see snow? Isn’t it odd watching Christmas movies all your life and never feeling that substance in real life?

    I grew up in four seasons, and moved to tropical zones the last decade of my life — first southern California than southern China/southeast Asia. I don’t miss extreme cold, I’d be fine never seeing snow again forever. Yet I still find it odd how so many people in the world don’t get all the seasons.

    But summer is the time to travel, indeed.

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    • Nope, Ray. Never seen snow before. Never. I’ve seen hail, though. It hails quite a bit in Melbourne in the winter and sometimes spring. I’ve always wondered why children in movies looked so happy when they see snow. Yes, I would like to see and touch snow – but touching for like five minutes. Then I’d probably run inside somewhere warm and watch from inside but I hear that is not as fun as getting wet underneath falling snow.

      Thanks for sharing your travels. It sounds like you’ve adjusted well to the tropical, humid weather. I guess it’s always easy to travel in such a climate. You only have to be prepared for one weather condition. I find it even more odd that some people haven’t heard much other seasons and that the northern and southern hemisphere have different seasons at different times of the year.

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    • Pardon me, but what is GOC? I thought you meant Great Ocean Road? It’s almost midnight here and I’ve had a long day at work, haha!

      It has been raining quite a bit lately in Melbourne and strangely I am enjoying it. Have to wear a decent pair of runners to keep myself from slipping in the puddles. I tried flip flops the other day…I walked as slow as a snail!

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  3. It is always hard to say when to visit certain places.
    Europe is usually always good to visit during summer time so you may xperience some warmer days. However you may have a terrible time in middle Europe where it rains all the time in summer or you have 35+ Degrees celsius during your trip, the weather changes just too much here all the time. Especially in southern Europe it may be too hot during high summer, as not too many people enjoy going around at 38+ except when enjoying time at the beach.

    It can be said that the right travel season depends solely upon the preferences of the person who is traveling. Whoever likes winter / wintersports should go during winter or early spring when snow is massing up the most. Who likes to have a more “fresh” experience of the climate would be adviced visiting most countries during late spring or early autumn and so forth.

    I personaly prefer going for example to middle China during very late summer or early autmn to have lower temperatures which makes it much more enjoyable. As I had to experience the past years terrible cold winter nearly every single time I would love to go to a warm and sunny place during winter time (other plans always got in the way…)

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    • Europe sounds quite like Melbourne then, with all it’s changing temperatures. I was thinking more along the lines of England, where the weather isn’t too unpredictable and just nice enough for the beach – comfortable. But then again, there are some eager backpackers who don’t mind extreme conditions, think students who are on a gap year and ready to visit any place, any season.

      I’m with you on that the best season depends on the person traveling. Usually when we travel, we are always after experiencing something new, right in line with your preference to travel to warmer places when it’s cold at home. That way you would get your money and time’s worth too, and makes up for missing your loved ones. A lot of my relatives in Malaysia always insist on traveling to cooler, wintry climates to escape Malaysia’s tropical heat. Europe in the middle of the year is a popular choice with them. They insist adamantly on it. It’s scary to argue with them and try to change their minds. Trust me.

      Plans alawys, always get screwed on trips at some point. If it’s not the unpredictable, unpleasant weather, it’s trying to find something decent to eat 🙂

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      • I always plan very much ahead but leave room for possible changes/ research some extra when I am at my destination (as I wrote somewhere else before, I love planning trips).
        This means that usually my plans dont get totaly messed up even when the weather doesnt play along or similar situations 🙂

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        • It’s always good to leave time for extra activities on trips. You can always squeeze in spontaneous activities or try and do that activity then that you initially planned but couldn’t do earlier. You sound like a great planner – a great planner who can take care of everyone on a trip. Good on you 😀

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    • I’m far off from having children (too young!), but as others around me say, children grow up very quickly. I’m sure pretty soon you will be able to go off on an adventure on your own, or even better, bring them along for the fun.

      Spring and fall are always camera-friendly seasons. Lots of colours and dew everywhere so you should have a lot of fun with your camera on your travels. Another reason to travel these times of the year 🙂

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  4. Spring is perfect. On the warmer side but not too hot… in most places. Although certain destinations occasionally call for a winter trip. Europe in winter is pretty amazing… but it’s great in summer too. Having experienced a white Christmas in Poland a few years back, I am glad we had that opportunity. But more so, I prefer my holidays with warmer weather so you can cut down on the luggage, the layers and just be generally more comfortable minus the cold!

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    • You’re so lucky to have experienced a white Christmas in Poland! I’m sure you saw snow everywhere and even got to touch it…maybe get your tongue on it too. Some people actually find the cold more bearable than the hot, but I suppose it’s down to each individual’s personal preference. You’re right, you cut down on bringing too bulky winter clothes with you when you travel in the warmer seasons, which means more room for souveniers!

      I hear the best time to travel to Queensland is actually winter. The weather there is tropical and doesn’t change too drastically like Melbourne’s 🙂

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      • I’d still recommend spring in Queensland or maybe the start of autumn because I dislike cold lol but the white Christmas was an amazing experience. A whole lotta snow 🙂

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        • Thanks for the tip. Seems like spring and autumn are ideal seasons to travel. I heard it gets real hot up in Queensland in the summer, and combined with the humidity blowing down from the tropics, the heat becomes nearly unbearable. But if my only choice is to head over to your city in summer, I’m up for the challenge. A challenge for you might be to come down to Melbourne in winter 😀

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  5. Spring and autumn are beautiful. I’ve seen camels, kangaroos, koalas, dolphins, eagles, deer and grizzly bears in their own habitats. My first winter experience was in my late 20’s. It snowed on Christmas day as we reached Germany. Picture perfect. White Christmas, indeed! 🙂 I’m enjoying four seasons as I spent three decades in Southeast Asia. I lived in Singapore and Malaysia (like you) before moving here in a cold country. I miss the sun and the rain back home… the people and the hospitality. And the food, of course! 🙂

    I also check the ‘off season’ months when traveling to a new destination to save on flights and accommodation. Booking ahead of time or joining an arranged group tour via a travel agency also saves money. Plus, the activities matching the season (dog sledding in winter, wildlife sightings in spring, beach bumming in summer and fall foliage tour in autumn). I also consider festivals or annual events for a new experience like Vivid Sydney, F1 season in Sepang Circuit (end of March), Great Singapore Sale, Dubai Sale Festival, Christmas markets, etc.)

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    • So many people I’ve known who have lived in Southeast Asia always, always enjoy experiencing four seasons! You’re just like them! And you’re just like me…how funny is that 🙂

      What great timing you had in Germany. I guess if you’re enjoying your time on a trip, things will fall into place. I hope you took a lot of photos of the snow – and you playing in the snow – so as to remember the moment. I bet you even tried to build a snowman and dress it up! On the subject of food, I don’t think many people visit a country just to sample its authentic cuisine based on seasons (unless you’re a chef). It isn’t a popular kind of seasonal attraction, in my opinion. Sure, we have food guides telling us what’ good to eat in this season and that (e.g. salads in summer, hot chocolate in winter) but not usually do travel agencies incorporate an “eating adventure” in their packages.

      Definitely you can save a lot on money if you travel during off-peak seasons. However, that might mean traveling alone or with a very few people. That’s great if you like small groups, like me. Festivals are also always something to consider checking out in a foreign land. Sounds like you know a lot about Australia 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and reading.

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        • I miss the food in Asia too. I am craving Maggi Goreng really badly. It doesn’t taste the same here in Melbourne. Maybe your local Asian grocery stores sell sachet packets of Old Town White Coffee, and that can warm you up 😀

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  6. I will generally travel whenever, probably because the snow doesn’t bother me and I love outdoor activities like skiing and skating! I’ve never been to the Rockies and would love to visit one winter…one day…

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    • I guess if you’re not too fussy about seasons and don’t mind the weather, you won’t be too bothered by how hot or cold a place is. If it rains, you wear a poncho. If it’s hot, wear a T-shirt. If it’s snowing, throw on another cardigan. You just roll with what Mother Nature throws at you and enjoy your outdoor activities.

      Wish hard…wish hard you’ll visit the Rockies one day… Because wishes come true 😀

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  7. Nice to see your views and experiences here, Mabel.
    Here in south India, we have got only two seasons, rainy season and summer 🙂
    As far as Kerala is concerned, there is something, to see and explore throughout the year.
    It’s so difficult to move around during the monsoon months of June to September, but you could see the nature at it’s best during this time.
    The summer months from Feb to May are so hard even for natives like us, but it’s the season of some of the most colorful festivals in the world.
    For people who prefers a moderate climate, Nov and Dec are there for them.
    As you said, it all depends on the taste of the person who travels 🙂

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    • Nice to see you stopping by, Sreejith. I’ve never heard of winter in India, so I am right. So it’s either very hot or very wet in India.

      I suppose when the monsoon season rolls around in your area, the rain is torrential up to the point there are floods in the dirt roads. In the hotter months, I’m guessing the heat is stifling and you’ll feel like you’re in an oven – not many trees in the city areas. India is quite a big country, though, and certainly not all parts of it experience such drastic weather conditions.

      When I visit India someday, I would like to roam about its scenic lands like you do a lot of the time…so I think I’ll come in the moderate climate months you suggested 🙂

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        • I will have an even better understanding of India when I visit the country. And meet you in person, of course 😀

          November to February…that’s peak traveling. I’m not a fan of big hordes of people, but I’m sure I’ll have a good time anyway if I choose to go then.

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  8. I LOVE Japan in the Autumn: especially if you are there long enough to appreciate the progression of colours from green shades through the magnificent reds, orange and burgundy! However Spring in either Japan or China is still on my bucket list…Cherry blossom season is what I want to savour.

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    • Sounds like you had a good time in Japan, that’s great to hear. Holidaying in Japan for a full year would be appropriate if we wanted to experience all the progression of colours of nature there. Come to think of it, this sounds like fun. I hear the food (or tastes of certain dishes) also changes according to season in Japan, and the best months for eating certain sushis and fish are April and May.

      Cherry blossom season… So many of us see this season in pictures and long to see it with our very own eyes in reality. Keep dreaming, Maureen, because dreams come true 🙂

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  9. Enjoy reading your travel experience and stories. We normally travel between late May and August because it’s our vacation time, not many choices…

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    • Thanks, Amy. Traveling in the middle of the year seems to be a popular choice. As you’ve said, it’s vacation time for many of us then. Traveling with the ones you love is always entertaining 🙂

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  10. I have to travel a lot for my business, mostly in Europe and Asia, but often in the states to cities like Las Vegas. I used to use sites like Travelocity to book my flights and lodging, but I stumbled upon the better way to find deals: go to the second level sites – those like http://hotelsmixmatch.com who compare the hundreds of different booking sites in one single search. You’ll not only see Trivago or Expedia deals, but ALL OF THEM in one place.

    I must have saved over 3,000 Euros since I started using them. I sincerely believe that using only one of the top booking sites is not necessarily the best idea.

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    • They’re definitely a lot of travel and hotel agencies out there, so it take a bit of poking around to find the best travel deal that works out best for you. Second level or smaller, niche independent sites do offer travel package comparisons, which is something those who travel a lot might want to check out.

      Hope you rack up frequent flyer points since you travel so often for business. Eventually you’ll accumulate enough points to get a few free flights.

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  11. Tough one to answer. The best times for any particular place are also the most crowded and most popular, and therefore most expensive times. It really depends on what you want to see and do.

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    • Yes, tough question but not tough enough to stump the Dragon 😀 So true. As long as we have a trip lined up with activities that we look forward to doing, I suppose we’ll put up with the weather conditions, bad or good. There are so many other things to worry about than the weather.

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  12. I think spring is the best time. And the worst time for me – independently of the season but worse if it’s also cold – is if it’s also raining. Really, there’s not much you can see when all is wet and grey and you are under an umbrella… In places where it snows, as long as you have warm clothes to protect you (and believe me, I HATE the cold) I prefer snow than rain! xx

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    • Hehehe. You always struck me as a winter person who loves the cold, Sofia. Maybe it’s because you have a tendency to make hearty, heart-and-body-warming meals 😉

      It’s always hard to go places when there’s torrential rain. Really, you only see water, water, everywhere and you might even want to hide from it!

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  13. The problem with living in Canada, is that one has to spend enough money just to get somewhere where the climate is completely different, I mean radically different. Both Canada and U.S. are very large countries. Canada alone has 5 time zones, etc. It’s over 5,000 km. from west coast to east coast. It’s like…Siberia but not as cold in all areas. 🙂 Just freakin’ huge.

    So I would have to fly south into the U.S. approx. 800 km. or more or 1,000 km. to Hawaii to get tropical climates.

    For most time zones in North America, my favourite season is fall: since there are some large wilderness tracts and some cities with lots of deciduous trees, the leaf colour is wonderfully brilliant red/orange and yellow. Temperatures range from warm/hot to cool, just beautiful. Summer in British Columbia coast is lovely vs.near desert hot 500km. inland in British Columbia where it’s one of Canada’s wine-producing regions. (Ginger root and ginseng is becoming a cash crop there….).

    I don’t enjoy humid summers in Toronto of nearly 90%+ humidity and @ 30 degrees C or more. But all of southern Ontario and Quebec can be like that.

    Alberta can get hot but it’s a dry heat and we get lots of wind…since it’s flat prairie land until one reaches the Rocky Mountains.

    Have you been to North America for a length of time?

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    • I hear Canada has a pretty cool climate for most of the year and that a lot of its winters are frigid. It’s good to know that Canada is a big place – plenty of towns for you to travel to when you feel like it and you can take your bicycle places. I’m thinking if you were to go on a bike trip somewhere, spring and autumn would be the best seasons. It must be uncomfortable to cycle in winter with the wind blowing against your face :/

      I’ve never been to North America or Canada. Would love too someday, though. If I were to go to your part of the world, it would definitely be in the summer as I am not a fan of the cold. Which would mean missing out, as you mention, on seeing the wonderfully brilliant red/orange/yellow leaves in fall. But I hope the ice-cream up north will make-up for it 🙂

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