October has arrived which means it’s (in my opinion) the best time to travel to Europe! This is the perfect time for an autumn getaway abroad… okay, if I’m being honest, I think it’s always the right time to be in Europe.
But as a traveler I’ve had amazing luck with trips overseas during this time of year. While I shared my adventures over Instagram stories, those disappeared. Plus, I feel like they only tell a fraction of the story of why I love places like Paris and Rome oh-so much. So today I’m kicking off a series that will share details on my trips, lessons I’ve learned, and things I’ve loved along the way.
Now I don’t think this series will be anyone’s ultimate Europe travel guide. But I do think having gone into this experience as a novice that I’ve got some easy wins and epic fails I can share. And hopefully they’ll help you make any foray into cultural exploration a little (or a lot!) smoother.
“Europe” is a big place. Let’s get specific:
Off-peak travel is something that’s becoming difficult to define. Travel was projected to surge 600% from 2021 to 2022 (NPR) due to restrictions on travel from during the pandemic. It’s like once everyone realized they couldn’t travel they decided to YOLO by way of taking the trips they’d always dreamt of ASAP.
That being said, I’ll be referring to my experiences which happen to all take place in October. For my destinations, October is part of the traditional “shoulder” season. For those of you who don’t know, “Shoulder season is the travel period between the peak (or high) season and off (or low) season”), according to Going.com—formerly known as Scott’s Cheap Flights.
Between the trips I’ve taken, I’ve spent about 6 weeks in Europe, with the majority of the time in Paris, France. I’ve traveled with one person (my husband), a few people (my pals Liz and Kim) and a large group (my Atlas Adventures crew).
I speak passable French, never studied abroad, worship Samantha Brown, Stanley Tucci, and Anthony Bourdain. Oh and I LOVE to eat.
I’ve been a Francophile since I was a wee tyke, singing along to “Be Our Guest” in Disney’s rendition of Beauty & the Beast. I studied French in college but somehow I blinked and was suddenly 30 years old. I realized that at some point, I had to make “some day” a reality.
Travel is a luxury I don’t take for granted, and decided there was no better time to claim the opportunity than my honeymoon! Then, I figured since we were already buying the plane tickets to get overseas, well… we might as well make the most of it! I wrote a post on our trip shortly after we returned. But I never got the time to actually get around to individual destinations. I got overwhelmed because there was SO much to cover. But this time around I’m taking it slow, and going bit-by-bit!
I’m not an expert or a professional, but I had a fabulous time, and love talking about some of my favorite places in the world. Hopefully you’ll gain some good tips, and have a wonderful adventure, too!