The Best Time to Travel to Alaska, Europe and Elsewhere

By AMA Staff

Timing certainly affects price, but it impacts other factors as well. When you go and when you book your trip can determine how much you get out of it. Follow our guide on the best time to travel in order to land the best vacation value on your next trip. 

Best weather: From June through August, expect highs in the low to mid 20s. May is quite dry, but by August the chance of rainfall increases to 50 percent daily.

Less crowded/lower prices: Go in May or June to spot newborn animals in Denali National Park. In August and September, prices can be up to 25 percent lower than in busier months.

Book your trip: A year in advance for cruises or six months out for land vacations to ensure the best rates and availability.

One more thing: To see the northern lights, go in January, February or March—and bundle up!

Best weather: From December to April, there’s little rainfall, less humidity and temps climb to 30 C.

Less crowded/lower prices: Plan to go in May and June or late November to mid-December. Skip Easter and Spring Break when family travel and prices pick up.

Caribbean destinations to suit your travel style

Book your trip: Six months or more in advance to get the resort and dates you want. Popular places like Cuba and Mexico fill up fast. For a cruise, reserve as soon as the ship’s inventory opens (about two years out).

One more thing: Southern islands like Bonaire, Curaçao and Barbados lie below the hurricane belt and are rarely affected by major storms.

Best weather: For max sunshine, go in summer, though heat-sensitive travellers may find sweltering temperatures uncomfortable in areas like Italy and Croatia.

Less crowded/lower prices: Travel in April and May or September and October, when everything is cheaper. You should still get plenty of warm days.

Book your trip: Plan a year in advance. If you want to join a cruise or tour, check with your travel consultant for CAA member benefits.

One more thing: For a river cruise, go in November or December to enjoy the world-famous Christmas markets.

Best weather: The southern hemisphere’s summer runs from November to February. It’ll be like taking an extra spring or summer vacation!

Don’t get tripped up by a trip cancellation or interruption

Less crowded/lower prices: For spring-like weather and thinner crowds in Peru, Chile and Brazil, plan your trip for September to November.

Book your trip: Book as far in advance as you can, due to limited capacity at popular sites, including Machu Picchu and the Galapagos.

One more thing: January and February are peak rainy season—which means water and fog might obscure views from Machu Picchu and other archaeological hot spots.