6 top tips for travelling Europe in winter
If you’re planning a holiday over the festive season in Europe, it won’t be a surprise to you that it will be pretty cold! You will need to be well prepared, well dressed and organised. Our top 6 tips for travelling through Europe in winter time will help get you on your way to your European winter holiday!
Travelling through Europe in winter
If there is only one thing you take from this post, this is the one.
Travelling in Europe in winter, you’ll need to be rugged up and wearing plenty of layers. You will be outside a lot, probably most of the day moving from sight to sight. If this is your first European winter, you will have the shock of your life! It is freezing and don’t underestimate how cold it stays even throughout the day.
The main reasons for layering up is because the moment you get inside anywhere, restaurants or museums or shops – they are extremely well heated so you will need to start taking layers of clothing off to be comfortable!
Click here for our packing guide for packing for a winter European holiday.
Because you’ll most likely be travelling over the festive season, it is a good idea to plan ahead to make sure everything is going to be open when you’re there and the opening hours as some places may have reduced hours due to the holiday time. I’d recommend pre-booking your tickets in advance, make sure they are open and you may even be in luck with shorter queue times as winter is often a lot less busy than the summer time!
If you’re going to be away for Christmas Day, you will need to book in advance. You also may want to include booking in advance for Christmas Eve. We found Christmas Eve to be far more busy than Christmas Day in Europe so best to book ahead.
Are you spending Christmas abroad? Here are our top ways on how to spend Christmas abroad!
Give yourself some extra travel time
The one thing about travelling in winter is that the weather can be unpredictable. We have been caught out before in St Anton, getting to Zurich. The train was delayed due to the snowfall. It may seem frustrating at the time but allowing an extra couple of hours ‘just in case’ is worth it. For us, it meant we didn’t miss our flight (we made it by 2 minutes!!). Despite us making the airport on time, our flight was delayed by 3 hours due to the weather!
Another example is our bus from Geneva to Val Thorens. There was a blizzard. So instead of taking a few hours, it took over 12 hours. It was a disaster but thankfully we were going to our ski destination rather than heading to the airport. For this reason, I would always recommend staying a night at your airport destination at the back-end, to allow for these disruptions. It may seem overkill, but paying for a new flight, in the peak holiday period is also not ideal!
Taking public transport
If you’re someone who likes to hire a car when travelling (like us), you may want to re-consider the winter. Driving on icy and snowy conditions can be tricky, not to mention driving on the other side of the road (click here for tips on that!).
I’d recommend taking public transport – leave the transport up to the locals and professionals. They know what they are doing and will most likely get you there safer than if you were to do it yourself!
Do you have travel insurance?
Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.
If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.
“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher