Knowing when to travel to places in the world is even more important than where in the world to go. For instance, you don’t want to go to India in June during monsoon season. Conversely, you must remember that a trip to the opposite hemisphere means opposite weather. It seems pretty simple, but many people don’t know when to go places. So, here is my advice on the best time to visit each continent.
When to travel to… North America
North America is obviously a very big and diverse place even with only 3 countries, assuming you don’t count Central America or the Caribbean. Starting from the north, anytime is a great time to visit Canada depending on what you like. If you’re a skier, love winter sports, or just epic scenery, then visit from December to March. If you want to really experience the great outdoors in the summer or perhaps drive across Canada, then the summer months of May through September are best without a doubt. This is certainly the best time to visit the Maritime Provinces in the east or see the true beauty of Alberta or British Columbia in the west.
The U.S. is very similar to Canada in terms of visiting times except the U.S. also has places like Arizona, California, Florida, and Hawaii which can be warm-weather getaways even in the cold winter months. Just a suggestion for visiting my hometown of New York City: visit during May/June or September/October for optimal weather. The same goes for most of the great northern U.S. cities.
Mexico is always a great place to visit because the weather is always hot. The only time I would say to avoid is March because of U.S. spring break, and October in the Yucatan Peninsula because of the small threat of hurricanes. Otherwise, enjoy Mexico anytime!
When to travel to… South America
South America is one of my favorite continents and a massive place. Starting in the Southern Hemisphere in countries like Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, you want to visit between October and February; especially, if you want to go down to Patagonia –which everyone should!
Equatorial South America can really be visited at anytime, and it’s always going to be hot in the Amazon and other low altitude areas. If you’re looking to visit the Galapagos Islands, I suggest going around May/June, as the temperature and weather is pretty much perfect at that time.
Northern South America can also be visited pretty much anytime, but in the northern parts, summer months I think are best from April to October. Colombia is one of my favorites and that’s when you’ll get the best weather in places like Bogota and of course, Cartagena.
When to travel to… Europe
Europe is another all year destination depending on your taste. Starting in the north, I suggest visiting Scandinavia and Northern Europe in the summer months of May to September. These areas are some of the best for climbing and hiking, and are still relatively tourist-free compared to the major tourist capitals of Europe. Of course, if you like winter wonderlands, feel free to visit in winter; but, it gets pretty cold and the skiing is better in the Alps.
Western and Central Europe is where the majority of tourists who visit Europe go. That said, there’s a reason for that. These are some of the best cities in the world and should definitely be visited. My suggestion is to visit during off-peak months like March/April and October/November for cities. Of course, if you want to ski, try going in December/January just expect high prices, but there’s a reason everyone loves the Alps –they’re awesome!
Mediterranean Europe is pretty much good to visit at anytime, but I really suggest September because everything is still open, the weather is still superb, and prices are way less than the peak summer months of July and especially August. You’ll get much more value and still get a great experience.
When to travel to… Antarctica
Antarctica is the easiest continent because there is only one time to visit –between November and February. Most people cruise to or around Antarctica from Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, Hobart, or Christchurch, and all cruises leave during those time. If you’re like me and like flying to the ice, then the only time to do it is mid-November to early January.
When to travel to… Australia
Australia is a place where you can really visit anytime depending on what area you want to see, but if you’re like most people and want to see the popular tourist spots like Sydney, Melbourne, and the East Coast up to Queensland then go from December to March.
Australia is one of my favorite places and the north is always hot, but the south can get really cold, including Melbourne and Tasmania. So, I highly suggest visiting those areas in the summer months I mentioned. Western Australia, including Perth, is also best during this time. So, see you in Oz for New Year’s!
When to travel to… Africa
Africa is very similar to South America in terms of weather and when to visit. You definitely want to visit Southern Africa during the summer months of November to March. This is the best time to see the great beaches and visit the best game parks on the continent.
Equatorial Africa can really be visited at any time, but I suggest the same summer months as Southern Africa as that’s the best time to visit the Indian Ocean Islands off the coast and also to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
North Africa should be visited in the spring or fall meaning April/May or October/November. These months have the best temperatures and the least tourists so you can visit places like Morocco and Egypt without millions of tourists or sweating profusely. Trust me, I’ve spent time in both in July and it’s miserable!
When to travel to… Asia
Asia is the worlds largest continent and by far the most populous. There are way too many regions to run through so I’ll talk quickly about some of the most toured areas.
Northern Asia, including China and Japan, can be freezing in winter so I suggest visiting those places from April to October. If you want to venture to a place like Mongolia, the only time to go is during July/August, as it gets absolutely freezing much of the rest of the year.
Southeast Asia is the most toured part of Asia for sure. This includes tourist favorites like Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam among others. The weather in these areas varies from hot to really hot and humid. I suggest going in the winter months of November to March. This is when it’s the most temperate and least humid. This area should not be missed, just plan ahead to be as comfortable as possible so you don’t sweat each time you open the door outside!
Finally, the Indian Subcontinent, as I mentioned, should be avoided during the monsoon season of June/July. Any other time depends where you’re going in the subcontinent. Visit the Himalayas in the summer months to get the best temperatures and the south is good pretty much anytime except during monsoon season. I like October, as it’s the optimal time to explore Goa, Kerala, and the islands to the south like the Maldives and Sri Lanka.