“I would argue Europe is better in the shoulder seasons,” said Amy Farley, news editor at Travel + Leisure and author of the magazine’s “Trip Doctor” column. “I was in Florence in October, and it was extraordinary. That said, if you have children and want the ideal weather, summer it is.”
And for good reason: The weather warms, lakes and oceans become more inviting, academic calendars take a holiday and workplaces become a little more relaxed. It leads to the question of what’s summer without a summer vacation?
Though it might seem unreasonable to start considering warm-weather travel so early into 2013, the time to start planning is now for the tickets and rooms that will disappear by the end of spring.
“You still have time, but you should gear up, especially if you want the prime places,” Farley said.
Vacation rentals are shaping up to be a particularly hot trend this year, she said.
“There have always been vacation rentals, but Airbnb (airbnb.com) has opened the idea even more of having your own space,” Farley said. “Having your own kitchen is a nice thing and a great way to save money, especially for families.”
Here are some suggestions on summer events to book now or at least soon.