As an avid travel, I consider it my duty to share my best travel tips and tricks with you to improve your own travel experiences. Want my best travel tip? Summer is a terrible time to travel!
Chalk this up to one of those things that we’ve been doing wrong as a species for centuries, creating an inflated peak season at the worst possible time of the year in all of the world’s most popular places. I can’t really understand why people want to travel in June and July and August. But I feel it’s my personal duty to do what I can to put a stop to this self inflicted torture.
Yes, the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum look gorgeous on a cloudless blue sky. But those things are there looking beautiful all year round. You don’t have to experience them with your thighs chafing and your pit stains reaching your waist and a farmers tan that will take months to fade and your hair greasy and frizzy because it’s 87 fucking degrees out. And you certainly don’t wanna experience those iconic sights with thousands of other people who also thought Europe in July was going to be a good idea. Do you know how bad 400 sweaty people in an un-air conditioned tram smell?
And I’m not just talking about Europe. I mean everywhere. At least the spring bloom masks the unpleasant odors of the subway in New York. When summer is in full swing, the heat really brings out the smell of piss and rat shit on the L line. Do you know how big the National Mall is? By the time you hike to the Washington Monument, you’ll be mid-heat stroke and ready to go home. The only time it’s tolerable to be wandering about in July is before 10 am and after 9 pm when the sun is setting and everything you want to do is closed. And the rest of the day, the only thing worth doing is sitting in a pool full of ice.
Oh but the beach! You think summer is the best time to go to the beach? To Miami? The Caribbean? The Mediterranean? Wrong. It’s too hot to be outside in direct sunlight for more than a couple of hours. You’re going to get the worst sun burn of your life on your first day and then spend the rest of your vacation sweating under an umbrella. And on the towel of the family that’s sitting right next to you because there’s only so much beach for the millions of people who had the same ill-conceived thought you did.
And then the kicker… caused directly by the popularity of summer travel, everything is more expensive. For the price of one summer vacation, you could afford two trips in the spring or fall. So on top of traveling at the nastiest stickiest time of the year, you’re paying a premium to do it. You’re paying double what that sweatbox Airbnb in city center costs the other 10 months of the year so that you can spend an entire afternoon waiting in a thousand-person long line to see paintings you’re not even gonna care about by the time you get to the front of the line surrounded by the scent of BO and your own flesh searing off your shoulders.
Why would you subject yourself to that? I can’t think of anything I rather do less than walk 10 miles exploring a city on the hottest day of the year.
Fuck everything about that. Go explore when you can walk around all day without breaking a sweat, enjoy the fall foliage, the spring flowers, the smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire at Christmas.
But in the summer? It’s 100 degrees everywhere and it feels like a thousand. Everything is crowded and overpriced. It’s the best time of year to stay the fuck home. Strip down to your underwear, blast your AC, and enjoy a pint of ice cream on your couch.