Since I immigrated to the U.S. 22 years ago I have visited the Old Country 12 times. With one exception, I always traveled during the summer months. Now, we all know that flying overseas during the summer is very expensive. Why then don’t I, a very frugal person, take advantage of cheaper fares in the off months? The answer is:
- Weather: Germany is not famous for great weather. In the summer I have at least a fighting chance to catch some beautiful days during a three-week stay. This year was no exception. I encountered blazing heat, mid-70s sunny temps, cool and rainy days, heat again, and rainy days. I needed everything from shorts to a windbreaker. And, while many cars now have air conditioning, houses do not.
- Daylight savings time: I don’t like driving in the dark anymore. During the summer it does not get dark in Germany until around 10 o’clock in the evening. That enables me to go out with my friends in the evening and still return to my ‘home away from home’ before darkness sets in. It is much more enjoyable to sit in a beer garden or an ice café on a mild evening than facing long darkness and the prospect of black ice or other inclement weather.
- Attractions: Many attractions are only open between April and October or at the very least, have longer opening hours during the warmer season.
The downside of traveling in the summer, of course, is increased traffic. Germany is situated in the center of Europe. That means that travelers from other countries who vacation in southern Europe must drive through Germany to get there. You better learn the meaning of the word Stau!