When's the best time to go on a cruise-ship vacation in Europe?
Do you try to time your purchases? You should, argues Mark Di Vincenzo, the author of Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That, and Go There.
Although there's never a perfect time to buy stuff, smart shoppers study the retail cycle, looking for periods when stores are dumping old stock, dropping prices for upcoming holidays, or even when they start having sales to protect market share.
But what about big-ticket items like cruises? Acording to his thinking, the best time to take a cruise-ship vacation in Europe is right about now ... although the weather in some spots may be too hot for you, he warns.
Here are his suggestions:
The Mediterranean: Spring and fall, when it’s not so hot in Greece, Turkey, Italy and Spain.
Scandinavia and the Baltics: Late May to early September. That’s when cruise lines usually go to northern Europe. The best weather there is in late summer, but mid-June to early July is an interesting time to go because of the midnight sun, which only disappears for three to four hours each night.
Great Britain: Late summer and early fall. It’s the sunniest then, but it’s cooler – with high temperatures in the 60s – than on the European continent.
The largest rivers: Fall. Tours of the largest rivers occur from early spring through November, and summer has the best weather, but the fall colors are incredible, and the temperatures are comfortable then.
The Atlantic Islands, Portugal, and western France: Fall. Cruise ships often visit Madeira and the Canary Islands and ports in Portugal and western France in the spring and fall. The weather is good throughout most of the year, but it’s more likely to rain in the spring.
What's your cruise experience? Do you plan your visits by season or is it more about vacation time?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money