This blog post was updated on September 27, 2019.
We all know that weather can really make or break a trip, depending on where your cheap flight deals take you and what you hope to accomplish – especially if it’s outdoors. Flooded rural roads make it difficult to reach remote villages, six inches of snow can put a damper on that bike trip, and scorching heat can make hiking not only unbearable but dangerous. However, with a little advanced planning, you can schedule your trips for times when the weather will allow you to get everything you want (and hopefully more) out of your adventure. Here are some tried and true tips:
Track Your Destination on Your Phone’s Weather App
Add cities you want to travel to your phone’s weather app. When you check the weather for your current location (when you get up in the morning), check to see what the weather is doing in your future destinations as well. This will give you a sense for current seasonal weather trends long before you book that flight. As the date of your trip approaches, you’ll be able to use this app to help you plan what to pack.
Use Online Weather Forecasting Models
There are plenty of resources online that show weather models from previous years as well as forecast future weather patterns. Weather Underground has a “historical weather” function that allows you to enter in the date and zip/postal code for various cities to see what the weather was like on that specific date. To get the most accurate sense of what the weather will be like when you choose to travel to that destination, check out the same range of dates from the previous three years. For example, if you want to travel to Paris in summer 2019, check out summer weather patterns in Paris from 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Once you know the best time to visit a destination for the best weather, you just need to find some cheap flight deals!
Keep a Master List
As you start to discover the best times to travel to certain locations (based on weather patterns), add each destination and time frame to a master list that will help you organize your future travel plans. Helpful apps for list making include Wunderlist, Trello, and Any.do. You can also begin to plot out weather-based travel dates on a calendar. Having a sense of when you want to travel to certain locations can also help with budgeting and travel planning in other areas (booking flights and accommodations, etc.)
Talk with the Locals (or Follow Them on Social Media)
Sometimes the travel advice you read online can be inaccurate, exaggerated (especially when it comes to weather), or unclear about the realities of traveling (or living) somewhere during certain times of the year. That’s why it’s important to rely on the expertise of people who live in that location all year round. Talking with locals or following them on social media (if you don’t yet know anyone in that area) is a good way to get a more nuanced perspective on when you should start looking for cheap flight deals to a certain location.
What other tips do you have for choosing your next travel destination based on weather patterns? Let us know in the comments section.