I’m trying to figure out two hugely important pieces of information for our trip to Europe in 2013. I need to decide both where and when we will be traveling. Normally, it’s pretty easy to figure out one if you know the other. But since both are still up in the air, I needed a little help.
My mom is a teacher, and her school year normally goes until late-June. She also begins preparing for the next school year in early- to mid-August. We would also like to be in the US for the 4th of July – because why would you be anywhere else!? Grilling steaks and burgers, cold beer and hot fires, watching fireworks across the lake at my parents’ house, friends and family and a soft breeze – absolute heaven!
In short, our travel times are restricted to somewhere between mid-July and mid-August.
At the website, you can enter a range of dates for travel, and it will return a list of what festivals and events are going on around the world. (Hint: the date search isn’t intuitive – click in the search box for “what” and additional search options will appear, including location, date, and event category).
When I searched within those dates, and compared the results to regions under consideration, I got a lot of results, and narrowed it down to the following list (in no particular order, and limited to the events that would potentially interest us):
- Montreaux Jazz Festival
- Bastille Day
- Paris Chopin Festival
- Liechtenstein Guitar Days
- Moon and Stars (concert)
- Warsaw Summer Jazz Days
- London Literature Festival
- Jazz a Vienne
- Festa del Redentore (Venice)
- International Street & Open-air Festival (Gdansk)
Now from that list, I’ll go through and see which of them are the most interesting, and which cities we really want to visit. I’ll do a little research into logistics like dates, number of people who attend (and therefore also need to book hotels, etc), festival fees, etc.
So as an initial idea-gathering tool, I would highly recommend whatsonwhen.com. It provides a wealth of information about international events, and is a great tool to know when to visit a town (or when not to, if you want to miss the crowds!). The site typically provides links to the official event pages, so you can do more research on ticket, etc on your own.
The search tool is finicky sometimes, and it is hard to do a high-level search of a region (ie I can’t see all events in Europe, I have to select either a specific country). Due to the inability to search a region, sometimes you get many more events than you want to scroll through for that time period, because you get events from all around the world. But if you have the time to click through the list, you can find a lot of helpful information.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any helpful websites for nailing down travel dates, or for seeing which cities to visit and when? Let me know in the comment section!