Ask the travel expert: Which is the best off-season to plan a vacation to Europe?

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Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions India, Flight Centre Travel Group Australia’s Indian subsidiary, answers your questions on Travel — howtos, trends, recommendations and more. Send in your questions to: [email protected]

We are traveling to South Africa in November. Is George to Capetown via Oudtshoorn safe for self-drive? Do I need to have international driving license? Also, we are planning to stay in Seychelles for 4 days. Do we need to apply for visa to visit Seychelles?
The journey from George to Cape Town via Oudtshoorn is called ‘Garden Route’ which is absolutely safe for self-drives and also considered as one of the most scenic routes in the world. You can travel with your Indian driving license which should be in a card form with an inbuilt-chip.

Seychelles offers Visa on Arrival for Indians upon presenting necessary travel documents such as return air-ticket and confirmed hotel voucher.

While I wear glasses, the photograph in my passport is without glasses (to avoid reflection). Will there be a problem at immigration?
Passport offices click photographs as per set guidelines and specifications which are accepted universally. There should not be any problem at the immigration stage, you can remove your glasses incase this is requested by the officer.

My girlfriend and I are considering a destination wedding mid next year. Which international destinations can we look at, keeping in mind the requirements of an Indian wedding?
You cannot go wrong with Thailand for a destination wedding, especially if you want to keep it traditional. Hua Hin and Phuket see a lot of Indian weddings, making it easier to sort out arrangements and food preferences. Another reason I would recommend Thailand is that it is budget-friendly. If you’re looking for something more exotic and don’t mind shelling out a bit more then beach destinations around the Mediterranean coast like Spain, Croatia and Greece can also be considered.

I want to travel to Europe during its off-peak season. Which are the best months for me and how many countries do you think I should cover in a month?
Off season months for Europe are from November -March as it gets really cold and most attractions tend to shut down early or operate with restricted hours. But keep in mind that the weather may not be ideal for venturing outdoors and Europe is a place best seen on foot! You can consider travelling in September when the weather is still good for walking around and prices comparatively lower than the peak season. As for how many countries you can visit, that completely depends on what kind of itinerary you have in mind. You could visit 3 countries and take your time soaking in each one of them or cover 10-12 countries spending a few days in each to see all the popular tourist attractions. Both ways are great, depending on what you’re looking for. You can start off with Switzerland as travelling within the country is really simple and the views some of the best in Europe.

Flight Centre Travel Group, headquartered in Australia, is one of the world’s largest travel management companies. In India, the group operates an extensive portfolio of corporate and retail travel brands including FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller (corporate travel management),Travel Tours (leisure travel), FCM MICE (incentive travel and events) Travel Money India (foreign exchange), FCM InComing (inbound travel) and Travel Air Representations (travel wholesalers).