Planning a trip? You will always have two basic questions on your mind — where and when to go — and both of these are wrapped in the most important quirk of all: weather.
Most of us want to go when the skies are clear, the sun is warm, and the risk of a storm is as close to zero as possible. How do you decide when and where, apart from blindly trusting your travel agent?
Next time, try this interactive map.
This map, made by data wizard Ryan Whitaker, will help you find the best times to visit anywhere in the world. As Ryan tells it, he often found himself on Google for things like “best places to visit in January” or “best time to visit Spain”. The answers left him asking for more, eventually becoming the spark for this guide.
How Does This Interactive Map Work?
Ryan used NOAA’s “summary of the day” data for the last 10 years. That’s nearly 35 million lines of data collected from up to 12,000 weather stations across the world. He churned them in Tableau which can integrate Open Street Map for this visualization. That’s just a little snippet of the background which Ryan has also explained just below the interactive infographic. All it needs is a good name.
It is also very simple to use.
Unlike Google Search where you have to type “what is the weather like in Lisbon,” this travel map gives you a bird’s-eye view across the globe. Instead of place, make your decision by preference for a specific type of weather.
- Choose your ideal maximum, minimum, and average temperature.
- Add an extra cautionary filter for rainfall.
- Decide on the week you would like to make the trip.
The tool will go to work and show you places which match your requirements, weather-wise. There are two versions of the map that cover both Fahrenheit for the U.S. and Celsius for European and Asian users.
The tool is as good as the data behind it. For instance, Ryan says that some stations do not report rain or snow accurately. Consider the section on Limitations, where he has given a tip on how to factor that out.
How Do You Start Your Travel Plans?
For me, the first step is to ask my spouse. Then, it’s Google. A well-thought-out trip involves more than one tool and a few more choices other than the weather. Tools like Google Trips have made it easier, but any tool that helps you make a better decision is worth more than the dollars you will save by packing for the right kind of weather.
How do you do your weather research before a trip? Are there any similar sites you know of?
Image Credit: Maridav via Shutterstock