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Weather or money - what would you do?

Brisbane, Australia
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262 posts
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Weather or money - what would you do?

Hi,

I just wanted to ask what peoples opinions on my situation are..

My husband and I want to take our 2 young children on a holiday to the USA and Chicago is on our MUST see list as we didn’t get to visit last time we were in the US.

My original thought was April because my youngest child will be 23 months and therefore we wont need to pay for a seat for her on flights (international and domestic routes).

But from what I have been reading on various forums (particularly Chicago) is that the weather is unpredictable but more than likely cold and rainy and that May/June is much nicer time to visit.

So.... do you think we should visit in April and deal with the rain and cold (we not use to cold as we live in warm climate in Australia) but save approx. US$1500 on airfares (plus paying extra for accommodation at higher season rates)

or visit in a much warmer more pleasant season and deal with the fact the holiday will cost more?

Im very undecided - I change my mind every 5 minutes - so interested to see what others think.

Thanks

Lee

chicago,IL
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148 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

Our weather here is very unpredictable during april, may, june. I believe last year all three of those months were a little rainy however theyre still great months to come here. July is far too hot! Weve had a pretty mild winter so far and it might come back to bite us and linger around till april. So I say spend the extra money and come at the earliest may. One other suggestion is to come in the fall! September, October are awesome months. Usually its still warm sometimes not as rainy as the spring and Im guessing cheaper.

Chicago
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8,102 posts
68 reviews
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2. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

how long will you be in the states? If it is a while, why not stay in the warmer part of the us at the beginning like Florida or New ORleans or California, Las Vegas, etc and then leave out of Chicago.

Brisbane, Australia
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262 posts
34 reviews
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3. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

Thanks for your suggestions! Unfortunately Sept/Oct is not an option as we need to take our leave before July.

We will be in the States for about 4 weeks so planning the southern Cali part of the holiday first and leaving San Francisco and Chicago until last (late April).

I'm thinking if the weathers such a gamble anyway (slim chance weather might be nicer in April than may?! ) we might just stick to April and we will have a great time regardless :)

Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
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49,465 posts
67 reviews
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4. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

IMO, save your money and stick to your original plan. If the weather's crummy when you're here, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep you occupied.

Chicago, Illinois
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412 posts
22 reviews
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5. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

Although May/June would be a nice time to visit, the City will be hosting the G8/NATO conference May 19-21 and that's going to be a royal pain for everyone who is visiting or living here.

I would do a late April visit and not stress too much about the weather.

chicago
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8,585 posts
24 reviews
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6. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

I wouldn't pay $1500 extra to come in may

How many children are you flying with? A 23 month old is too big to hold for a long flight in coach

Chicago, Illinois
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1,863 posts
15 reviews
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7. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

I would come in April, and save the money. There is absolutely no way to know if the weather in April will be much better than the weather in May or June. Chicago weather is very unpredictable in any month: we could have a lovely April and a cold May, or it could be cold-ish and rainy in April. FWIW, the average rainfall in Chicago for the months of April and May is identical: 3.5 inches. There are lots of things to do in Chicago even if the weather is less than ideal.

I'm glad you're coming to Chicago.....we love it, and hope you will, too!

Chicago, Illinois
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133 posts
45 reviews
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8. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

Weather is unpredictable at times in Chicago Some years April is better than May etc. or vice versa. Stick to April, you'll save some money on airfare etc. It will be less crowded in spring than summer for activities. There are plenty of indoor activities for the family to do if it's raining etc. Museum of Science and Industry, Children's Museum etc.

However I strongly advise buying a seat for your 23 month old when you fly. Holding a child on a overseas for that long is not a good idea. Having children myself, you are dealing with the terrible 2's and 3's. Their moods can become unpredictable at any moment. They will have room to stretch out and have their place to sit, watch a movie if you bring one along, set our their snack and in the long run you'll also have room to change diapers if necessary and they will have place to sleep/take a nap when exhausting sets in. You do not want to be cramped on a long haul flight with a squirmy impatient exhausted toddler.

I also recommend buying that extra seat when you switch planes if you layover and fly the domestic portion to Chicago.

Have a fun and safe trip!

Chicago, Illinois
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for Train Travel
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9. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

Do not come in May - NATO and G8 are meeting here the end of May. The city will be one bi headache. Come in June. Don't you want that extra seat for your child anyway on such a long, long flight? Do you really want a 2 yr old on your lap from Brisbane to Chicago? What about your own sanity and comfort.

Chicago, Illinois
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16 posts
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10. Re: Weather or money - what would you do?

How long will you be staying in Chicago? I agree with the majority of people, save the money. You may hit us on a rainy chilly week, but it's not as if you're coming in the icy snowy months of January or February. As I recall last year the last week in april we started to hit days in the 50's and 60's (F). I would just be sure you pack some warmer clothes and perhaps rain jackets.

Chicago has some amazing museums, and everything is easily reached through public transit, or cabs. If you are coming for more than a couple days, then there is a good chance you'll have at least one nice day in there for outdoor activities, even if it is cool. (And who knows, with the weather, the whole stay might be surprisingly nice).

What types of things were you hoping to do while you were here? I'm sure many people can offer suggestions, or indoor alternatives should the weather prove to be nasty. (And again, it very well may not.)

But do pack some clothing for cold/cool wet days.