There are numerous events, trends and weather patterns that could affect world travel in March.
Many parts of the world mark the beginning of Spring with events like Nowruz and Holi. Mardi Gras and carnivals are also imminent.
Don’t forget the Brexit deadline looming on the 29th March either. Read on to find out more.
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In Estonia the far-right EKRE party is likely to perform well in parliamentary elections scheduled for the 3rd March.
The organisation has been described as “nationalistic, xenophobic and anti-liberal” and could become the country’s third largest party.
As a result, expect a rise in racism and hostile social policies in the coming years.
At the same time, Slovakia is holding much less controversial elections. The country will vote for a new president on the 16th March (with a run-off on the 30th March if needed).
Most of the candidates appear to be pro-EU but there are still voter concerns over the quality of governance in the country.
After the junta
Thailand is scheduled to hold much-anticipated elections on the 24th March. They could still be delayed.
Either way, the junta has rewritten the national constitution to try and limit some of the more contentious elements of the country’s political system.
However, the new charter controversially gives the military significant political influence. It also does not address the underlying causes of the unrest that have troubled the country for years.
As such, the tourist-orientated destination will remain troubled by politics over the coming years. Here is a useful article from Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Polls in Kiev
However, Kiev will face strong pressure to comply with demands from Moscow this year. Ukraine will want to agree to a much-needed extension of a critical oil deal between the two countries. It is due to expire on the 31st December.
Meanwhile, a face-off between India and Pakistan is causing alarm, not least because of the nuclear capabilities of both countries. The 26th February air strike by the Indian air force on an alleged Pakistani militant base was the first such action by India in decades.
However, bear in mind that India faces an election in April. As such, strong action right now is more likely aimed at bolstering domestic support for Narendra Modi and the BJP than provoking a cash-strapped Pakistan into conflict.
And let’s not forget Brexit. The 29th March is the deadline for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. However, the outcome of the process is still far from certain. We could face a delay in the exit, a deal, a second referendum or even a disastrous no-deal. The latter would likely spell chaos for travel and economics so be prepared.
The month of March normally marks the end of winter in the northern hemisphere but bad weather can still persist in many areas. Ski season can start to wind down in some destinations, although it can last until April in certain resorts. The weather starts to heat up in Persian Gulf destinations such as the United Arab Emirates, marking the end of the most pleasant time of the year.
March normally sees the end of the worst of the Harmattan winds in parts of West Africa. These winds bring dry, dusty conditions which have an impact on visibility and respiratory conditions among other things.
They are normally felt most keenly in Niger, Burkina Faso, western Chad, northern Ghana, northern Nigeria, northern Benin, northern Togo, eastern Cote D’Ivoire as well as further west and south of these areas to a lesser but still noticeable degree.
Where to go
Otherwise, popular travel destinations at this time include the Alps, Australia, the Caribbean, parts of East Africa such as Kenya and Mozambique, the Maldives, Mediterranean cities (rather than beaches – go to the Canary Islands for those), Morocco, South Africa, south and southeast Asia, as well as different parts of the United States.
Standard weather changes
The following countries and territories also mark notable weather changes this month:
Bangladesh: the humid ‘summer’ begins in March and normally lasts until the monsoon season in June.
Bolivia: the rainy season begins in the northeast of the country, normally lasting until April.
Congo: the rainy season normally begins, lasting until June.
DRC: the rainy season in areas south of the equator normally ends this month.
Mauritania: Sirocco winds last from now until April, bringing dry, dusty conditions affecting visibility and respiratory conditions.
Mauritius: the highest-risk part of the cyclone season normally comes to an end. The risk will persist until May but they are relatively infrequent overall.
Pitcairn Islands: the cyclone season comes to an end this month.
Sri Lanka: the monsoon season comes to an end in the north-east of the country, ushering in hot dry weather.
Tanzania: the rainy season normally begins, lasting until May.
Thailand: the monsoon season normally comes to an end in the northeast around the middle of March.
Tuvalu: the rainy season normally ends this month.
United States: tornado season normally begins, lasting until June (although they can occur all year round).
Zimbabwe: the rainy season normally ends this month.
The following is a chronological roundup of various dates, events, festivals, anniversaries and public holidays to be expected over the course of the month:
Paraguay: Hero’s Day
South Korea: Independence Movement Day
Ethiopia: Victory of Adowa
Myanmar: Peasants Day
Bulgaria: Liberation Day
Georgia: Mother’s Day
Malawi: Martyr’s Day
Several countries (mostly Americas): Carnival Monday
Worldwide: Mardi Gras
Christianity: Ash Wednesday
Ghana: Independence Day
Worldwide: International Women’s Day
Lithuania: Restoration of Independence Day
Mauritius: National Day
Zambia: Youth Day
Belarus: Constitution Day
Hungary: National Day
Ireland: St. Patrick’s Day
Malta: St. Joseph’s Day
Buddhism: Full Moon Poya
Tunisia: Independence Day
Multiple countries: Navryz/Nevruz/Nowruz/Novruz/Nowrooz
Namibia: Independence Day
South Africa: Human Rights Day
Puerto Rico: Emancipation Day
Pakistan: Pakistan Day
Argentina: Truth and Justice Memorial Day
Cyprus: Greek Independence Day
Greece: Independence Day
Bangladesh: Independence Day
Myanmar: Armed Forces Day
Palestinian Territories: Land Day (demonstrations commonly occur)
Malta: Freedom Day
We hope you have safe travels ahead!