I’m a big believer in taking advantage of every opportunity I can to travel. Sometimes, that means planning a trip over Spring Break, Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July – when everyone else is planning a vacation, too. Visiting popular vacation spots during these so-called peak times may sound tempting. After all, everything’s open, and these spots are technically at their prime. But when you’re faced with so many people you can hardly enjoy yourself, you’ll be wishing you planned a trip during a less busy time.
While the idea of visiting a new place during the off-peak season may not sound super tempting, hear me out! There are lots of reasons to plan a trip to a new city – even a new country – during the off-peak season. Not convinced? Here are just a few of my favorite reason to travel during an off-peak season:
YOU’LL FACE SMALLER CROWDS.
Many popular vacation spots around the world struggle to keep crowds manageable. It can be hard to enjoy a museum or monument when you’re so crowded you can hardly move. Visiting a tourist destination during off-peak season almost always means smaller lines at attractions, fewer waits at restaurants, and an all-around more relaxed experience for you and your family. It also means fewer strangers in your pictures, fewer headaches at airport security and less stress all-around.
YOU’LL SAVE MONEY.
If you’re trying to plan a vacation on a budget, one of the best things you can do is find a spot to visit during the off-peak season. Eager to attract visitors during the less-than-prime time, you’ll notice lower prices on nearly every aspect of your vacation if you visit during the slow season.
Visit a place during the off-season, and you’ll likely pay less for your flight. You’ll find deals on hotel rooms – keep your eyes peeled for free nights – and you’ll even encounter lower prices at local attractions, shows, and restaurants.
YOU’LL GET A BETTER FEEL FOR YOUR DESTINATION.
When you visit a spot that’s more overrun with tourists than locals, it’s hard to truly get a sense of what it’s like to live there. If you’re interested in a more authentic experience, choose to plan your trip during a less crowded time. You’ll likely notice a dramatic difference when the tourists clear out and the locals return to their normal routine.
YOU’LL HAVE MORE FREEDOM.
If you plan a trip during the busy season, you’ll need to make reservations in advance and secure tickets for your must-see attractions, so they don’t sell out. Locking down your plans in advance can give you peace of mind, but it also hinders your ability to be flexible. If you’re prone to changing your mind or just like to leave your options open, you’ll have more freedom if you plan your trip during the slower time of year.
Traveling is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and if you get the option to take a trip, you should act on it, regardless of the season. However, if you’re in a position to plan, choose to explore your destination during the off-peak season to enjoy a more authentic, flexible, and all-around enjoyable experience.