Amanda Williams a RoamRight Blog Author

Tips for Traveling During the High Season

Sacré-Cœur, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France.

The “high season.” That one time of year when it seems like all the tourists in the world descend upon whatever destination you happen to be visiting. It's often during the summer, when hot weather and slow service can make crowds of tourists doubly horrible.

But, sometimes you can't help when you have time to travel. Maybe you have kids and school calendars to work around. Maybe your work schedule only allows you to take extended time off during certain times of year. Maybe you stumble across a deal that is just too good to pass up.

Traveling during high season doesn't HAVE to be a negative thing. In fact, there are some simple steps to take to make your high-season holiday more enjoyable.

Book in advance

If you know you can only travel to the Greek Islands in the middle of summer or that your kids will only be home from college in between Christmas and New Year's, that means that you should know well in advance when and where you can travel. Booking things like flights and accommodation as far out as possible for high-season travel will often guarantee you the best prices and deals (not to mention remove a lot of the stress from the whole process).

Consider alternatives to hotels

Speaking of booking accommodation, don't feel like you HAVE to book a hotel. During the high season, hotels in many cities raise their prices exponentially (I mean, have you ever tried to look for hotels in Munich for Oktoberfest?), citing higher demand as the reason why. If you want to avoid these price increases but can't change your travel dates, consider some alternatives to hotels. Look for smaller guest houses outside the main downtown area; check into more upscale hostels (they're spreading across Europe these days and will likely surprise you); or consider renting a room or short term apartment.

Plan your sightseeing

If you find yourself in a major tourist destination during the high season, plan out your sightseeing strategically. Do a little sleuthing to find out when the “quiet” times are, or whether you can reserve times for certain attractions. In many cases, early morning is the least-crowded time at many popular attractions – meaning you should consider traveling with an alarm clock. In other destinations (Dubrovnik, Croatia being a great example), crowds are usually day-trippers, and the cities themselves can actually be quiet and pleasant in the evenings.

Visit smaller cities

And at the end of the day, if you don't like the idea of sharing your travel experience with large crowds of strangers, perhaps consider getting more off the beaten path. Skip the huge cities and major tourist attractions when you know everyone else will be visiting them. Head to smaller, lesser-known destinations instead. For example, skip places like Venice and Paris in the summer months, and check out cities like Warsaw and Budapest instead.

What are your best tips for high season travel?

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About the Author

Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams, a RoamRight Blog Author Graduate student by day and avid traveler and blogger by night (and on weekends and during holidays), Amanda is just a small-town Ohio girl trying to balance a "normal" life with a desire to discover the world beyond her Midwest bubble. Amanda's adventurous nature and inability to say "no" have led her to some pretty amazing adventures all around the world. But she has no desire to stop exploring anytime soon. Read Amanda's blog, A Dangerous Business, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

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