For many people, there's not a lot of flexibility when it comes to vacation planning. They have school, work and personal schedules to manage, meaning that there's often no choice but to travel during the high season (i.e. the summer or around the holidays). These vacations can be stressful though you pay more for flights and accommodation, and often have to deal with larger crowds and higher temperatures.
In order to avoid these high-season woes, you should consider taking your vacations in the off-season instead, when there are fewer people traveling and therefore more opportunities for you to save money.
If your family is one with a bit more flexibility, here are five reasons why you should travel during the off-season.
The ability to book last-minute
Because there aren't as many
people traveling in the off-season, it often translates to more
flexibility for those who ARE traveling. Since hotels, rental cars and
day trips aren't likely to sell out in the off-season, you can often
wait until the last minute to make your bookings. This also means you
can allow more flexibility in your itinerary plenty of room to be
spontaneous and swap out one destination for another at the last minute.
Traveling outside of high-season usually means being able to book things like accommodation and day tours at a reduced rate. Many popular locations across the world raise their prices during the high season as demand increases. Traveling in the shoulder- or off-season can often be a lot easier on your wallet. You can also sometimes find great package deals in the off-season at hotels that are trying to fill their rooms.
The off-season always means smaller crowds. And yes, while this sometimes translates to fewer attractions/restaurants that are open, it also almost always means fewer tourists and crowds. If you want to avoid long lines, crowded squares and sold-out tours, travel in the off-season.
The chance to take unique photos
We can all picture what the Colosseum looks like during the summer (hint: crowded) and what New England looks like in the autumn (hint: crowded with lots of colorful leaves). But do you know what Paris looks like under a soft blanket of snow, or how quiet the Trevi Fountain is at night in November? If you want to make your traveling friends jealous with really unique photos of their favorite places, don't go during high season when everyone else is there, too.
Feeling more local
Because there are fewer tourists and less frazzled service workers in the off-season, you can often take the time to slow down and get to know the locals. When there aren't hordes of people descending on a city or attraction, you'll find the locals tend to be much more relaxed and probably friendlier and open to having a chat or giving you some tips on their city.
Do YOU travel in the off-season? If so, what are some more advantages?