When it’s time to start planning a vacation the first question I ask myself is ‘When do we want to go?’ The time I most love to travel is late spring. We’ve done a mid-May vacation for the past few years and I just love everything about it. Summer may be a more convenient time to travel but I think pulling the kids out of school for 5 days is worth the trouble. Here are a few reasons I love to travel during off-season.
You’ll save money on hotels. Who doesn’t love to save money when traveling? And let’s admit it…we all love to stay in nice places. Traveling during off-season lets you save money and lets you stay at a place you may not be able to afford during high season. There’s also a better chance of getting upgrades since most hotels won’t be at full capacity.
You’ll save money on airfare. Airfare can cost an arm and a leg so I’ll jump at any chance for a deal. It’s amazing how different the prices can be to fly to the exact location. High season usually means high prices.
You’ll have smaller crowds. I am the type of person that avoids crowds at all cost. A huge crowd can ruin your experience and it stinks when you’ve dreamed of going somewhere only to be joined by a ton of other tourists. We were so lucky there were such few people when we visited the Blue Lagoon because we were able to enjoy ourselves without fighting crowds.
There’s more flexibility. Since you don’t have to worry about hotels filling up, you can take your time booking or switch your plans around last minute.
You’ll enjoy the locals more…and they’ll tolerate you more as well. Without tourists swarming their town, locals are more apt to have conversations, offer suggestions, and spend time with you. It’s a great time to get to know the culture through the people that live there. You also have a more authentic experience of the town.
Hold on…before you book that trip…consider the downside too:
Not all restaurants are open. Sometimes, like at beach locations, restaurants are seasonal so it may be hard to find a place to eat. It’s so disappointing to see that ‘See you next season’ sign in the window.
Not all attractions will be open. It stinks to make plans to go somewhere and find out it’s not open. Sometimes even if they are open it’s still not as great. For example, once we went to a zoo during winter and half the animals were missing since they were sent elsewhere for the season.
Will the weather effect your trip? Sure, you will find a great deal in the Caribbean during summer, but do you really want to go when the temperatures can be unbearable? Do you want to take the chance of traveling during hurricane season?
Are there things you will miss at your destination if you travel during off-season? We thought May would be the perfect time to visit Iceland, except we would have loved to have seen the Northern Lights.
Packing can be a pain. Since off-season can be spring or fall, you often have to pack twice as many things. My largest luggage is brought out when we’re packing for Florida in spring. We’re packing swimsuits, sweaters, flip flops, and boots all in one bag!
What are your thoughts about traveling during off-season?