Travel these days seem to have two polar opposites. Either resorts and five-star hotels or trashed hostels down a back alley in a sketchy part of town. But what if there was a way to combine the style of luxury hotels with the budget of low end hostels. This is where traveling during the off-season comes into play.
From Yosemite to the Swiss alps, everything is better during the off season. As a rule of thumb the summer is usually high season while winter tends to be the low season. But depending on where you are looking to travel, the off-season time can vary. For example South east Asia is usually June-December. While Mexico is May to December. Trust me though, if you are able to travel during the off-season, you will have a completely different experience. Here are a few reasons why you should consider traveling the off-season.
In my opinion the best reason is less people. This is so great because all those places that are all over Pinterest and Instagram become a lot more enjoyable without the masses. And the lines for things become pretty much non existent. I mean seriously, I don’t know anyone who likes people so much they could argue with this.
With less people you are able to experience more. You don’t have to wait in lines and you may even be taken somewhere you otherwise wouldn’t have gone. We actually got to spend more time on our elephant tour outside of Bangkok because we were the only ones on our tour. I would call this winning!
Because there are less people all vying for what you want, there are now many more options. Because you have options you also have all the power. Don’t like what someone is offering, just move onto the next. Pretty sweet huh? This goes for tours, taxi rides, clothes pretty much everything. The possibilities are endless. Just don’t get too carried away and realize people still have a bottom line. Also don’t do this with food. It’s rude and unnecessary as food is almost always reasonably priced for the type you are trying to buy.
This comes as a no brainer but everything is cheaper. From the plane flights to the hotels and even the tours. Remember that whole thing about options? Well, it applies to pretty much everything. So instead of fighting with hundreds of other people just to get in, you now get to decide how much you want to pay. I know for most of you this is probably the best option.
More Authentic Experiences
Since you have all this new found time on your hands, from all the lines you didn’t have to wait in, you can now use that time to experience more of the local culture. Meeting new people, and speaking with locals is a great way to do just that. You never know maybe someone will want to show you their favorite hidden beach or the best gelato in town (this happened to me in Rome). Getting the true feeling of a place instead of only going to tourist trap after tourist trap really makes a memorable vacation.
You get screwed over a whole lot less
When there are a lot of people there are a lot more chances for things to go wrong. That activity you planned to do? Booked up. That hotel you wanted to stay at? Full. All this over crowdedness produces people who aren’t prepared, and are now desperate. You know what desperation breeds? Scams. And trust me they can basically smell the stench of desperation. But when you have options (see where I’m going with this)? People have a harder time pulling one over on you. Or getting as much cash out of you. I still would suggest doing your research before going to places though. The more you know the harder it is to get scammed.
Some countries have some serious traffic issues. Don’t worry I won’t point any fingers. But when high season for travel comes this traffic becomes all the worst. Good luck getting anywhere during rush hour. If you enjoy spending your precious vacation hours sitting in traffic then high season is for you. If not then you may just be the type of person who would enjoy off season travel.
So, for this summer break, maybe look at visiting somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere? I mean, I’m not trying to tell you where to vacation or anything. I know Europe is amazing. I’ve been there once. I’m just saying that bank account might like that off-season destination a bit more. And maybe, just maybe, you can still have an amazing vacation. An even better vacation than that, heat stroke, body packed, trip you were planning to have in Rome. Just saying, it gets pretty hot in July and a ton of people go there. So one last time I will sing my swan song for the off-season travel.