WHY TO TRAVEL OFF THE SEASON?
‘The main advantage of off-season holidays are
lower prices and greater availability of accommodation and flights’
WHY DO I TRAVEL OFF THE SEASON?
For several years, and precisely from the time when I graduated from uni, I try to travel off-season. My job allows me to decide when I want to go on vacation, which I appreciate very much, because thanks to this I have the opportunity to quickly react and organize a spontaneous trip practically at any time. Usually, I plan more or less a period of long absence at the beginning of the year, but the exact dates clarify only a few days before the trip. The main advantage of off-season holidays are lower prices and greater availability of accommodation and flights. Everything depends on the place we go to - in Asia, the tourist season begins, for example, in the middle of November - so I would plan a vacation there at the end of October - you can read more about this topic HERE. On the other hand, in Mediterranean Basin countries, we can expect empty beaches and streets during this period, at the same time taking under consideration fact that temperatures will be significantly lower than in the summer and there may be long-term rainfalls - it is best to go to this place before mid-June, or the end of September (you can read HERE about how to organize cheap holidays in the season, for example to Portugal). There are also places where there is always sunny weather, or there are dry and rainy seasons - then we have more flexibility in choosing the right term (e.g. Maldives or Seychelles).
ADVANTAGES OF TRAVELLING OFF SEASON
- PRICES – residents in tourist places know exactly when they can expect the biggest revenue so they raise prices to earn for these less profitable months. In the off season, things are a bit different: cheaper accommodation, entry tickets, or meals in restaurants, and even products in grocery stores can be xpected!
- FLIGHTS – you must have noticed that the prices for flights are dropping as the winter comes. This is not a coincidence, since even for students holidays end in October, so tickets are not selling so well - this is the perfect time to visit, for example, the capital you always dreamed about
- ACCOMMODATION – more and more places divide the pricelist into two categories: in the season and off-season, and so it is immediately clear when to come to pay less. Accommodation search engines also lower the prices, not to mention the fact that the best spots are not fully booked. This is the perfect moment to choose more exclusive hotels or resorts, to organize a romantic weekend or a trip with friends. If we expect bad weather, it is worth choosing a place offering additional attractions, such as an indoor swimming pool, billiard or SPA.
- TURISTS – or rather their lack, and there is nothing worse than crowded tourist attractions! Some popular places are crowded all year round, regardless of the date, but in most cases places stop being an attraction off-season and become a natural part of the landscape. It is wonderful to travel in less-crowded places, to have the (deluded) sense of discovering something unusual, not to mention the beautiful pictures that you can take :)
DRAWBACKS OF TRAVELLING OFF SEASON
- WEATHER – this is the biggest risk that can spoil even the best holidays. It can be frustrating to be practically alone in a wonderful place for half the price, but can’t go out of the hotel to experience it. It happened to me several times and due to the bad weather I had to cancel my plans: for example due to the wetlands after the rainy season, I could not get to the jungle in Vietnam.
- AVAILABILITY – lack of tourists may also mean that some attractions or places of accommodation will be closed or limited in opening times, so it is worth checking the opening hours before planning a trip.
- HOLIDAY LEAVE – not everyone has the option to take long time off work for off-season holidays. To a large extent it depends on the industry and employer. Sometimes the companies close for two weeks in the summer and every employee has to adapt to it. On the other hand, some professions allow you to work remotely - all you need to do is check your internet connection, take your laptop and send your finished projects from, let’s say Madeira
In fact, there is no golden rule to choose the perfect time for holidays - sometimes it's better to go somewhere in the season and sometimes off-season. Travelling doesn’t have to be perfect in every aspect. We can learn the most and find out about ourselves during unforeseen situations. Adventures usually appear on the way along with difficulties. Not everyone feels well in such circumstances and this is understandable, however, most people I know appreciate experiences that you can remember for the rest of your life. On the other hand, sometimes it is not worth risking, because it may turn out that the cons will definitely outweigh the pros and then the holidays will leave a distaste for a long time.
How is it with you? When do you travel most often: in the season or off-season? Have you ever had a nightmare holiday? Let me know in the comments :)