Every year thousands of people pay well over the odds, to go on holiday during the peak summer months. For some reason, we have it in our head's that we have to go for two weeks holidays in the summer and during the two hottest possible weeks. This is something that I never do. I love travelling any time of the year, but I particularly love travelling in the off-season. There are an abundance of reasons for this and I can give eight of them!
1. You'll Save money
Travelling is expensive and can be considered by many as a luxury. But it doesn't have to be. One of the easiest ways to save money on travel is to be flexible about your dates. Booking at the most popular time of year is a sure-fire way of spending unnecessary funds on your trip. Travelling off-season can cost a fraction of the price and you can save all of that money for souvenirs, cocktails or even a second trip!!!
2. No Crowds
Some people feel more comfortable in the company of other tourists, but for me more tourists mean more people trying to get to the same tourist attractions as me. This means queues, queues and more queues. It also means fighting over sunbeds and ducking and diving around selfie sticks. Not exactly the relaxing vacation you were expecting...
3. Meet the Locals
Travelling in the less popular months, means that the staff in hotels and restaurants are not as stretched and have time to actually chat to you. You can have genuine conversations with people and most of the time they are more than delighted to share with you some of their towns hidden secrets. Who knows what you may learn about your chosen city from a local?
4. Cooler Weather
Often the busy months are uncomfortably hot. This is not a good thing for sun worshipers. But for your regular Irish girl like me, who gets sunburn under a light bulb, the cooler weather suits best! Explore the city without sweat pouring from every crease. Always wear sunscreen, but maybe not factor 50 every 15 minutes! All of these things make up for a much more enjoyable and relaxing holiday. Do, however, do your research... I'm not talking about going during Monsoon season either!
5. Think of the Photography
If you are an avid photographer, or even an amateur snapper, you will find the off-peak times much more conducive to good photography. Just try take a photo of the leaning tower of Pisa, without everyone and their mother "leaning" against it and you'll know what I mean. If you are a more seasoned photographer, you can set up your tripod in peace and get the epic snaps you had come to collect. The rest of us just want a pic to make our friends jealous and that will look far better, without a strangers head in the corner.
6. Help the local economy
By waiting until the quieter periods to travel, you can ensure that places relying mainly on tourism have a more even spread of income. Particularly if you are the type that likes to buy local, this will help the people so that their business is not concentrated on the busy months. You can buy a coffee in a local café and be helping the owners. Win-win
7. Choice of accommodation
It's a simple case of supply and demand here. When there are fewer tourists, there is a much greater choice of accommodation and that means whatever your style is, be it luxury or basic, you are more likely to get a room in that place you were hoping to stay. Quieter hotels mean a better night's sleep and no queue for the breakfast buffet, setting you up for a great day of exploring.
8. Enjoy the good times at home
We have all been there. We fork out for two weeks in the sun. We arrive to glorious weather and the next thing we know, we get a message telling us there is a heat wave at home!!! *Insert curse-word here* There is nothing more annoying! So why not travel at time when you know the weather is bad? Stay at home for the good days and enjoy the beauty of your own country and keep your precious few holidays for when the sun don't shine!
So there you have it. My eight reasons for travelling in the Off-season. Enjoy some cheaper, more comfortable holidays and save yourself the stress and the sunburn. Happy Travels!
Photo, Author's own