“Go in the off-season,” says the quintessential travel advice. Travel experts or even your neighborhood know it all have long touted the benefits of traveling in the off-season. However, many point out the positives of off-season travel, placing it up high on a pedestal free of travel problems. And while off-season travel comes with many positives such as fewer crowds, cheaper rates and simply more options, traveling when the rest of the world isn’t can have its rough seas. Before you book your off season travel destination, be sure to keep in mind these off season travel tips.
Always Plan on the Weather: The reason many travel in the high season boils down to the weather. High season travel generally means you won’t be battling snowstorms and torrential downpours. Off-season travel is much more of a gamble weather-wise. When I traveled around Eastern Europe in the dead of winter, I found myself amidst one of the area’s worst freezes. I ended up having to buy more and more layers to combat the poor weather. While off-season travel might sound all sunshine and roses, it is important to factor in the weather. It will be an issue. Pack accordingly and constantly monitor the weather report leading up to your trip.
Ensure The Attractions You Want To Visit Will Be Open: Some of the main problems that I frequently face with off-season travel are closures. It is always the one attraction or museum that I want to visit that is closed during the off-season or offers very limited hours when I am visiting. Before you book your off season travel, do a bit of research to make certain that the attractions you want to visit are open during your stay. Pay attention to hours in particular as museums might have limited hours in the off-season.
Understand Fewer Crowds Can Mean Lonely and Eerie Destinations: Off-season travel isn’t for the lonely. With fewer crowds, some destinations can feel downright eerie. If you want to take advantage of reduced rates in the off season but you don’t want to be the only one in town, consider focusing your travels around cities to avoid feeling overly isolated and lonely. Beach towns can also be ghost towns during the off-season and leave very few restaurants and hotels even open for travelers.
Make Sure You Can Get There and Get Around: Off-season travel can also be problematic not only in terms of open attractions but also with transportation schedules. If you want to visit an island for example in the off-season, you can face limited ferry schedules. Before you click purchase on that trip, take a look to see if you can actually get to your destination and get around during your dates. Off-season travel can be a good time to rent a car so that you don’t have to rely on spotty bus, train and boat schedules. Inconsistent and in frequent schedules are common in the off-season.