Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why I Love Off-Season Travel

I’m a big fan of off-season travel. In fact, you can read my quotes on this topic in today’s ABC News. There are some obvious reasons to hit the road off season: Flights and hotels are much cheaper. For example, I'm planning a trip to the Out Islands of the Bahamas in 2011 and I'll looking to go in May when hotel prices drop significantly.I also visit Vail and other ski areas in the summer when I can stay in at the resorts for a fraction of the cost and go hiking and mountain biking on the slopes.

As far as the crowd issue goes, I travel to Portugal a lot and I love going during the low season when the weather is still mild. And, unlike in the high season, it's easy to get reservations at some of the best restaurants in Lisbon during this time. Another plus of traveling during low season is that you can get more of a feel of authenticity and engage in more mingling with the locals. For example, I visit Reykjavik in December and January when there are only a few hours of daylight. And yet this is a perfect time to hang out in the cozy coffee shops and bars with the locals and chat about politics, the economy, design and art -- topics they love to talk about.

The low season is also a great time to experience local festivals that only occur at that time of the year. For example, in Croatia, the truffle festival in Motovun takes place in November.

11 comments:

JTravel said...

Hi chow & chatter, Glad that you like to travel off season as well. And, yes, snow or cold weather doesn't detract for the fun activities in Europe, as you said.

Delhi Hotels said...

In the off season, No crowd and no tension... I like it..

JTravel said...

Hi Delhi Hotels, thanks so much for your comment. Tension-free travel is definitely the way to go.

Steve said...

One of the downsides to my travelling plans is that I always travel during the off-season. I feel like I never get to experience a city or place in its prime. There is no doubt that I love to see the buildings and meet the people when costs are down and crowds are at a minimum, but I long to see places like the Boston Common and Central Park when they are not snowed under. I would love to get to places in Europe when you can comfortably walk around the streets. And for that matter not be in New Orleans or Phoenix when it is over 100. but there are reasons I love to travel when I do, and you touched on a few of them!

JTravel said...

Hi Steve, Yes, there's definitely something to be said for visiting when the weather is fabulous and everyone is milling about in the streets or on the Great Lawn in Central Park.

Alexandra said...

Off-season on the Outer Cape is definitely better. No traffic, for one thing. You get more of a feeling for a place if the natives are not rushing around trying to deal with a tourist invasion, too. They are more likely to interact with strangers.

JTravel said...

Hi Alexandra, Absolutely -- for me, the entire Cape is much more atmospheric, authentic and approachable off season.

sarah henry said...

Before I was beholden to school schedules, I loved off-season travel to;)

JTravel said...

Hi sarah, I know what you mean. When I was a teacher I also was locked into peak-season travel. But, as Steve, above commented, there is something to be said for hitting the road when the weather is the best, as well.

Melanie Haiken said...

I love seeing a city when the other tourists have gone home and the locals come out to play. It feels more real to me.

JTravel said...

Hi Melanie, Absolutely. When I was visiting Motovun, Croatia, once the tour buses left at the end of the afternoon, that's when the town showed its authentic side.