Cheap flights, cheap hotels, thin crowds. If you choose to travel to a destination during its off season, you’ll surely save a bundle of cash by scoring an awesome travel deal. Here are some tips to make sure your off-season vacation goes goes as smoothly as possible.
Do your research
Every destination is different, so you’ll want to read up on what the low season looks like in the place you’re going to and make a decision accordingly. In Europe, low season means cold and rainy weather, whereas in the Caribbean the low season is usually the time when tropical storms pass through the region. In warmer countries like Morocco and Jordan, the low season is the time of year with extreme high temperatures. Make sure it’s safe to travel where you’re going, when you’re going, and then plan your travels accordingly.
Tackling that multi-day hike in the Swiss Alps will be an entirely different challenge in the winter months, just as riding camels through the Sahara in the summertime will expose you to more sunshine than you might like. When travelling in the low season, some popular activities won’t be doable, so plan your trip with this in mind. It’s too cold to spend time outdoors in most European countries in the winter, but it’s the perfect time for museum hopping since lineups are short and crowds thin. Rainy tropical weather in the Caribbean during the low season may not be the best time for beach bumming, but it’s the perfect time to take advantage of discounted resort prices for a luxury spa holiday.
Dress the part
A “spoiled rainy day” can turn into hours of fun urban exploration, simply with the help of a sturdy umbrella, a pair of rainboots and warm clothing. Outdoorsy brands such as Columbia Sportswear and Mountain Hardwear have lines specifically designed for travel, with clothing items that are stylish and practical, featuring the same weather repelling technologies used in their active wear lines to keep you warm and dry. In warmer climates, take a cue from the locals and dress in traditional clothing which is often best suited for the climate. Check the weather at your destination before you travel and make sure you pack appropriately.
Dress your luggage
It takes 30 seconds in a heavy downpour in Southeast Asia for your bags to get completely drenched. Avoid it by choosing your luggage appropriately. Smaller bags like backpacks can easily be rain-proofed by slipping on a rain cover. If you’re travelling with a suitcase, it’s worth grabbing one that’s waterproof, or – at the very least – water resistant.
Enjoy the flexibility
Perhaps the biggest advantage of travelling during the off season is that you don’t need to book everything ahead of time. With hotels, restaurants, attractions and even trains and buses mostly empty, you have the luxury to plan your trip as you go. Take full advantage of this flexibility by booking your accommodation only a couple of days at a time. Once you’re at your destination, you may decide to go somewhere completely different after a few days. See a cheap last minute domestic flight to a nearby city you would love to check out? If you haven’t put your credit card down on the same hotel for a full week, you’ll have the flexibility to go wherever you decide to on a short notice.