Would you travel outside peak season? I’m here to give you some really good reasons why you might like to consider doing it. Unless of course, you are one of choir. Travelling during peak season has its perks for sure – the snow is dumping 3 feet overnight, the surf breaks are clean, fat, barrelling waves, the cities and towns are alive with shops/restaurants/museums all open. All that fun and lively-ness also hits the hip pocket, sometimes brutally. All of that is justifiable and I’m by no means suggesting that anyone should travel only in the off-shoulder season. But often, the same places can be just as beautiful, just as festive, just as fun, off-peak and for a fraction of the price.
I’ve done a lot of travel in the off season. As a student and when I was working on minimal salary, it was the most affordable way to travel. Wanderlust is a terrible thing! Europe in winter is so beautiful. If you can’t afford to ski, grab a sled or toboggan. Sipping on hot chocolate or mulled wine while perusing markets is a cheap way to soak in the local culture and atmosphere. Get up close to Monet’s water lilies without having to stand on tip toe in a crowd 15, 20 people deep. Airfares are probably the biggest cost in travel and again, it’s much cheaper going during the off-season, plus you increase your chances of getting two seats to yourself!
Recently we came back from Costa Rica. It is a place that is so beautiful in its lushness and simplicity that I am embarrassed by my inefficiency in trying to describe it. We went in the ‘green season’. It’s called the ‘green season’ because the landscape is so dense, vibrant and green from all the rain. The rivers and waterfalls are flowing over-abundantly. We went in June and we had perfect weather every day (except for one day where it rained until 11am and the rest of the day was perfect). There were no crowds, service at restaurants was not quick (admittedly) but imagine what it must be like when there are crowds! We had whole beaches to ourselves which was fantastic for errant and erratic frisbee-throwing. The surf was fantastic and even more so without having to battle for a wave and worry about some numpty dropping in.
Accommodation was also so much cheaper. The hillside apartment with sea breezes and views over the ocean was actually affordable (no second mortgage needed). We stayed in a 2-bedroom villa right across the road from one of the best beaches, with a kitchen and pool for US$60 a night. We hired an ATV for the week for a 45% discount from peak rates.
Sure you may have to plan a little bit more and take into account that some things will be closed. But I’m sure that unless that museum/art gallery/restaurant is the sole reason for your travel, you’ll be able to find something else wonderful and magical and fantastic to do. Go on and do it! You won’t regret it.