While it may be very exciting for a person to be in the thick of action during any event, the same cannot be said of travelling during the high season. Sometimes, a trip during peak tourist season is unavoidable, as this is when most people are able to go on holiday. Travelling during the off-season, though, can be a remarkably different experience.
The first and most noticeable attraction of low-season travel is how much more affordable things are. If you've always wanted to go but were discouraged by the prices, now is the time to book cheap airline tickets to Florida. It's not just airlines that reduce prices when the flow of tourists slows down to a trickle. Hotels, tour agencies and car rental agencies have to make every effort count to attract business and stay afloat. This means you have the chance to enjoy savings of up to 50 percent for a nice room, with the possibility of receiving an upgrade to an even better room and other special offers and gifts.
Aside from enjoying a more cost-effective trip, a low-season traveler wouldn't have to jostle through crowds of fellow tourists just to get glimpse of a famous monument or get from Point A to Point B. All that extra space would make trips to the beach so much more enjoyable too. You can take your time composing a gorgeous photograph of the sunset without worrying about an inconsiderate fellow traveler stepping into the frame and spoiling the shot. Even the locals might be friendlier in the absence of large groups of boorish travelers.
Before you rush out to the travel agency though, you should be aware of the reason a low-season exists for your dream destination. If it's largely based on the holiday period, then you don't have to worry much. However, the weather can make or break your off-season holiday. For instance, booking a trip to Asia during the monsoon season is just one way of setting yourself up for a miserable time. Other destinations may be completely inaccessible to outsiders during the winter, such as the Rocky Mountain National Park.
There are also some towns that virtually shut down when the tourists leave. Most of the time, business owners use this period to carry out maintenance and repair work. Neglecting to make enquiries beforehand may mean arriving at a fabulous hotel whose west wing is currently undergoing maintenance, or is located beside a site where construction is being carried out. There's also a chance that museums and monuments might be closed to public at these times too.
To avoid disappointment, it's best to enquire at your dream destination's local tourist bureau for the timing and reason for their low season. Hotels, airlines and travel agencies in the area may have different definitions of the off-peak period, but it's highly likely that you'll find a happy medium if you take the time to do a bit of research.
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By Angela Yorke