Low Season Travel Tips For The Thrifty Traveller
If you’re like me, you tend to not bother with going on holiday right on the tip of the peak season. Peak season is obviously a great time to visit your favourite holiday destination thanks to things like favourable weather patterns, but problem is, everyone wants to be there too. Beaches and popular tourist attractions get incredibly crowded, accommodation and air fares are at their highest and restaurant waiting times can get a bit much. For people who prefer peace and quiet, low season travel can be just the thing. As long as you know where to go, and what to look for. So without further adieu, here are our low season travel tips!
Research your preferred destination before committing to travel
Low season is often the low season for a reason, depending on the destination. For some tropical islands it could be hurricane season, yet for popular summer destinations it could be simply because it is not as warm. Making informed decisions is key to ensuring you have a great time in the slower seasons. Since November is just around the corner, we will use it as an example.
November is either considered mid spring or autumn depending on whether you’re in the northern or southern hemisphere. Destinations such as Bali or Thailand usually have their wet season around this time, while Cape Town in South Africa is an excellent choice, as the mild and dry weather makes for a beautiful holiday. Another excellent choice is Australia’s Gold Coast. The weather is still a bit cool for the locals, but if you live in a colder climate, you will find their beaches almost empty.
Research is a great way to make sure you know what to expect. A good way to find this information is by visiting your preferred destinations official tourism portal. These websites often yield incredibly useful information, from expected rain fall and temperatures, to what activities and attractions you’d be able to visit. You can also go hunting for discussion forums or online communities such as Reddit where you can interact with locals or even other travellers who have been to the same destination.
Keep an eye out for deals on flights or accommodation
Airlines often try and get as many seats filled as possible to ensure they cover the cost of the flights, and empty seats definitely don’t help. That is why you can often find incredibly low air fares during the low season, as airlines get desperate to fill the aircraft. Once you have decided on a destination, have a look at airlines who operate frequent flights to the area. If your destination has a local airline, that will be a great place to start. As an example, Air New Zealand has a service called Grab a Seat where you can find incredibly cheap air fares domestically as well as internationally. Always be on the look out for services such as this one, as most big airlines tend to have specials that often fall in low season travel periods.
The same is often true for accommodation. Owners of holiday houses are very likely to have lower nightly rates for low season dates, and often offer incredible discounts to renters during this time. A great place to find amazing accommodation is of course our very own amazing deals page. Landing a discount on both your accommodation and your flights is absolutely the biggest appeal of low season travel, and if you’ve done your research, you’re well on your way to have an incredible holiday without having to spend top dollar.
Plan your activities ahead of time
You don’t want to visit a museum to find it is closed due to it being low season, so planning your activities ahead of time is rather important. While booking in advance due to the possibility of shows being sold out during peak season is not going to be a problem, you may well find some attractions, shows or activities to be closed completely. Museums and other attractions often use the low season for maintenance or refurbishment, and the best way to ensure you don’t end up with scaffolding in your holiday photos is to either visit the attraction’s website, or by giving them a call them in advance to confirm their availability.
Be aware of daylight hours when planning your activities
The amount of daylight hours will vary from destination to destination, but it is important to be aware of this often forgotten subject. If you have a day planned consisting of several outdoor activities such as sight seeing or visiting monuments, it would be preferable to do so in daylight and in good weather. If the sun goes down earlier than you anticipated, you could find yourself out in the dark trying to make out what a certain statue is supposed to look like. You may also prefer to see the sunset or sunrise from a specific vantage point, so knowing these times will be a huge help in planning your day. Many websites, such as Google, now outline the busy periods and best time time to visit attractions, stores and landmarks so use this to your advantage.
If you’re visiting a destination where the temperature or weather can fluctuate during their low season, it is important to pack accordingly. A good balance of warm and comfortable clothes right alongside your swimwear or t-shirts is the best way to enjoy your trip, even when the weather takes an unexpected turn. We recommend you only pack what you need, and buy anything else you feel you need when you get there. This not only saves on valuable suitcase space but also means you can appear as a local in risky destinations, where pickpockets and scammers are rife.