There are a lot of great reasons to visit major tourist attractions during the off-season. For starters, it tends to be significantly cheaper during less busy times of the year. Also, you will be able to see the sights without being elbow to elbow with other travelers.
Off-season travelers are often able to enter museums and other attractions without the line, get tables at popular restaurants without waiting and schedule last-minute trips without worrying about destinations being overly crowded or having to skip certain attractions because tickets are sold out. What’s not to love about that?
If you are thinking about planning a trip abroad, here are nine countries that are perfect to visit in the off-season!
If you are willing to take a chance, you can get the best deals and experience the smallest crowds by visiting during the Caribbean hurricane season, which lasts from June through November. Just be sure to invest in travel insurance if you plan on going at this time of year in case you aren’t able to make the trip due to weather.
Italy – the weather is better in the off season
Spending some quality time under the Tuscan sun during the summer seems like a great idea. That is until you realize that the temperature in Italy often soars to more than 100 degrees at that time of year. And in addition to being overwhelmingly hot, the nation’s most popular destinations tend to be packed with tourists.
Whether you want to see the sights in Rome, visit Florence or travel throughout the entire country, planning your trip during the off-season allows you to avoid huge crowds and sweltering hot temperatures.
New Zealand – their off season is our summer season
If you want to visit New Zealand during the off-season, plan on going either between June and August, March and May or September and November. Just remember that June, July and August are winter months in the southern hemisphere.
It is much easier to be spontaneous during the off-season without fear of everything being booked solid. You’ll also have more opportunities to connect with locals and likely spend a lot less on your vacation.
Planning a honeymoon? Here are the best honeymoon hotels.
China – their off season is during Chinese New Year
Most travel guides will tell you that it is best to visit China during the spring or fall when the weather is mild. If you don’t mind winter weather, though, visiting in January or February is amazing. You can get a great deal on hotel accommodations and have greater access to popular tourist attractions. Visiting at this time of year also enables you to take part in Chinese New Year celebrations.
Australia – visit during their winter (off season) but still experience mild weather
Australia is another place that’s great to visit during the winter months. In Sydney, it’s rare for it to get truly cold, so you shouldn’t have to worry about bundling up too much. Bring some t-shirts and a hoodie and you should be good for most days. Even if you want to go backpacking in Australia, you can do so outside of peak season due to the year-round mild weather. Remember to pack a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes!
Tourism is slow during the winter, so it’s the perfect time to snag great deals on hotels that are much more expensive in the summer. Wintertime is also great if you want to catch a show at the Sydney Opera House since tickets tend to be cheaper.
Greece – It’s gotten popular again, so avoid the summer months and visit in spring and fall (their off season)
Like many other countries, Greece tends to be pretty swamped with tourists from June through August. These months are also the most expensive time to visit. Visit outside of peak season and you will get to enjoy Athens and Santorini and all of their sights with fewer crowds and at lower prices. You will get to experience the amazing culture, dine on delicious Greek cuisine and have the trip of a lifetime without blowing your entire life savings.
St. Lucia – give yourself the gift of travel during the off season (make it your Christmas present and travel in January)
Thinking about a Caribbean getaway but not looking forward to sharing the beach with hundreds of other vacationers? Try checking out St. Lucia during the off-season. Peak season on this beautiful island extends from mid-December through April, so visiting outside of those months provides your best opportunity of being able to enjoy the sights without feeling overly crowded.
The Bahamas – their off season is fall watch out for hurricanes
If you live in a colder climate, visiting the Bahamas during the winter probably seems like the perfect getaway. Unfortunately, lots of other people feel the same way. If you travel to the Bahamas during peak season, you’ll be dealing with crowded beaches and expensive flights and accommodations.
There is no “real” fall season in the Bahamas. The temperature stays warm year-round, but tourism dies down near the end of the summer. This means less crowded beaches, easier access to tourist attractions and cheaper flights and hotel rooms. If you want to visit the Bahamas but don’t want to spend a fortune or have to deal with countless other tourists, going during the fall is a safe bet.
Indonesia – huge savings abound with hotels during their off season
Bali, Indonesia is a popular destination for honeymooners. It also tends to be quite crowded between the months of June and August. Whether you are planning a romantic getaway or just want to explore somewhere new, visiting between September and October will likely cost you significantly less. At this time of year, you can book a room at a luxury resort or hotel at a fraction of the normal cost. And since tourism is down in September and October, you can enjoy the sights and attractions without feeling overly crowded.
The Czech Republic – can you handle a bit of cold? Then visit Prague in the winter for their off season
If visiting Prague in the Czech Republic is on your bucket list, consider visiting during the winter. It is one of the most beautiful places in all of Europe, and when you visit during the winter, you can truly sense the soul of the city. Fall and spring are nice times to visit, too. Just avoid traveling to the Czech Republic during the summer if you want to save money and avoid huge crowds.
Traveling during the off-season is a great way to experience new places at a fraction of the cost of traveling during busier times. It’s also a good way to ensure that you can access the attractions of your choice without needing to book months in advance or having to elbow your way through throngs of other tourists.
About the author: Brenda Kimble is a writer and travel blogger from Austin, TX. She is also a mother of 2 daughters and a son. Her life’s journey has taken her to 5 continents, 25+ countries, and all 50 United States. When she is traveling, she is typically doing yoga, crafting with her kids, or writing for The Talkin’ T-Shirts Blog, where she is a frequent contributor.