beach in Aruba with pink flamingo standing on one leg near the water

Why You Should Seriously Consider Off-Season Travel

Besides picking where to travel to next, the toughest decision you have to make when making travel plans is deciding WHEN to travel to a destination. My favorite time to go on a new adventure is during a location’s off-season, or the time when the weather is not ideal because it  leads to low tourist activity. It also happens to be the best way to book a dream vacation for a fraction of the cost.

It’s not just about the money for me. Here are a few reasons I book during less favorable seasons, and some of my favorite spots, so you can go ahead and book your next (dare I say, best) trip.

It’s less busy.

When the weather is not ideal, many people stay away from a destination. For example, most people try to avoid the Caribbean during fall when it is hurricane season. This means if you do travel during the off-season, you will avoid having to navigate crowds and long lines to the sights you’ve been dying to see. . 

Show the locals some love.

Less people means you have a higher chance of being able to have quality conversations with the locals, instead of flying halfway around the world to converse with everyone else who flew halfway around the world. When I visited Belize recently during its off-season, I was one of the very few tourists there and that meant I could more easily talk to  a lot of locals all about life in Belize. 

Enjoy cheaper flights and accommodations.

During the off-season, flights and accommodations are less expensive because the demand is just not there. This also means you’ll have a lot more options to choose from. With less people visiting, that means there is more availability at hotels, home rentals, tours, and airfare. You may be able to score a great discounted deal on a jungle excursions or a discounted stay at your dream hotel that you normally wouldn’t be able to get if you were traveling during high season. 

Surprise “private” tours.

One of my favorite travel experiences was when I was visiting Belize this past October. Since my husband and I were among the few visiting at that time, a group snorkel trip to Mexico Rocks turned out to be a private tour with just us and the captain/snorkel guide. We learned SO much about the ocean and Belize. He pointed out many things we would have never seen if we were on our own or in a large group. It was a very special experience that we would have never had if we were visiting during high season.

Let’s get going…

There are so many great destinations to travel to during the off-season. Most of the time the weather holds people back from traveling during off-season, but I have found that the weather has never been an issue. Yes, there may be a few more moments of rain or thunderstorms, but it gives you a different perspective of the destination. Here have been my five favorite destinations for off-season travel. 

  • Belize (Fall)

Fall in Belize is rainy season. However, it is a tropical climate, so when it does rain, it blows through very fast. I was there in October for a week and it rained twice: once when we were snorkeling and once when we were in the jungle. It didn’t affect our trip one bit! October is at the end of their off-season, which is a tough time for the locals to make a decent living. 

Aruba is in the Caribbean, so you may be wondering why it would be a good idea to go there in the fall, aka hurricane season. What most people don’t know is that Aruba is outside of the hurricane belt, so the odds of experiencing bad weather during fall is highly unlikely. Traveling to Aruba can be pricey, but during fall when it is the off-season, prices are lower and there are far less people!

  • Death Valley (Winter)

I get it. Most people that visit Death Valley are families, so summer when the kids are off of school is high season. But Death Valley is HOT in summer, which does not sound like the ideal time to visit for me. I visited in January when the temperatures were ideal (in the 60s every day), and there was almost no one around. 

  • Italy (Spring)

If Italy is on your bucket list (like it is for most people), go in spring. Summer is when it gets very crowded and very hot. I went in early May, and the weather was perfect and the crowds were still minimal.

It rains in the Pacific Northwest year-round. If you are prepared for rain, traveling to Oregon and Washington in spring is a great time to visit. With the rain comes lush green forests. I visited Olympic National Park in April, and it barely rained and the crowds were very minimal. I almost saw no one on the trails I hiked! Just don’t forget to bring a rain jacket and an extra pair of shoes.

Sarah Key is a travel advisor and travel blogger helping couples travel more and stress less. She enjoys traveling the world with her husband and bringing back all she has learned to share with others. Sarah believes travel and exploring new destinations can change peoples’ outlook on the world for the better. We all have something unique to share and getting outside of your comfort zone improves us as individuals as well as a global community. As a travel advisor, Sarah is able to provide a unique travel experience for her clients from her insider knowledge, connections to lodging and tour guides, and personal experiences

Follow her travels on Instagram @TheKeysToTravel and on her blog www.thekeystotravel.com

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