It’s all about supply and demand, if you travel during the busy season you are going to end up paying quite a bit more than if you were to travel in the off season. I have done plenty of traveling in both high and low seasons but if you are looking to travel on a budget then there are some real benefits of traveling during the low seasons. The reason many places are considered the off season if due to weather so if you don’t have any problem with working with mother nature then traveling in the off season can prove to be a big benefit for your budget. My most recent off season traveling was done in South East Asia during the rainy season which is June-October.
I was in South East Asia this past summer towards the start of the rainy season in July and August. It was still extremely hot and humid during our visit, but to my surprise the rain really wasn’t bad. The rain only changed our plans one time throughout the trip; we had hoped to go rock climbing but the rain interfered and we ended up not being able to go. That being said we did have the occasional monsoon, but they would often happen later in the day if not in the middle of the night. Light rain would occasionally come down during the day, but you are already so humid that it doesn’t really matter.
I have also traveled in the low seasons around Europe and unlike South East Asia the weather can get much colder, so be prepared because the weather can effect your plans a little bit more. I was trekking around Romania, Belgium, and a couple of other European countries and it can get cold, so pack accordingly. While the weather can be a bit of a hassle in the off seasons one of the great benefits is not having to deal with a bunch of tourists. You can get in and out of a lot of the sights you want to see with a more more intimate experience. There is more of a local vibe around the countries during the off season and you can get a better sense of the culture when there isn’t thousands of tourists stampeding throughout the city.
Another benefit of traveling in the off season is a lot of the hostels and lodging you will be staying at is much cheaper. There is significant mark ups for hostels during the summer months when the normal throngs of tourists start traveling. Something to take into consideration is what you are trying to see or experience when traveling. If you are a history and art buff then off season traveling is a good way to get the museums all to yourself and usually at a discount as well. If you are looking to hike and do a bunch of outdoor activities check before booking to make sure those options are available. In the end it comes down to what you are trying to get out of the trip, but I recommend off season traveling if you are wanting to travel and save some money. Next time you are looking at booking a trip, do a quick check and see what the prices look like in the low season, see how much you can save.