Off-season: the time of year that for whatever reason, no one else wants to visit a place.
Travel drops significantly during school months and extreme weather and temperatures. Traveling during the off-season offers deep hotel discounts and increased availability for flights and lodging. Travelers also avoid huge crowds and long lines.
I traveled to Belize during the September rainy season.
When you add rain to a jungle paradise, you get a relentless barrage of mosquitoes. I took home a fair share of bumps as souvenirs! I also saved a fair share of money.
If you’re adventurous and want to save a few hundred dollars, here’s how to make the most of your off-season vacation:
Do Your Research
Photo via Flickr by MoyanBrenn
For many destinations, the weather in the off-season is the main reason for a decrease in visitors.
You may find that traveling during the “shoulder season” — right before the off-season starts — offers a more tolerable option.
If you’re interested in a certain tour or experience, contact the vendor to confirm that it’s available during your travel dates. With fewer tourists, certain options are unavailable.
Negotiate for the Best Prices
You’ll find cheaper airfare and lodging during the off-season because companies are competing to attract limited travelers.
If you’re ready to negotiate for lodging, you can lower your costs even more. Some hosts set their prices and when renters are scarce, they are more willing to negotiate. Reach out to hosts to let them know how much you can pay, and work toward a rate.
Flight deals can pop up at any time, and you’ll want to be ready to take advantage of low prices.
Bad weather can affect travel plans.
Stay flexible for last-minute changes to your trip. Opt for travel insurance for coverage of significant changes. Also, build in a time cushion and an emergency budget.
Use Create Activity Planning
Be on the lookout for exclusive events that only take place during the off-season. For example, many cities have Restaurant Week during the winter to boost dining when tourists aren’t around to spend money and locals would rather stay inside.
Travel to places that have plenty of indoor attractions to get relief from unfavorable weather.
Travel In Groups
The right travel companion can make or break a trip. So when bad weather or other unforeseen events puts a damper on your plans, good company makes all the difference. Invite friends who are low-maintenance and easygoing.
Off-season travel isn’t for the travel diva.
As a bonus, others will be more willing to fork out money for a trip when prices are low.
Traveling during the off-season is a wonderful way to see more of the world while keeping more money in your pocket.