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Seasoned travelers will often try to time their travel plans around low (off-peak) travel periods and they have some very good reasons for doing so. The low season simply refers to the period of year in which destinations receive fewer visitors compared to what is referred to as the high season, when many more visitors are expected to arrive. Low and high seasons often coincide with weather, school years and public holidays.
So Why Travel in the Low Season?
Less desirable (perhaps even downright cold) weather, leafless trees, empty beaches, closed restaurants and attractions (and even entire hotels at times) makes it sound rather questionable as to why anyone would prefer to travel during low seasons. These are discouraging aspects to low season travel. However, there are some positives to traveling during these periods of the year as well.
Supply-demand principles dictate that high season travel usually comes at higher prices. Meanwhile, those who can travel during the low season can usually take advantage of lower prices on travel expenditures like airline tickets and accommodations, which usually represent significant portion of travel budgets. Restaurants, tour operators and independent attractions also regularly offer discounts, fee concessions and even some freebies to attract more visitors during low season periods. This adds up to tremendous travel savings opportunity for those willing and capable of traveling to certain destinations during the low season.
Avoid the Crowds
Another reason savvy travelers often prefer low season travel is to avoid crowds and standing around in queues that often accompany travel during the high season. Why wait in line for three hours to finally enter a museum and then compete with a mob of other tourists to see works inside when you might be able to just walk straight in and visit with fewer others during the low season? This is just one example of how traveling during the off months of the year can result in the avoidance of massive crowds and long queues, something we can all appreciate.
Low Season Windows
Knowledgeable travelers will be aware of low season travel opportunities that take place during traditionally high season times. One such example is found when travelers from the United States or other countries in the Northern Hemisphere visit South Africa during the months of June to August for safari experiences. While this is high season in the North, its low season in the South, meaning cheaper airfare, accommodations and tour services and the smaller crowds during this time compared to what might be experienced closer to home.
In the end, low season travel is not for everyone but there are some great trade-offs available for those who are willing and able to consider travel during these times of the year.