Is it worth it to travel during off-peak seasons?
To get a good deal, we’re all willing to sacrifice a little.
We know $1.39 Wendy’s bacon cheeseburgers aren’t great for us, but come on, they’re $1.39. You’d be a sucker not to buy three. Same goes for items at, say, Costco. In 2010, no one needs 72 AA batteries. But at that price, if you don’t snag ‘em, someone else will.
Ludicrous logic? Sure, maybe. Yet it’s this kind of saving-above-all-else reason that consumers exhibit perhaps most prominently in travel. Though, despite the deals, is it worth it to travel during off-peak seasons?
The people at Currency, the American Express blog site, have done a pretty nice job of outlining the pros and cons to planning your annual vacation – what to expect in price and accommodation during off-peak seasons, and what to expect the rest of the year.
Off-peak seasons, it stands to note, come under a few definitions, but they’re often lumped into two stretches of the calendar: April 15-June 1 and October 1-December 15.
What you’ll get during those time periods isn’t necessarily so clear. Certainly, many Canadians have probably had wonderful, inexpensive vacations during the spring and fall, when much of the rest of the country stays put.
There is cheaper airfare then, not to mention all the things during your trip that’ll be lighter on your wallet: hotels; tourist attractions; in many cases, food and drink.
Yet, how can we measure the detractions to visiting paradise in off-peak seasons? The business world is surely in full swing during off-peak seasons, so if you’re traveling then, for example, it means you’ve got to risk irking your employer by taking time off during times when you might be needed.
Of course, the major drawback to traveling in off-peak times is the weather – no two ways about it. Sure, there aren’t any lines at the Louvre when it’s five degrees and raining outside, and sure, there are plenty of open pool chairs in Vegas when it’s 40,000C and your skin is starting to look like Donatella Versace’s.
But the big picture question, then, becomes this: is it worth? Is sacrificing a little in terms of weather and convenience worth it if it means saving hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars?
Do you travel in off-peak seasons? If so, is it the way to go – if not, how come?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: John | Nov 2, 2021 7:31:13 PM
My answer: NO!
Posted by: Sue | Nov 3, 2021 7:15:32 AM
Depends where you go. We have been to Europe several times in late October and the weather is fantastic. Sunshine and cool enough to need a jacket, but far preferable to excessive heat and excessive crowds.
Posted by: LJ | Nov 3, 2021 10:39:56 AM
Just heading to Disney this week and am looking forward to smaller than peak crowds and non blistering temperatures. Most travel is on sale not just off peak but recession sales. We saved enough to put it in reach.
Posted by: Beth Beaupre | Nov 3, 2021 2:01:17 PM
My husband and I travelled a month in Europe/UK Aug 13-Sept 13, just enough into the off-season to be noticeably cheaper. Also, we each have just turned 60, so were able to take advantage of special rates on train travel in the UK, and what great rates they have! I usually travel late May rather than wait into June, and can notice the difference in traffic, line ups and hotel rates. My advice would definitely be: if you are able to wait until the off-season, at least try it once and see.
Posted by: b ford | Nov 3, 2021 4:31:14 PM
Yes. Assuming you can work it out with work, spouse and kids. If you have never tried it, you don't know.
Air tickets are cheaper, esp. when multiplied by many people. You can bank that savings or spend on other things. Holiday travel packages may be cheaper. We have saved on flights to China and packages to Cancun, for example. Even in high seasons, certain weeks are cheaper. Many people head south during spring or Christmas break but packages can be cheaper at other times.
Avoiding the worst or hotest weather is possible, depending on the destination. A big one for me is to enjoy the best prairie weather here and then travel when it is not so nice here. How about a dose of the natural sun sourced vitamin D when we have so little sun here (your skin makes it when the sun is high enough in the sky but not otherwise-- look it up)?
Avoiding others and their holidays can help if you are going to popular destinations. China has a huge internal tourist industry, if you can avoid their holidays, which includes the first week of October, you can reduce the crowds that can be large in any case. Alternatively, going to Paris in August, as I did, can see you in Paris when many Parisians head away for their holidays. I was surprised by how little traffic there was in that big city then.
Either way, enjoy!
Posted by: Kathy Simpson | Nov 4, 2021 12:23:15 PM
We went to Bimini in the Bahamas in Jan. 2010.
Do not do this, the accomadations do not have a heat source in them, there is nothing to do there when the winds are blowing the clouds never go away and the Surf never lays down!
Bimini is Dirty and run down, the food is expensive and you have to wait for a cargo ship to come in on Thursday to get more groceries in the stores.
Horrible experience, each day we woke up in our Cottage with no heat and said to each other, is it a one coat, or two coat day!
There are drunks and beggars at the post office, the bank and the food stores, so good luck going any where without running into them.
We will never go back!
Posted by: Jack | Nov 6, 2021 12:44:44 AM
Posted by: d smethurst | Nov 7, 2021 10:14:35 AM
I depends on what you want to do and see. I don't need to do everything but I like to see how the rest of the world works. We left Sept 2 from AB visited all the provinces 8 days in Halifax dipped my toes in the atlantic ocean stopped in 16 states visited DC for 2 days golfed 8 times visited quite a few museums and went to the odd casino along the way. Home Nov 1. 17000Km on the car great motel rates and friendly helpful people made the trip worthwhile. note we avoided big cities as much as possible and met some real neat people in small town can/usa.