Avoid the Crowds: Off-Season Travel Destinations around the World

by | Oct 30, 2023 | Budget Travel, Cultural Travel, Destinations, Discount Travel, HelloVacay, Travel Tips | 0 comments

Planning a trip during a destination's off-season means you can avoid the crowds and take advantage of lower prices on flights and hotels. Though the weather may be a bit cooler or rainier, the benefits often outweigh a slight change of climate. Read on for top places around the world that are perfect to visit during their quieter shoulder seasons.
Luggage Survival Guide: luggage on a rack

Paris in Springtime (March-May)

The summer rush of tourists hasn't yet descended upon Paris in the spring, and hotel rates are much lower than during summer high season. While temperatures are a bit cooler, spring brings blooming trees, flowers, and longer daylight hours perfect for city strolling.

  • Stroll through colorful spring flower markets
  • Picnic in parks like Luxembourg Garden as trees blossom
  • Visit museums like the Louvre and Orsay before summer crowds
Luggage Survival Guide: carry-on luggage

Tokyo in Autumn (September-November)

The autumn months after summer vacations have ended are an ideal time to visit Tokyo. You'll avoid the humidity of summer and the busy fall foliage crowds. September and October still have warm temperatures in the 70s Fahrenheit along with beautiful fall colors starting mid-month.

  • See fall foliage in parks like Rikugien and Koishikawa Korakuen
  • Shop department stores for autumn fashion and limited edition sweets
  • Enjoy temperate weather for nightlife in Shinjuku and Shibuya

Costa Rica in May

May is in the middle of Costa Rica's shoulder season with cheaper hotel rates before high season starts in November. It's one of the best months to visit with mostly clear skies, temps in the 80s, lush jungle landscapes, and smaller crowds on hiking trails and beaches.

  • Go on jungle hikes to spot wildlife before rainy season
  • Have beaches like Manuel Antonio mostly to yourself
  • Try surfing lessons with fewer crowds lineup up for waves
Luggage Survival Guide: carry-on luggage

Cape Town, South Africa in March

March falls right between the busy holiday season in South Africa and the start of winter, making it an ideal time to visit Cape Town. The summer heat has dissipated but sunny days in the 70s are still the norm. Cape wildflowers are in bloom, whale watching season begins, and you'll avoid the crowds.

  • Spot whales from scenic lookouts along the coast
  • Tour the stunning blooming flower region of the West Coast
  • Enjoy South African wine country before high tourist season

New Zealand in April-May

Visiting New Zealand after the summer rush but before the ski season starts means fewer crowds and lower prices on accommodation. April and May bring crisp 60 degree weather, making it perfect for hiking and exploring NZ's stunning natural scenery.

  • Hike the Tongariro Crossing before colder winter temps
  • Explore Fiordland National Park's lush rainforest trails
  • Drive the scenic Queenstown to Glenorchy route in perfect weather
Luggage Survival Guide: carry-on luggage

Bahamas in September

Once kids are back in school, hotel and flight deals can be found to the Bahamas before the holiday travelers arrive again. September sees less rain, smaller crowds, and temperatures in the 80s making it a tranquil time to visit gorgeous Bahamian beaches and islands.

  • Swim in the famous pink and white sand beaches with smaller crowds
  • Snorkel or scuba dive to explore vibrant coral reefs and marine life
  • Charter a boat for fishing or island hopping in ideal weather

Scotland in October

October brings stunning fall colors and fewer crowds to Scotland just before the winter low season. Temperatures are brisk but perfect for enjoying Scotch whisky tours, hiking the Highlands, and overlooked attractions without the summer tourists.

  • Hike through golden highlands blanketed in fall colors
  • Tour Speyside whisky distilleries without the crowds
  • Enjoy local food and music festivals in cooler but comfortable weather
Luggage Survival Guide: carry-on luggage

India in July

India's wet monsoon season from June to September offers a unique experience in India along with smaller crowds and lower hotel prices. While July has a good chance of rain, the countryside is lush green and the temperatures are cooler.

  • Witness seasonal waterfalls at full power like Jog Falls
  • Spot tigers on jeep safaris through lush national parks
  • Experience Holi festival celebrations without intense summer heat

Uruguay in March

Many travelers don't realize that March falls within Uruguay's low tourist season before the busy summer months. You'll find lower hotel rates along with pleasant temperatures in the 70s Fahrenheit. Montevideo offers colorful street art, museums, and nightlife without summer crowds. Punta del Este also makes for a tranquil beach escape before peak season.

  • Stroll the Old City of Colonia del Sacramento before crowds pick up
  • Relax on the beaches of Punta del Este before peak tourist season
  • Explore charming vintage markets showcasing crafts and antiques
Planning your travels during shoulder season allows you to experience destinations at their best, without battling crowds and peak season prices. The cooler temperatures, unique festivals, and natural highlights of the off-season often showcase an entirely different side of popular places. From the cherry blossoms of springtime Paris to the whales of South Africa's western coast in March, there are wonders to behold all year round. With the right timing and some flexibility, you can take part in one-of-a-kind shoulder season adventures beyond the tourist norm.
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