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The term “low season” has a certain stigma about it and can sometimes be confused with a bad time to visit a certain destination. While in some cases there might be a bit of truth to that, the benefits of traveling during low season can far outweigh the bad. We’ve put together a list of its many benefits to help you see it as the great affordable travel opportunity that it often is.

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Have ancient Greece all to yourself in low season | Photo by

1. Thinner crowds

This should come as no surprise since the term low season refers to a lower number of visitors. Along with the luxury of having more of the main attractions to yourself, it has practical advantages like short or non-existent lines.

2. Cheaper accommodations

In high season, there’s often more visitors than open rooms, which can lead to inflated prices, but in low season the opposite is true. Take advantage of the low demand and cash in on the lowest prices of the year. Depending on the destination, rooms can cost less than half of high season prices.

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3. Fewer photo bombers

For the photographer in all of us, the best part of traveling in low season is that there will be fewer people in your photos. Low season visits usually mean less time spent waiting for people to get out of your shots and more time enjoying your holiday. Even if you’re not a photographer, you’ll enjoy quieter attractions and have a more relaxed visit.

4. Easier to interact with locals

A crowded store or market stall can be a tough place to talk with a local vendor about her unique goods or her tips for exploring the city. However, when you’re the only one there, you’ll find local people much more interested and available to talk with you. Making friends or even just a little bit of conversation with local people on your travels can lead to the best memories on the road.

Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany, Italy

5. Better service

Fewer people will mean fewer restaurant patrons and fewer visitors on every tour you take. In most cases, it’ll mean a better ratio of service providers to guests, giving them more time to attend to your needs. Reduced numbers on a tour are particularly good fortune, allowing you to have more conversations with the guide and help you to truly understand the places you visit.

6. Everything is or can be discounted 

Besides accommodations, the price of just about everything can be cheaper; it’s definitely a buyers market. Even if some things aren’t discounted, ask for a reduced rate. You’ll be surprised how often this will work. Vendors and tour operators are hungry for business in low season and will often work on a discount.

The church in Manganeses de la Polvorosa | Photo: By Arubiod, via Wikimedia Commons

The church in Manganeses de la Polvorosa, Spain | Photo: Arubiod, via Wikimedia Commons

7. Attend unique local festivals

The slower pace of life during low season may offer a more intimate experience and, if your timing is right, access to unique and interesting festivals. For example, if you happen to be in northern Spain in January, be sure to stop into the town of Manganeses de la Polvorosa for their infamous goat tossing festival—bet your friends haven’t been to that one!

8. Sometimes the weather is actually better in low season 

Most people associate low season with cold temperatures or pouring rain, but that’s not always the case. For example, summertime is the most popular time to visit Europe, but temperatures, especially in the south, can be uncomfortably hot. This trend is especially true for destinations that are popular with families, who tend to plan their travel around school breaks rather than seasonal ideals.

9. Easier to get around

Have you ever tried to ride the Rome metro in July? If you have, you know what we mean. In Italy’s peak summer season, the population of major tourist cities grows to a level that even the transport systems can’t handle. In places that have four distinct seasons, plan your visit for September or October for a much more enjoyable trip all around, but especially on public transport.


You can have beaches like this one in Coron Palawan, Philippines, all to yourself | Photo by

PLUS, a few things to consider before booking your low season holiday

As great as traveling low season can be, it also comes with a few challenges. With a little planning, you can avoid these common pitfalls and still have a great trip.

Make sure you can actually get there

The smaller the destination, the less likely you’ll be able to get there in low season. This can be especially true for islands that require boat service or remote towns with trains or buses. At a minimum there will be fewer routes running during low season, or service only on select days, so make your plans accordingly.

Make sure things are going to be open

It’s quite common that restaurants and hotels will shut down for a few months in low season to make repairs or to cut operating losses. Even if some places are closed for the season, it still may be worth visiting as long as there is still a place to get dinner and rest your head.

Ask about potential construction 

Low season is a popular time for fixing things in the tourism business. Hotels don’t want to disturb guests while they are at full capacity, so this activity is reserved for low season. An email or call to the hotel before you book can save you a lot of headaches. If you don’t mind a little noise, ask if there are any discounts during the construction. Repairs in low season aren’t only for hotels. Low season is also a time when many historical monuments and attractions go in for a restoration project. Do a little research to make sure what you are traveling to see or do will be available during your visit.

Keep an eye out for shorter hours

When fewer people are around, things tend to close earlier and be open fewer days of the week. Plan your time in a destination accordingly to avoid missing out on the stuff you actually came there to see.

Consider planning some extra days in case of weather

If you are traveling to a destination where the weather can be a bit unpredictable during low season, think about reserving on more day than you think you might need in case the forecast isn’t in your favor.




Tagged: Cheap Tips, International, Off-season, Tips & advice

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