I have to admit, when my husband and I travel, we tend to travel during high season. We want the good weather in the Summer, the snow in Winter (well I don’t really ever want snow).
Yes, we know we end up paying higher prices, but it is what we expect.
It wasn’t until this November, that over Thanksgiving, we traveled to Spain. Now, I am sure, that if you are an American, you are thinking I am out of my mind, and that holiday travel is expensive, and that the airports are packed.
While you are mostly correct, most people who travel over the holidays, tend to travel to see family, or with family. Over Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans travel to visit family, who are more than likely American, they travel as a family. Cancun, Florida are packed and expensive. (Not to pick on Cancun but we went over NYE to Tulum last year and everything was a ZOO.)
The Rain won’t stop me!
We went to San Sebastian, La Rioja and Segovia. I’ll save the details for another day but other than staying at a 5 Star Hotel for under 200USD/night that is over 500USD at a minimum in the summer, we gladly picked up on a whole bunch of other benefits.
Before I get into the benefits, I’m going to give you my thoughts/tip on how to avoid high season travel, as well as weeks and such that might be more expensive.
Identifying Off Season
1- Check the Calendar for Regional and National Holidays of where you are looking to go
2- Check for Festivals & conventions- While they tend to be when the weather is nice anyways, the hotel prices surge for Festivals, and conventions just book up all the bigger hotels.
3- Check the school calendars to identify Spring Breakers/family travel times
1- Obviously you can save so much money! woot woot.
2- Snag the hottest table in town, and without a reservation. We ate at Atari, in San Sebastian- on a walk in. I’ve seen the line around the block int he summer, and they told us to call in advance if we want to eat there, when there in the Summer. I may have mildly taken this as an appreciation for supporting them during the slow time, that if I ever come in the Summer I’ll have some sort of VIP Access to a table (I can dream right?)
3-Find out what Off Season means there- This was a hard one to put to words so I’ll give you an example. While in Rioja this November, it was off season, and towards the end of the week. Many of the restaurants were completely closed till Mid January
4- LESS PEOPLE. Freely roam through towns packed sidewalk to sidewalk without holding onto your purse for dear life.
5- Feel Safer- While many destinations can be targets in the Summer for theft etc, there won’t be as many people around.
6- Cheaper Prices- Maybe it’s just me but I swear it was as if the restaurants lowered their prices assuming that most the people coming around were locals. A right of passage of sorts that locals get for dealing with tourists lol.
8- Room Upgrades- That Room upgrade your CC gets you that you never seem to get? You can’t get a free room upgrade when the room is already filled up.
9- Less waiting- It was so much faster to get around, I know we were able to do more in less time.
10- Encounter more like-minded individuals- Generally when we travel, we tend to chat with someone at some point. I did notice that the people traveling weren’t complaining about anything, including the pouring rain. We came to do and experience, not to see and be gone.