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Peak or Off-Season Travel - When to Go

Traveling when everyone else isn't has hidden benefits

Having trouble deciding what time of the year to take that much deserved vacation? Consider taking your dream vacation during off-season. While most destinations have a drastic drop in price during this time, they'll also offer better service and quality. Fewer guests mean you'll get the royal treatment.

Tourist attractions base their prices on demand during that season, so because there's less demand during off-season you can definitely find yourself a bargain. Off-Season TravelOff-Season TravelAnd looking at the bigger picture, not only does this mean it's easier on your pocket book, but you also don't have to wait in never-ending lineups, fight for the good spots on the beach or battle the spring break crowds. Sweet!

Peak season

Peak seasons can bring a lot more than just an abundance of tourists. With high season follows high prices, high temperatures, high occupancy rates and high tempers.  But what they might not offer is high quality and great service. For example, Yosemite is best known for its beautiful waterfalls, deep valleys and vast wilderness, but visit during the peak season and the natural wonders of the park are obscured by the endless crowds. Looking to visit Michelangelo's David? Prepare yourself to wait in a two hour line in the scorching European heat. But save the vacation until September and you could be standing on mountain peaks or face to face with David in blissful peace. Which is the reason you came, right?

The other side of the coin - when not to visit

Depending on where you want your dream vacation, off-season may mean that tourism is completely dead. Without the surge of money brought in by tourists some oceanfront towns may decide to close their doors during off-season. Whether it is due to extreme temperatures or the upcoming hurricane season, some trips during specific seasons should simply be avoided. It's worth checking a good guidebook about your destination to find out the "When Not to Go" times.

Peak season highlights

Although a little more expensive and you may have to battle through the crowds, peak season offers an amazing beauty that you may be hard pressed to find at other times. Holland's tulip fields bring colour to life in spring, and the month of July celebrates Spain's Pamplona Running of the Bulls. If you're looking to escape to milder temperatures, Austria and New Zealand offer lower accommodation fees at with reasonable airfare costs. The Greek Islands are a must-see in October, or take pleasure in a Tuscan wine tour come fall.

While peak season means nonstop crowds and spectacular beauty, you'll also pay more and have to put up with crowds. Off-season provides some budget relief and the delight of not having to wait in lines or heard your way through crowds, but you may have less choices. No matter where you're looking to travel, both peak and off season have plenty to offer.

When do you travel? Got any tips to share with GoGirlfriend?

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I only travel off-season to Europe usually in May, when the weather is mild and not too hot, exdept in the south. It's a great time tto travel, one is not inundated with tourism kitsch, and the small B & B where I stay are always glad i came. It is much cheaper, friendlier, and in all ways better.

True to what you have mentioned. Off season does bring in low price and less crowds but it also takes out the best that the place has to offer. Mostly the beautiful climate, the festivals and the best of all certain dishes. And peak season takes off with it, the best service and ofcourse the money matter too.

Great tips - I wish I would have known some of this before visiting Greece - Eqypt and Turkey in AUGUST where is was 115 degrees. Off season is the ticket - We just got back from France in early May and it was wonderful not too crowded at all and the weather was amazing.

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