Pros and Cons of Off Season Budget Travel

There are significant pros and cons to be considered when traveling during the off season.

Cons could include bad weather or the lack of daylight. Perhaps you'll find that important attractions are closed for retooling. All of these are among the common drawbacks to off-season travel.

The list of advantages might be shorter, but no less significant. Crowds are reduced, so that lines are shorter. Guides and business owners actually have time to talk with you. Prices also are reduced in most cases. You'll frequently spend a fraction of what is required for hotels, airfares, and tours during peak season.

It's important that you consider the factors and apply them to your specific travel needs. Keep an open mind. Costa Rica at the peak of rainy season might be inexpensive, but is that really the experience you want?


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    Off Season Travel - Paris and Italy were Bargains in March

    The Eiffel Tower is among the most iconic landmarks in Paris.
    ••• (c)Mark Kahler, under an arrangement with

    Why should you consider traveling to a location during the so-called off season? The question arose because of a lack of frequent flier miles and quickly developed into an itinerary for exploring Italy and France in the month of March. Those frequent flier seats were more plentiful in March, and rooms in bargain hotels also proved far more available. You might find a trip that seemed beyond your financial reach in peak season suddenly becomes much more affordable as an off season journey.

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    Off Season Travel - Pros

    Venice, the lagoon, and winter
    ••• Matteo Colombo/Getty Images

    Finding a deal during the so-called "off season" or "low season" is so much easier because budget travelers have bargaining power. You're not going to fare well when the innkeeper has a waiting list of people ready to book rooms that might become available. No bargaining takes place in that situation. But, in the off season, that well-located, charming room in the middle of Venice could be available and vacant. Wouldn't you, as a hotel owner, be willing to cut a deal that would prevent the room from sitting vacant for the night? They're willing to discount in exchange for a paying customer. But the advantages don't end there. Lines for major attractions are shorter, and people who can tell you more about your destination actually have the time to talk to you. Read more about the off season advantages.

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    Off Season Travel - Cons

    Berlin Brandenburg Gate
    ••• Christian Marquardt /Getty Images News

    As with all budget travel strategies, this one requires some homework before it is employed. When that cheap Berlin airfare pops up for January, remember that Germany can be cold and dark at that time of year. There's more: Is the museum you've dreamed of visiting your entire life closed for renovations in the off season? If so, your bargain trip loses much of its appeal. It pays to look at the reasons people decide not to go to a place during certain times of year, and then decide if those challenges are likely to spoil your trip.