How to choose time for traveling
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson.
This is so true and untrue at the same time. Of course, one of the main reasons why we love to travel is a change of familiar surroundings. However, the thirst to see the world, to learn something new, to “touch by your own eyes” something you have seen only on TV – isn’t that important?
And then a question arises, how can I implement it? If you have ever in your life tried to take a picture of the monument having stood for this purpose in a long queue, you understand what I mean – the crowd! The crowd of the same sights lovers is chasing you in every city – tourists, guides, excursions, photo and video cameras. How can you enjoy the art, when you are not allowed to approach to the painting less than 10 meters? So if you wish…
to feel the power of Great Wall of China
to take an original picture of Leaning Tower of Pisa
to see the legendary smile of Mona Lisa
to take a sunbath on the beach of Rio de Janeiro
to arrange a romantic picnic near the Eiffel Tower
to run through the Spanish Steps in Rome
…you may be rather disappointed. It is unlikely that you can fundamentally solve the problem. However, we can give some tips that, to some extent, are able to smooth out the negative. Besides the crowd, many other troubles may afflict you – unexpectedly high prices, stifling heat, torrential rains. These and other conditions seriously affect our trip, and are able to spoil our mood. Let’s learn how to choose the best time to travel – high (peak) season, shoulder season or low season – in order to enjoy the journey.
The shoulder season can be called the best time for travelling. During this period, the weather is the most comfortable, the queues to a variety of tourist spots are rather small, there are few people and reasonable prices.
The low season means significant discounts for airline tickets and accommodation in hotels. Most often it is the period after the holidays until mid-February, when people have rested during the holidays, and successfully got back to work. So, when the tourist activity is reduced, many airline operators and hotels cut prices in order to attract consumers.
However, this information is not a strict rule, but just an observation. Thus, when planning a trip, you need to conduct a more thorough seasonal analysis of the specific country which you are going to visit.
Most often, the weather is good. Day and night, it is warm and even hot. Rainfall is short or absent at all.
Hotels and hostels are full of vacationers – it is easy to make a new acquaintance.
Most of the attractions and tourist sites are open to visitors, as well as many different festivals and tourist events are held during this time (music festivals, culinary shows, outdoor exhibitions and so on).
You can get to the distant places, where transport goes only during the tourist season.
High prices for housing, transportation and food.
Crowded queues at most of the tourist sites, especially in the main tourist streets and squares, in churches, temples and other places of interest for the traveler.
Filled hotels and hostels. This creates serious difficulties to find a free place to stay, without booking in advance.
Public transport (buses, trains, ferries) is full. You have to reserve a place in advance in certain types of transport, such as trains in Europe.
Periods of high season
Europe mid-June – the beginning of September;
Southeast Asia November – the beginning of March;
Near East May – September;
Central Asia May – September, depending on the country;
North Africa November – March;
Central Africa June – September;
East Africa December – February and June to mid-October;
West Africa November – April;
South Africa end of November – March;
North America June – September;
South America December – February and July – August;
Australia and Oceania December – March.
Good weather – not too hot and not very cold.
A limited amount of tourists – not yet the crowd. There are almost no queues at the museums and other tourist attractions.
The prices for housing, food and transportation are not overstated.
It is possible to find a free room in a hotel or a bed in a hostel without booking in advance.
The weather is often changeable during this time, and periodic rains can catch you by surprise.
Hours of certain tourist destinations may be limited, because it’s not a tourist season yet.
From time to time it can be crowded, especially during some events, such as Easter in Europe.
Periods of shoulder season
Europe mid-September – November and April – mid-June;
Southeast Asia September – November;
Near East end of March – May and September – beginning of November;
Central Asia March – April and October;
North Africa April, May, September, October;
Central, Western and Southern Africa May and October;
East Africa March and October;
North America end of March – May and mid-September – November;
South America March – April and November;
Australia and Oceania October – December.
A small number of people and tourists.
Low prices for accommodation, transport and food.
A lot of free rooms in hotels, guest-house and hostels.
You can find significant discounts for airline tickets.
The lack of queues at museums and other tourist destinations.
The weather is not pleasant – either regular rainfall or very intense heat, or just cold.
Some private small hotels and hostels are closed, especially in Europe.
Most tourist attractions are closed earlier than in the tourist season.
It is difficult to get to the distant places, where the public transport doesn’t go during the low season.
Periods of low season
Europe mid-end November – mid-March;
Southeast Asia May – August;
Near East December – March;
Central Asia end of November – March;
North and West Africa June – August;
Central Africa November – April;
East Africa April, May and November;
South Africa June – September;
North America December – March;
South America May – June and September – October;
Australia and Oceania April – October.