When Is The Best Time To Go On Holiday [Save Money Travelling]
Luke Iles – Uploaded 05.06.2023
Discover the best time to go on holiday and save money travelling!
When is the best time to go on holiday? It is a common question that comes across most people’s minds when they plan to go away to a new travel destination.
It is an essential factor to consider when planning your holiday and is a decision that can make or break your trip.
Deciding on what time of year you are planning to visit a location can have a huge impact on the type of travel location you choose for your holiday with different locations in the world all offering different experiences depending on the type of time in the year that you visit them.
Deciding on the best time to visit a certain place can be difficult especially if you have never visited a certain country or city before and trust us when we say that you do not want to find this out the hard way.
Don't make these travel mistakes when planning the best time to travel
I remember when booking a last-minute flight to a Greek island around Easter time, I was expecting to be met with sunshine, lively tourist attractions and an energetic strip full of restaurants, bars and nightclubs all open for action. However, when I arrived, I realised I had arrived too early!
The tourist season had not begun and instead was a month away leaving only the locals on the island preparing their businesses for the influx of tourists. None of the bars or restaurants were open with many businesses closed or being painted.
Not only that but the weather was cold and cloudy and the only other tourists were people who had met the same fate. Therefore do your planning and ensure you pick the right time to travel or find out the hard way!
It is fair to say that we still did have a good time however after arriving with expectations of sun and lots of different activities in mind, it was a little bit of a disappointment but that can only be put down to my bad planning and research.
When is the best time to travel?
Throughout this guide, we will provide our guide on how to pick the best time to go on holiday so you do not meet the same fate that I did in Greece. Instead, you can plan ahead of time so that you can choose a destination that is in season and in mind all the things that you want to get out of your next holiday abroad.
Not only this but we can help you save money along the way by not only finding the best time to visit but also the best holiday prices too.
Read our following tips and learn how to pick the best time to travel by someone who has suffered so you do not have to!
- Understanding the tourism seasons of each destination.
- Evaluate your travel budget.
- Keep an eye out for school holidays, national holidays and special events.
- Consider your personal preferences.
- Research your destination.
1. Understanding the tourism seasons of each destination
Arguably the most important factor when looking to book the best time to go on holiday is by understanding the tourism industry and its labels that identify the busiest times for a destination, known as a holiday season.
There are different labels for each period of a season a particular destination may fall under with each correlating to different prices due to the fact that a destination may or may not be in season at a particular point in time.
Some of the different tourism seasons include:
Typically known as peak season or high season, this is the busiest time of year for tourism in this particular destination. If you notice this label on the months you are planning to book your holiday in this particular country or destination, it may be wise to do more research into whether this time period would be ideal for yourself and those you are travelling alongside.
This type of season brings heavy crowds with higher costs on travel, accommodation and the overall price at this certain time of the year. If you are an experienced traveller who has more freedom on the dates and times you want to travel, you may want to avoid this high season if you don’t want to face the crowds.
On the other hand, there is a reason why so many want to travel to this particular destination during the peak season and that is because it is the best time to visit. You are guaranteed to get the best weather for things you want to do and see, every attraction will be open and there will be lots more to do and see whilst at the destination. If you are willing to pay the additional cost and put up with the crowds, this time of year is the ideal holiday travelling option.
It is also important to consider that the peak season will differ from destination to destination with places such as Spain having a peak summer season from July to August where you will get hot sunny weather and minimal rain. Whereas a location such as the Maldives will have its peak season between December and April because it avoids the rainy season. Therefore it is important to do your research when looking to book during the peak season.
As simple as it may seem, low season is the exact opposite of peak season meaning that this is the least busy time for this destination with little tourists and things going on at this point of the year. Prices for flights and accommodation are at the lowest point with it being the cheapest time.
Although the time of year may be cheap and entice a lot of people to visit, there are other factors that keep a lot of people away and for good reason too. For example, the low season often means that the weather will be at its worst meaning whatever makes it favourable to visit in the peak season whether that be warm suns or snowy conditions, will most likely be at the opposite.
It also means there will be minimal businesses open and tourist activities very limited to a few compared to the high season. There will most likely be fewer accommodation and transport options because there is little need for businesses to be operating due to the reduction in demand in the low season.
Despite this, if you are looking to travel at the cheapest time and don’t mind the poor weather conditions and limited accessibility then you can have a peaceful holiday that is extremely cheap compared to the peak season, helping you to save money.
The shoulder season is the best time to visit any destination providing you with that sweet spot of cheaper flights, accommodation and a less busy destination, all the while offering all the benefits the peak season does with optimal weather conditions and the majority of businesses and activities functioning as they would in peak season.
The shoulder season is in between the peak and low seasons and usually falls around spring and autumn depending on the travel destination, you hope to visit. On top of this, you get to miss out on the ques and intense nature of travelling whilst experiencing the advantages of travelling at high season.
The downside is that the shoulder season can provide unpredictability in terms of whether the weather is hit or miss and depends on the location you visit. Furthermore, some businesses and activities may already have closed or begin to wind down after peak season so you may miss out on some things.
However, if you are looking for the best time to travel, visiting during shoulder season is highly recommended because it will save you money as well as allow you to have a good time.
2. Evaluate your travel budget
When considering the best time to go on holiday, it is important to keep in mind your travel budget too. For example, if you are looking for a cheaper holiday with less expensive accommodation and flights, you may want to consider booking a holiday during the shoulder season or even the low season if you can weigh up the pros and cons of booking during this travel season.
We recommend working out your travel budget beforehand and then using it to influence your decision on the best time of year to travel if you have a particular travel destination in mind. Furthermore, by planning a travel budget you can begin to understand the type of destinations you will be able to afford in peak season and the ones you may not be able to and thus help you to discover the best holiday destination for yourself that suits all your requirements.
By understanding what the prices will be for your destination in peak, low and shoulder season you will be able to weigh up the pros and cons. Therefore, if you really wanted to visit a destination and do lots of things but the flights and accommodation were too expensive in peak season, you could consider researching the flight and accommodation prices in the shoulder and low season which will allow you to make the decision on whether that location would be best to visit in a particular time.
If you are stuck on how to plan your travel budget we have an entire guide you can check out with all the details in a step-by-step guide to help you save money on your next holiday.
3. Keep an eye out for school holidays, national holidays and special events
Another consideration to keep in mind is the aspect of school holidays, bank holidays, national holidays and special events in not only the destination you are flying from but also the destination you are planning to spend your vacation time in too.
Typically, these times can be more expensive and busy because demand is higher and more people are off work and school, therefore, leading to more people travelling. In particular, it is important to remember whether you will be travelling during school holidays and especially in school summer holidays.
Airlines, accommodations and holiday resorts know when these key dates are and will adjust the holiday prices accordingly. Not only this but if a destination is in peak season during the summer months when the majority of children are on school holidays then a summer trip abroad may not only be more expensive but also busier too.
Although summer school holidays can be the worst time to travel in terms of crowds and expenses, travelling during national holidays and bank holidays is also not advisable. Attempting to travel during Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year and Easter can all lead to additional costs and busier travel destinations.
If at all possible avoid these times in order to save money and avoid the crowds.
4. Consider your personal preferences
You also need to consider what you want from your holiday and the preferences around that. We recommend you consider the following questions when choosing the best time to travel as well as the previous consideration we mentioned earlier such as the travel season, your budget and national holidays.
- What type of holiday are you looking for?
- Are you planning to visit a hot or cold climate?
- Are interested in seasonal activities or events?
- How flexible is your work holiday allocation? Do you have any restrictions where you cannot travel or leave work?
- Are there specific dates you need for work commitments?
- Are there school holidays or breaks you need to consider if going on holiday with children?
- Do you like travelling with big crowds?
- How important are budget costs to you?
By considering the following questions you can understand the type of holiday you want and therefore choose a time to go on holiday in relation to these preferences. Once you have identified your personal preferences, you can then look to choose the best type of holiday for the vacation that you want to have!
5. Research your destination
Finally, when looking to book your international trips it is important to conduct further research into your destination in order to identify the best time to travel. Travel research is pivotal so that you can take into consideration personal accounts and reviews from people who have actually visited the destination you are planning to visit so that there are no unexpected surprises when you actually come to book and visit your chosen holiday destination.
We recommend using apps such as Youtube, Instagram and Tiktok to watch first-hand account videos and vlogs about the particular destination and the best time to travel. For example, the off-season may seem tempting however by watching a video online and viewing someone’s experience, you may deem that it isn’t worth the cons.
Furthermore, you can read first-hand accounts and advice on travel forums and communities such as Reddit. In addition to this, you can read travel blogs that document tips and personal experiences of their time in particular destinations during peak, shoulder and low season, to weigh up the pros and cons of travelling during each season.
Ultimately research is key to not only distinguishing when is the best time to go on holiday but also to understanding when each season actually takes place. As destinations all around the world experience different seasons at different times of the year, you first need to work out when each of their peak seasons will be with winter locations having a different peak season to warm destinations. From here you can then weigh up the pros and cons of travelling in or out of season.
You should now have a comprehensive idea of how to identify the best time to go on holiday to your specific destination. Most destinations have a sweet spot which means a time when flights are cheap, accommodation is cheap, the weather is optimal for the things you want to do and everything is open and busy whilst not being overcrowded and in the peak season for that specific destination.
If you have a particular travel destination in mind, it is always worthwhile doing your research and understanding the tourism season of that destination. For some major cities, it may always be busy however you can still plan around what type of weather you are hoping to experience and whether particular attractions will be open that you may want to see.
On the other hand, it is also vital for small destinations where travel may only be popular at certain times of the year whereas when these smaller locations are out of season, it may be empty and not much going on for tourists looking to spend your holiday.
In order to save money and potentially even get yourself a good deal on flight prices as well as accommodation it is worth researching. For example, some destinations may get extremely busy when it is a school holiday or a national holiday in that location, therefore it is wise to book around that if possible.
No matter what you do, if you consider the steps we have presented in this guide, you are guaranteed to discover the best time to visit a travel destination for your next holiday and thus have a great time on your travels and you never know, you might save some money along the way too!
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