Have you noticed that everything’s more expensive during peak seasons? Try booking a flight, hotel or camping spot during school holidays – you’ll soon notice that your wallet’s a hell of a light lighter!
Off-peak travel means that you can take advantage of smaller crowds, lower prices and an easier time than if you only travel during the peak season. It might be tough to manage (and you’ll have to check with your kids’ schools to see if it’s okay first) but it’s well worth investigating as a travel option.
What’s the fuss all about off-peak travel? Read on to find out more.
Define Off Peak Travel
Off-peak travel means that you’re travelling outside of the times that most people take their vacations. You’re looking at outside of school holiday times for a start but it also might mean that you travel to the coastal areas during colder times. You might head inland during the summer when everyone else is headed for the beach. Whatever way you look at it, you’re bound to find fewer crowds (and probably a lot less stress).
What’s so wrong with travelling in the peak season?
If you travel during peak season you pay peak prices, you’re looking at HUGE crowds and traffic and you’re unlikely to have equal access to facilities. Look at it this way – imagine a pool in a hotel. Fill that pool with other people’s screaming kids. Is that enjoyable – or would you rather have more space and time to yourselves?
Case closed your honour. Off-peak travel it is.
A Word on Off-Peak Travel with kids
It’s vital to check your child’s school policy when it comes to taking them out of school outside of school holiday times. Many schools have policies that stipulate that children can only miss a certain number of school days. This will vary on a case to case basis. Your school may also ask that your child complete set homework or classwork while they are away. To that end, you may want to consider taking your holiday in an area that has reliable (or semi-reliable) wifi or internet access so that they can complete their work.
If you’re not travelling with kids (oh, the luxury) then obviously this scenario will be different. Workplaces are more likely to allow for holidays and time off outside of peak season. After all, everyone wants an extended Christmas or Easter break. Word to the wise – talk to your management EARLY in order to gauge how likely it is that you’ll be guaranteed time off for off-peak travel.
What’s So Good About Off-Peak Travel?
Here are the benefits of off-peak travel broken down into the specific categories that can make or break a fun holiday experience.
Let’s cut to the chase. Peak travel holiday costs can be absolutely through the roof. You’ve got more expensive hotel rooms and camping areas, petrol prices are higher and all the ‘extras and add-ons’ have increased due to increased demand.
You might find that there are less things to do (for example, kids club at resorts) but at the same time there’ll be more opportunity for you to explore and play at your leisure as you won’t have to battle crowds.
Ever been caught in holiday traffic? What a nightmare! You basically have to leave at 3am in order to beat the mad rush and even then, you’re not guaranteed to avoid the veritable parking lot that main roads and highways turn into. Road rage increases, you burn through your fuel and your irritability levels can quickly go through the roof. Not a great way to start or finish what’s supposed to be a fun trip.
Travelling off-peak negates a lot of this drama. You’re going the opposite way to all those schmucks heading to work. You’re looking at less congestion and a smoother ride to your destination. This idea is sounding better all the time, isn’t it?
Holiday Fun Parks and Tourist Destinations
A lot of people with families head towards the bigger theme parks to really make the most of their holiday. On a packed school holiday day, however, a super-fun-happy-time can quickly turn sour as you spend your day waiting in lines getting more and more frustrated. Add to that the somewhat questionable behaviour some individuals begin to exhibit in these situations and your on-peak travel headache can grow and grow.
Heading to these places as part of your off-peak travel, however, means that you’re not waiting in lines and you’ll have unrestricted access to tourist hotspots. Imagine visiting somewhere like MovieWorld on a weekday outside of school holidays. How fun does that sound? First in line, no waits for food or snacks, easy movement in the gift shop. Sounds like an absolute dream!
Off-Peak Travel? Sign Us Up!
Find any disadvantages to off-peak travel. We dare you! If you’ve got any tips to make your cheeky getaway even more fun, please let us know in the comments.