Article Contributer Genevieve Fish
The world is full of majestic locations most of us can only dream of. School calendars and busy schedules often force us to only travel during peak tourist seasons when airfare is higher and hotel rates are inflated. However, if you take the time to plan vacation getaways in advance and carefully use your vacation days, you can schedule off-peak travel to five-star destinations for a fraction of the cost. Scroll through to read about our favorite vacation spots and when it’s best to visit them.
Starting around mid-September the heavy crowds of tourists leave the Amalfi Coast but the weather is still perfection—warm and sunny with the benefit of a cool evening breeze. While rooms at the most sought-after hotels start opening up in the later half of September, we recommend holding off until October when room rates drop. If you’re in the mood for traditional luxury, book a room at Le Sireneuse in Positano. Hotel rates in Positano usually drop over $150 between September 1 and October 1.
Best off-peak time to visit: October
With more than 1500 miles of coast, turquoise waters, and Indian Ocean sunrises, Mozambique is definitely one place you should visit in your lifetime. The weather is beautiful year-round but a bit too hot to enjoy during the month of January. If you want to have guaranteed dry weather, skip March through May as well. Peak season is June through September so we recommend booking a room at Azura on Benguerra Island sometime between September and mid-December. Luxury hotels often offer deals or reduced rates during this time. This romantic island is ideal as a honeymoon spot and perfect for scuba diving, fishing, and bird watching.
Best off-peak time to visit: October and November
We love going to Hawaii’s Big Island as much as possible but in order to snag great hotel rates and avoid the intense crowds that descend on the island during the winter holiday and Easter holiday seasons, plan ahead. The best time to visit Hawaii is late spring, from mid-April through early June and in the fall, from September to mid-December. Stay at the Four Seasons Hualalai for the best breakfast buffet you’ve ever seen, a killer tennis facility, and flawless scenery everywhere you look.
Best off-peak time to visit: Early December or late April
Guiones Beach, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world—and the happiest. The country has two distinct seasons—the wet season (May to November) and the dry season (mid-December to April). The dry season is definitely the tourist favorite and hotels increase their prices heavily during this time. We recommend going in June or July. Yes, you’ll have one or two downpours a day but they are short and sweet and don’t ruin the sunshine or ocean activity of your trip. When visiting this sleepy surf town of Playa Guiones, stay at The Harmony Hotel. Nestled on a pristine surf break off a dirt road, it’s the ultimate getaway spot to disconnect and recharge your batteries.
Best off-peak time to visit: June and July
We wouldn’t say there is ever a bad time to go to Bali. However, peak season is July, August, Christmas, New Year’s, and any time there are Australian school holidays. Autumn holiday usually coincides with Easter, winter holiday is June and July, and summer holiday is December through January. Frommer’s identifies Bali’s low peak season as January 9 through June 30 and September 16 through December 20. We recommend staying at the Viceroy Bali. The family-owned and operated resort is made up of 25 luxurious private pool villas situated in Bali’s “Valley of the Kings.” We also love Alila Villas Uluwatu, a resort set on a limestone cliff-top overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Best off-peak time to visit: May or September
Byron Bay, Australia
Byron Bay’s somewhat recent reputation as the it-destination for the Australian fashion elite and bohemian surf crowd has made this formerly empty paradise a bustling vacation destination. However, if you book your holiday for February you’ll miss the busy season—when Aussie families and university students travel to the Eastern-most part of mainland Australia for Summer break. Definitely get your Byron Bay holiday in before it starts to get too cold to enjoy the sand. This starts around May. We recommend staying at The Byron at Byron Bay—a stunning but wonderfully understated hotel right on the water or one of our blogger’s favorites, Raes Hotel. Travelling to this gem of a vacation destination will be a life-changing trip, we guarantee.
Best off-peak time to visit: February and October
The Maldives, Asia
The Maldives are synonymous with luxury and the uber-glamorous. With white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, we can see why. However, you don’t have to spend big to make this dream destination a reality. Visit during the tail end of the dry season (end of April/beginning of May) for reduced rates and a less-likely shower storm. If you want a less-expensive option during dry season, try booking an Airbnb. Locals, often trained in the five-star hotels on the island, offer excellent deals for renting a room.
Best off-peak time to visit: Beginning of May
Dreaming of a beachside Mexican getaway filled with Mayan ruins, yoga classes on the beach, and a blissfully laid back atmosphere? Look no further than hotspot Tulum. This casual chic escape is warm year-round, but from January through March, the tourist crowd gets a little too intense to enjoy it. We recommend travelling to Tulum’s Jashita Hotel—a picturesque boutique hotel on the beach, sometime from October to December. This way you’ll skip the crowds and the rain.
Best off-peak time to visit: October and November