When you're looking at booking into a bed & breakfast or resort online, or checking out flight costs using a date comparison, you will probably find that there are at least two different price brackets depending on when you want to take your vacation. There is peak season, which is the most popular time to visit that particular destination, and off-peak season, when the destination is less popular, usually due to the weather. Here are some pros and cons of traveling during peak and off peak seasons.
The major advantage of traveling during peak season is that the destination will be operating at full speed. Special festivals and conferences are usually held during peak season to maximize the number of visitors, which gives you more options when it comes to what to do. Another advantage of peak season is that the weather will be on its best behavior, which means more sunshine days or smooth ski slopes.
The major disadvantage of traveling during peak season is, of course, crowding. This is the best time to go, so you'll have a lot of other travelers to contend with. You may find that you have to book your vacation rentals months or even a whole year in advance if you want to stay during peak season. And of course because demand is high, so are the prices - sometimes as much as twice what you would pay in off peak.
Off Peak Season
Off peak season is the ideal time to travel for people who don't like to deal with crowds. With fewer visitors competing to visit attractions, rent cars, and shop, you can take your time and enjoy what the destination has to offer. Locals are more relaxed, since they're not being overrun, and will be more friendly and willing to chat. As a bonus, your hotel will also be significantly cheaper because hotels, museums, and airlines have a tougher time finding customers during the off peak season.
Off peak travel is not always ideal, though. You may have to contend with severe weather such as snowstorms, hurricanes, or endlessly rainy, gloomy days that make it hard to enjoy the attractions. In addition, many attractions will be closed for the season. You may even find that your favorite cottages aren't available to rent because the owners have gone on vacation themselves.