Traveling Off-Season lets you enjoy your destination without the worries of huge crowds and a huge budget. Finding the right times to set forth your adventure before or after the peak season can often result in the most memorable moments of your sojourn!
Whether it is a solo or a couples getaway, traveling during a less busy time could definitely keep your cost down not to mention have the most unforgettable experience of a lifetime. Off-season travels does not necessarily mean you have to brave inclement weather or to bring your poncho or parka, it only means finding the perfect moment when the usual crowds of a getaway are either done with their summer break or winter holiday, this could very well be a difference of a day or a week! Hence, planning ahead and researching play a huge part especially if you want to make the most of your vacation without spending a fortune or pawning your first child.
Read more below for the top Off-Season destinations released by Expedia!
Vancouver is one of Canada’s most beautiful and vibrant cities! It is the largest city in British Columbia and second largest in the Pacific Northwest! Its proximity to numerous ski resorts and summer recreation areas makes it one of North America’s top vacation destinations. Vancouver International Airport, located less than an hour from city center, receives daily flights from all over the world! This bustling west coast seaport, the jewel of British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. It is surrounded by a stunning mountain range, a popular filming location and also has thriving art, theater and music scenes. Summer recreation in and around the Vancouver area includes boating, water skiing, hiking, wild life viewing and back country camping, Autumn offers balmy weather and lesser crowds, stunning foliage and peak whale-watching season, while winter recreation presents an opportunity to skedaddle down the slopes of Garibaldi or Whistler and show off those skiing or snowboarding skills!
Set aside all misconceptions regarding this vibrant city; too cold, too much rain or gets dark early (eye roll). Vancouver actually has some of the most temperate weather in the entire country, making it an ideal destination to play, explore, and have adventures inside and out. An article in Travel & Leisure mentioned “Vancouver is a city that is proud of its diversity, its indigenous history, and its tolerance. Davie Village is a neighborhood in the city’s West End where a thriving LGBTQ+ community comes out to play, while the city also boasts the third-largest urban Indigenous population in all of Canada.”
There are plenty of things to see and do in Vancouver, they have a bustling food scene which will make any traveler’s mouth water and an armada of restaurant options for those with such discriminating palate! Located in one of the most beautiful areas of the Pacific Northwest, the city is basically an open invitation to explore, discover and be amazed by what Vancouver British Columbia has to offer.
Istanbul is a diverse city with a unique vibe in every corner. Visiting it in the Fall present comfortable temperature with little to zero precipitation. It’s home to many famous and must see landmarks, including: Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar.
Unlike the zoo-like summer months, September sees fewer visitors with summer vacationers back at home and school is back in session
“Istanbul has been a major cultural crossroads for much of its very long history and is packed with iconic highlights. If you’re interested in beautiful architecture, it should certainly be on your bucket list, as should attractions like the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Topkapi Palace Museum, Galata Tower, and Sultanahmet Square.”
If your heart is set on traveling this beautiful city, I do however advise to please do your due diligence and research, keeping in mind all important information and advisories regarding the country can help you avoid such inconvenience and headache. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:
- US Citizens are required to have a visa to enter Turkey, there are several types of visas depending on your reason and duration of your stay, the most common for US visitors is the Turkey e-Visa, please plan ahead. Application for a visa can be filled out up to 48 hours before departure, visa fee is $50.00
- The U.S. Department of State advised caution when traveling to Turkey due to Terrorism, upon planning your trip, please visit the US Department of State for the most current advisory.
- Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small Group Tour
- Basilica Cistern Tour and Skip the Line w/ Guide
From the flourishing restaurant scenes, locally made brews and an array of distinguished landmarks, collections and museums, Amsterdam combines a charming old world historical setting with a chill, carefree atmosphere that makes it a top tourist destination.
This Dutch capital could feel crowded with all the hustle, bustle, tourist and locals alike especially during the peak season, normally around late April (King’s Day and when Tulips are in bloom) through August and during the Holidays from December to January making a September (Autumn) visit a great option.
Autumn is the closest you’ll get to the off-season in Amsterdam and less-visited destinations in the Netherlands will be especially quiet. This is the best time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds, travel in peace and not have to queue for tickets to museums. You’ll find much shorter queues for the family-friendly and educational attractions like the Van Gogh Museum, NEMO Science Museum, Anne Frank House, and ARTIS Zoo. If you are planning on hitting Amsterdam’s wealth of museums, I highly suggest availing the I Amsterdam City Card
The beautiful canals that the city is so famous for are also worth exploring, and September is a good time to do so. Temperatures are pleasant and the number of rainy days is not significantly higher. You’ll also find it easier and possibly even cheaper to get tickets for tours, including canal cruises.
See below for convenient links:
- I amsterdam City Card
- Anne Frank & WWII Walking Tour
- Amsterdam GVB 1-7 Day Public Transport
- An Evening Canal Cruise of Amsterdam
- City Canal Cruise
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. It is one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, and tourism in Dubai is a major source of revenue.
Dubai has everything that one would want from a holiday destination – white sand beaches, sweeping desert dunes, historical city quarters, some of the world’s largest shopping malls, exhilarating theme parks, a plethora of outdoor and adventure sports, magnificent skyscrapers and much more. It has built a reputation as one of the most expensive destinations but if you plan it right, there are ways to save your travel budget to check Dubai of your bucket list.
September to April a generally more comfortable time to visit, Spring brings spring like weather, lots of sunshine with wispy cool winds, Autumn signals a dip in the temperature, a great time to experience the outdoors before the cold winter months. If you mean to enjoy the beaches, the Dubai Miracle Garden, or other outdoor attractions, the months after the hot desert summer season is the perfect time to go. Dune bashing and desert camping are also more enjoyable as the temperatures start to gradually descend, also with students returning to school and their parents to work, you’ll find the lines for the top attractions are significantly shorter.
Summer is long and hot in Dubai and extends from June to August, If you have no problem with the desert heat, summer promises great offers and discounts. It is to be expected that many of Dubai’s top attractions are indoors and air-conditioned, which is a huge plus especially if you happen to visit during the summer months – The Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Parks and Resorts, an exciting labyrinth of theme parks, restaurants and shops, regularly come out with fantastic summer deals that nearly cut prices in half. You can also count on saving money at hotels during a summer visit and, if you want to take the climate control a step further, Ski Dubai!
Things to do:
- Sheik Zayed Mosque Tour
- Desert Safari, Quad Bike, Camel Ride & Al Khayma Camp
- Burj Khalifa 124th & 125th Flr Observation Deck Tickets
The beautiful convergence of a culture rich in ancient tradition and an ultra-modern society beautifully intertwined in this amazing country called Japan! For off-season travel, Autumn is a good time to visit Tokyo because it’s low season for tourism and hotels can be a bargain. Visiting Japan during off-season can be a great idea it has many advantages compared with traveling at the most popular times. With far more affordable prices at off-season months, you can definitely save on accommodation and flights therefore have more spending money for your trip.
While Spring presents a fairytale like explosion of pink blossoms on the cherry trees, you’ll find burst of fiery red and orange leaves during Autumn. September and October has some of the best weather of the year: sunny and warm days are the rule, with cool evenings and intermittent rains. It’s a very comfortable time to travel. At the very end of the month, the leaves start to change color in the city’s parks and gardens so make sure to have your camera handy and keep taking as many pictures for memories.
Tokyo has many popular indoor attractions making Japan’s fall season a great time to explore the city’s many weird, fascinating and wonderful malls and museums.
Where to Stay to maximize your trip:
“The party never stops in Miami but, with students returning to their studies, it does get a little quieter in September. The weather in Florida is consistent throughout the year – nice and sunny, for the most part, if a little humid – and September is no exception. The surf is up at this time of year, too, making it a great time to enjoy the beautiful beaches.
Further inland, September is a great time to visit the Everglades. Just like you and me, migratory birds love the area and flock here to enjoy the great winter weather, and this is their peak month for arrivals. Unlike you and me, the birds don’t get to enjoy reduced accommodation rates.” Expedia.com
- Miami All-Inclusive Pass with 30+ Attractions
- City Tour Miami PLUS
- Champagne – Miami Beach Tour for groups
- The Everglades Excursion
One of my most favorite European cities! As I have written on a previous post, traveling Paris even during off-season can give you as much enjoyment (and less crowds) almost the same as when you travel the city during the peak tourism season.
As I have mentioned, my first solo trip in Paris was during the month of September, cool mornings with balmy afternoons, and cool – to chilly evenings. The tree lined avenues and boulevards are a blaze with foliage turning from green, bright yellow, ocher, vibrant orange to a bright amber reds.
Fall is a lovely time of year with fewer crowds, budget-friendly accommodations and cheaper flights! Paris is such a romantic place and having the fall backdrop adds to its allure! It’s a great time to enjoy peaceful strolls along the Seine without having to share the experience with large crowds, creating intimate memories to last a lifetime!
Foodie couples rejoice – this is culinary season in Paris, so expect plenty of delicacies at food markets throughout the city!
Things to do: (Several Tourist destination in Paris picks no season, there will always be a crowd – you’ll be glad to have availed the skip the line tickets or priority tours)
- Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show
- Dinner at the Eiffel Tower – Madame Brasserie
- Eiffel Tower Tour – Skip the line access
- Gourmet Dinner Cruise on the Seine w/ live music
- Monmartre Hill Sweet & Savory French Gourmet Food & Wine Tour
- Palace of Versailles Priority Access Guided Tour – pick up fr. Paris
LOS ANGELES, USA
There isn’t really a bad time to visit Los Angeles. The weather is famously fantastic throughout the year, and September is no exception. The surf in Southern California is at its best at this time of year, with warmer, cleaner seas and excellent swells. And, with families now back at school, there’s more beach for you to enjoy.
There’s more to LA than just the beach, of course. Don’t forget the movie studios, theme parks, museums, and many famous sights and locations dotted around the city, all of which will be a lot quieter than they were in mid-summer.
Things to do:
- Universal Studios Hollywood Express Ticket
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour
- Full Day Iconic Sights Tour of LA – Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Beaches & More!
- Discover LA through the HOHO Bus (Hop-On Hop-Off)
- A Magical visit to Disneyland
The rich history, vibrant local culture and delectable food makes London, England’s capital, always a good place to take a trip. It is a lovely place to visit during Autumn when summer crowds has dwindled and the foliage turn bright orange to golden amber. The bustling city’s provides lush parks which turns into a colorful backdrop during the fall season and has myriads of local pubs which serve comfort food to enjoy with your pint. London is also home to some of the worlds finest museums, galleries and delectable food festivals, and other attractions.
As the Autumnal sun comes around, London’s weather becomes a nice cozy bundle of good, balmy weather with fewer crowds, like in the US, School starts in September freeing many attractions of out of school vacationers. An off-season trip gives you more time enjoying and less time lining-up for tickets to top attractions like the Madame Tussauds, The Tower of London and the London Eye. You might even score on some awesome show tickets if you pan to see shows at the West End.
Off-Season travel in London offers (e.g. September) smaller crowds which will enable you or your party to have a more peacefully excursion. You can be assured of a great view when visiting museums such as the National Gallery, Natural History Museum, British Museum, and all the rest at your own pace as you do not have to wiggle your way unlike the peak season tourist crowd.
Top London Attractions in the Fall; Hyde Park | O2 Arena | Tower Bridge | Buckingham Palace | Big Ben | Piccadilly Circus | Tower of London | Trafalgar Square | London Bridge | London Eye
Handy links and tools for your trip:
- The London Pass
- Priority Access Westminster Abbey Tour w/ Optional Fast-Track London Eye
- Official National Gallery Highlights Tour and Afternoon Tea
NEW YORK, USA
If solo sightseeing in the Big Apple has been on your bucket list for a while, the off-season is a great time to tick it off your list. You can expect easier access to top attractions and reduced costs on accommodation and tickets to popular venues and events. You can get that iconic selfie from Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, or the top of the Empire State Building without having to wait in line.
Central Park in September is a beautiful sight to behold. The leaves are starting to take on stunning shades, from firetruck red to golden yellow, and the crowds start to dwindle as the summer break comes to an end. The climate is on your side too – not the scorching highs of summer, but not yet the freezing depths of winter.
Things To Do:
- New York City Pass ( Pick from a list of NYC’s top must visit attraction)
- Empire State Building
- The Lion King on Broadway
- New York HOHO Bus (Hop-On-Hop-Off)
LAS VEGAS, USA
Thanks to its desert climate, there’s never really a bad time to visit Las Vegas. The September weather is still close to the summer highs, with pretty much no rainfall and relatively mild humidity, so pool parties or a dip in Lake Mead are still very much possible.
Of course, this being Vegas, you’re probably going to be spending a lot of time indoors, so where’s the advantage of traveling in September? Well, booking outside of the popular peak seasons means savings on your hotel. You’ll also find it a lot easier and cheaper to book the best seats at the city’s many iconic shows, tickets for the best tours, or tables at the best restaurants. If you’ve always wanted a romantic visit to the Grand Canyon without huge crowds spoiling the view, this is a good time to give it a go.