Post-Covid revenge travel is at an all time high these days! With most government and self imposed travel bans coming to an end, more and more people have started to travel, causing massive crowds in popular cities and tourist attractions. This post covers how to avoid crowds while traveling. I have been using these tips for years and thought now would be a great time to share these with you, given the current travel environment.
Travel Off Season or During Shoulder Season
July and August in Europe is usually the busiest time in the continent! Most Europeans are on Summer holidays and Americans also take advantage of their kids school vacation to hop over to Europe. The same crowds can be expected in December and January in the Southern Hemisphere (South Africa, Chile, Argentina). Traveling off season, especially if you don’t have children and don’t have to worry about school holidays is a great way to avoid crowds while traveling. One callout though is that places (accommodation, attractions) maybe closed during off season. One way to counter that is to travel during shoulder season. My favorite time to travel is actually shoulder season, generally late Spring and early Fall. This way, places are still open but the crowds are far less.
Not an ideal thing to do during vacation but waking up early is one sure way to avoid crowds while traveling. This is especially advisable if you want to take pictures of a famous landmark or place without the crowds. It’s also really nice to be in a place when only the locals are up and about minus the tourists as it gives you a chance to see local life.
Check for Local Holidays
Always check for local holidays at your destinations. In addition to crowds brought about by local holidays, they can also 1. bring closures of various attractions and 2. drive up accommodation prices.
Buy Tickets Ahead of Time
This is a no brainer but one that cannot be stressed enough. Always buy tickets ahead of time! Especially for popular attractions. Don’t waste precious vacation time standing in lines to buy tickets.
Check Popular Times
There is a cool little feature on Google that shows you popular times by day. Sometimes, mornings may be the busiest so you may want to skip mornings and visit in the afternoon. Sometimes the opposite maybe true. To see this feature, type the name of your attraction and it should be on Google’s summary section on the right hand side of the screen.
Stay the Night
This one is one of my favorite tips for avoiding crowds while traveling. Day trips are fun and a great way to capitalize on short vacation times but if you have the time, opt to stay the night. Some destinations are more popular as day trips but if you stay the night, you will find that your evenings and early mornings will be very peaceful. This is especially true if the place is a cruise port.
Eat Early or Late
If you are traveling during busy season, it can be so hard to find a reservation at a restaurant, especially for dinner. Avoid this by either eating early (think 5pm) or eating late (after 9 pm….like in Spain).
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