Travel guides and blogs frequently mention the best time to visit a particular place. These time recommendations often coincide with the peak tourist seasons for these places. Sometimes it pays to go against the conventional wisdom, and in this case that would be to visit a particular place in off-season rather than peak season.
It is cheaper to visit a particular place in off-season due to the simple economics law of demand and supply. The airlines offer cheaper tickets during off-season because they struggle to fill seats. Similarly, hotels and hostels also offer cheaper rates in order to lure more customers. One also avoids the artificial hike in prices of all kinds of goods and services including food, tickets, and merchandises that occurs during the peak seasons. Not only tickets to famous places and events are cheaper but are also easier to secure because the risk of ticket sell-out is lower in off-seasons than peak seasons.
Travel during the off-season is more authentic and more rewarding. One of the goals of visiting a place is to experience the local culture in its purest form. However, such an effort suffers during the peak season due to the vast presence of the tourists that sometimes make it difficult to distinguish between the locals and the tourists. Visiting a place during the off-season means you are one of handfuls of tourists so you have the opportunity to observe the daily lives and culture of locals as it ought to be experienced.
It is also relatively safer to visit a place during the off-season than the peak season. It is easier to blend in with the locals during the off-season. Moreover, the likelihood of thieves and scammers being active is also lower in the off-season than the peak seasons. Being a victim of a crime ruins the mood and can also be incredibly frustrating if it involves the loss of important items such as travel documents. Hence, a lower probability of falling victim to a crime does mean that travel during off-seasons gives us more peace of mind than travel during peak seasons.
Travel during off-season may ensure more cooperative attitudes from the locals as compared to travel during peak seasons. Locals tend to be less enthusiastic about tourism during peak seasons because it disrupts their normal routine. The public mass transit systems are more crowded and some items become more expensive including food items and event tickets. There are fewer visitors during off-seasons so the locals may be friendlier towards tourists and may even go an extra step to make the tourists feel at home.
Off-season travel is not always possible for many people due to their work schedules and family commitments. However, it should be given a serious consideration whenever possible because off-season travel is not only cheaper but may also result in more authentic cultural experiences.