As summer draws to a close, it’s time to say goodbye to the high season at the beach. But that certainly doesn’t mean you’ll need to miss out on an unforgettable beach vacation with your family, friends, or significant other. In fact, skipping out on peak tourist season can help you save money, avoid crowds, and get a more authentic feel for the area.
Though most people hit the beach during summer to take advantage of the warm weather and plethora of outdoor activities available, taking an off-season vacation comes with advantages of its own. Below, we’ve rounded up a few reasons why travel enthusiasts swear by off-season beach vacations— and why you will too after yours.
Why You Should Take an Off-Season Beach Vacation
1. Less crowded beaches.
Oftentimes, you skip over major attractions or fun activities during a vacation simply because they are too crowded or the line is too long. If you’re someone who hates weaving through crowds and waiting in long lines, you’ll love the peace and quiet an off-season vacation can offer. Less tourists means less traffic, less noise, and fewer people on the beach.
As a result, you can enjoy a peaceful sunset picnic, yoga on the dock , or a morning walk along the beach with far less interruption. Plus, you can avoid small annoyances like not being able to get a good spot on the beach or having to wait in line to use the public restroom.
2. More availability makes reservations far easier to find.
Fewer tourists in town also makes for an easier time finding a hotel, scheduling excursions, and getting reservations at popular restaurants. Traveling during busy periods requires lots of planning ahead and sticking to a set schedule, but the low season allows for more spontaneity and flexibility. Heads up, if you’ve never taken an off-season beach vacation before, it’s important to know that many businesses in seaside towns will be closed for the season. You’ll want to double-check what’s open before getting your hopes up with an impossible itinerary. Also, don't forget to check the weather and bring your favorite intercoastal sport shirt just in case you are waiting outside for a table.
3. Lower prices on accommodations, rentals, and excursions.
One of the biggest draws of an off-season beach vacation is how much money it can save you. Less demand for coastal getaways often means lower prices on flights, hotels, rental cars, excursions, and other travel expenses. Everyone from airline companies to AirBnb hosts offer lower prices during the winter.
If you aren’t committed to a single destination, it’s worth comparing flight costs to different locations. Not only will you save some cash, but you’ll also get a chance to visit somewhere you may have otherwise overlooked. Additionally, keep an eye out for money-saving vacation packages that cut on costs and booking hassles.
4. Finding the Local Spots.
While tourist traps may be closed for the winter, local hangouts will still be open for business and teeming with locals. Chat with your barista, waitress, or hotel desk clerk to find the hidden gems around town that you would have otherwise skipped over. With less out-of-towners around, you’ll get a better feel for what the town is really like and have a more authentic experience. It’ll allow you to have longer conversations and create deeper connections with locals. Plus, look the part of a local without trying too hard with a soft tee and casual shorts.
5. Enjoy better scenery and wildlife viewing.
As the crowds disperse at the end of the high season, wildlife returns to take their place. If you love bird-watching, hiking, and other outdoorsy activities, the off-season vacation is a great time to do it. Be sure to pack accordingly for colder temperatures and fluxuating weather so you won’t have to miss out on enjoying the great outdoors. Plus, you’ll get to experience your destination in a way most tourists won’t ever get to. While you may not get to tan on the beach in 80 degree weather, you will get to see fall leaves and foggy winter mornings that are equally as beautiful in their own way.