What to Expect When Traveling During Peak Season
Traveling during the peak season can be challenging. Read on for the advantages and disadvantages of taking trips during popular holidays and what you can do to avoid the rush.
Unpopular opinion: peak season travel isn’t all that bad. While everybody else rushes to book flights for the frigid winter months, you can look forward to enjoying the good weather and so much more – with a little bit of planning, of course. Here are some benefits of traveling during popular holidays and some hitches you may encounter along the way.
Advantages of Peak-Season Travel
Forget the idea that going with the popular choice is uncool. In fact, there are several advantages to scheduling your trips during busier months, like the or New Year’s, or for international festivals like Songkran in Thailand, Oktoberfest in Germany, or Holi in India. If you do choose to book your flights during these holidays, here’s what you’re in for.
Destinations are vibrant and full of life!
Holidays = celebrations = preparations. Expect lots of décor, lights, and music till the wee hours of the morning, and energetic locals going about their day. If you’re more of the chill type, that’s okay. Not every part of a city would be decked out and buzzing with activity.
Book a hotel farther from the center to avoid noise and large crowds if these aren’t your thing. On the other hand, if you’re there for the festivities, book your accommodations months in advance to get the best seats in the house.
Most attractions would be open.
Theme parks and similar attractions may be closed during the off-season. That’s one of the best parts about traveling during peak months: everything is open. Rides, hiking trails, bike trails, tours, and the like would be available to tourists. Special promos and discounts are also common during this time.
It’s easy to access shopping and transport.
Some small towns thrive on seasonal tourism. Yubari in Hokkaido, Japan, for example, has one big film festival in the summer but would be relatively quiet the rest of the year. Should you visit it during the off-season, there may be fewer shops selling goods or even essentials you may need for your trip. In general, trains wouldn’t run when the weather is bad – a problem you won’t encounter if you travel during the summer.
The weather should be more favorable.
Speaking of the weather, traveling during peak season means it would be easier to pack and plan your looks! Because these months usually have stable weather, you’re more or less certain of what to expect. Nevertheless, be a diligent packer and bring one light jacket and an umbrella, just in case.
Avoid when traveling to cold countries with Vaseline Healthy Bright Hand and Body Lotion, which softens, brightens, and hydrates the skin with . Bonus: it has SPF 24 (because aren’t seasonal, sis!).
Your family and friends can actually come with you.
The best part about traveling during the holidays? Your favorite travel buddies are most likely available! When traveling with a bigger, diverse group (like your family), plan so that schedules are synchronized.
Disadvantages of Peak-Season Travel
No journey is 100% smooth. Where’s the fun in that? Peak-season travel has its share of downsides, just like everything else. Depending on the type of traveler you are, you can plan around them or go with the flow – whatever makes it easier, right?
Your flight will likely be full.
A full flight means, one, you will definitely have a seatmate; two, lavatories would be busy; and three, getting off the plane would take longer than necessary. It's one of the downsides of traveling during peak season, but it’s not insurmountable. You can still have a pleasant journey with noise-canceling headphones, a comfy hoodie, and an eye mask.
There will be long queues everywhere.
Another downside to traveling during popular holidays? Long queues everywhere. Lines at coffee shops. Lines to the toilets. Lines to get on trains. Lines at tourist attractions. This shouldn’t faze you if you , but if you want to skip them, planning is key.
Pre-booking tickets online, downloading transportation apps (some cities will have apps for buses and subways, and will help. Unfortunately, there’s no escaping toilet queues – just go whenever you get to avoid emergencies.
You'll have to deal with peak season rates.
According to a 2021 analysis by NerdWallet, airfare is on average 23% cheaper when you travel in the off-season. If you’re traveling to Europe or the United Kingdom, you may find lower hotel rates between November to March. That’s because it will be freezing! The upside? You get to capture your . The opposite is true if you’re going to a ski town, where prices soar in the winter.
Hotels will be fully booked.
To avoid finding yourself without any accommodation, book at least one month in advance. This allows you to have your choice of rooms (and views!). If you plan on dining at in-hotel restaurants, book your table in advance, too. During your stay, avoid the breakfast rush by coming down before 8 a.m., or opt to eat at the lounge if you have access. There’ll be fewer people at the egg station since it’s more exclusive.
You won’t be able to escape the crowds.
At this point, crowds are a fact of life – peak season or otherwise. Unfortunately, this means you and your family may be exposed to germs and , so observe proper hygiene and work on boosting your immunity and hydration a few weeks before your trip.
You're also likely to feel sticky and uncomfortable, especially in humid countries. Combat this with lightweight and refreshing products, like Sunsilk Naturals Watermelon Freshness Shampoo, which keeps your hair moisturized without weighing it down. It also has cooling mint and watermelon to keep your locks feeling and smelling fresh all day. And don’t forget to apply POND'S UV Hydrate Sunscreen with SPF 50 PA++++ – a hydrating formula that leaves a .
Traveling during the peak season is a bold choice, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. You can still enjoy your trip – crowds, queues, exorbitant rates, and all – with a little bit of planning and a lot of patience.