Everyone needs a vacation once in a while, but navigating crowded areas and paying high prices during the tourist season might not be your idea of a fun experience. If you want to save money, skip the crowds, and maybe get to know the locals better than you thought you could, you should consider planning your vacation in the off-season. 

Trips And Stays Cost Significantly Less

You might be surprised just how much the timing of your vacation can affect the total price. Airline tickets, hotel stays, and local attractions can all have their prices lowered in the off season, and in some cases the difference is very significant.

For example, travel writer Kristen Kuchar makes a habit of booking her hotels visits in the off-season, and she claims to have halved her hotel bill for a Las Vegas trip by opting to go in the summer. On SmarterTravel.com, another author explains how she managed to get half off of her airline tickets during trips to Europe simply by booking them in the winter time, when cold temperatures drive most tourists away.

As an added bonus, hotels and local businesses usually ramp up their incentives for new customers when business is scarce. If you plan on scheduling return visits, you may be able to save even more money by signing up for customer rewards plans or coupon e-mails. 

If you can't bear to schedule your trip in a different season, you may still be able to save money using a similar principle: the middle of the week acts just the same. Booking a hotel stay or airline flight for a Wednesday will usually knock a few bucks off of your total cost, even if you go during tourist season.

Crowds Are Thinner During The Off-Season

Have you ever wanted to ride a ferris wheel together with someone you love and be the only two people on it? Or maybe you want to sit front row in the theatre, but can never find a good seat? If you want to have your vacations without the huge crowds that usually accompany them, then the off-season has your back.

The vast majority of tourists visit during tourist season only, so going at a different time will significantly reduce the number of people at all of the local sights and events. You don't have to worry about supplies running out in the gift shop or standing in line an hour just to go on a rollercoaster.

Best of all, you have much more variety to choose from in terms of hotels and restaurants. Typically, tourists can fill up popular locations and make it difficult to get in without a reservation far in advance. With no one occupying all of the space in swanky eateries and four-star hotels, you're free to be more spontaneous and make your plans as you go along.

You Might Just Make A Connection

In areas with big attractions, locals often wait until tourist season is over to have their own cultural events and enjoy the area in their own way. In the Southern Hemisphere, for example, school vacation and summer parties often coincide with the off-season for visitors, meaning most tourists miss out on the opportunity to take part in events not catered directly to them.

Local residents may also be less than polite during the tourist season simply because they've already interacted with so many tourists. People tend to be friendlier when they don't see you as the next in a long line of foreign visitors. By vacationing in the off-season, you can garner a little more generosity from people there and maybe even join in a more authentic local experience.

Whether you want to see attractions without tons of other tourists around, or you want to slash the price of your stay, the off-season offers benefits for just about any traveler. If you've never had an off-season vacation before, try it! Your wallet and your scrapbook will thank you. Contact various hotels to learn more about when is the best time to visit an area.