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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The best times to go on a tour

On seasons are the best, but Off seasons could be worth it too!

The best times to go on a tour - On season or Off season
Photo by : Pradeep Hegde

If the “on” season is the best time to visit a place, is its “off” season totally unworthy of giving a visit to that place? You might even enjoy at a place on its off season too! Read on, to know how, and also the advantages and drawbacks for both the seasons...


When you look around for places to go for your tour, you will obviously see something like, “the best time to visit: from October to December”.

Every potential tourist attraction has an on season and an off season. Any place on earth is influenced by its geography, the seasonal and climatic variances. It is very important that you make a note of the on and off seasons for a place, region or location that you plan to visit. A lot of online and offline travel guides give you these information.

On season for a place, (also known as Peak Season or High Season) is the busiest or the most popular time for tourism activities for that place. Off season (or Low season) is the opposite. i.e., the least busy, or the least popular time for that place. Of course, you may also consider something called as Shoulder Season, the time between high and low season.

The best time to go someplace

Let us now see which can be a best time to tour a place, and whether visiting a place at other times are worth it.

The best time to go somewhere is obviously during its on-season.
For example, if you want to go to a beach, or a coastal region, the best time is ideally during its winter season. The summer would make the coastal region too hot and humid, so that you would be sweating all around. This applies to both the east and the west coasts of India.

The rainy season will cover the skies fully with dark monsoon clouds, and you wouldn’t enjoy that sunny day or evening by the sea, relishing the sunset or sunrise.
Of course, if you are someone who simply loves the rain, then this does not imply to you. Even rainy seasons sometimes give you good scenes, with the place all wet and misty.

So, what do you do? Obviously, you would like to go visit a place during its “on” season. But, there are some advantages of going during an off season too.

Let us briefly have a look into both on and off seasons, and weight each of their pros and cons.

The On Season

The best time or season for a place is its on-season.

Crowded, expensive accommodations
The main drawback visiting a place during its on-season is
It will be extremely difficult to get good lodgings; unless you have yours booked well in advance.
All the main places of attractions will be heavily crowded.
As there is great demand and inflow of tourists and travellers, all the lodges, residencies, resorts and stays will obviously be more expensive.

The best time for sightseeing
But so said, an on-season visit will give you the optimum beauty, ambience and pleasure of visiting that particular place. If you don’t mind the crowd, and would have sightseeing as your main objective, then going on an on-season is the best option.

You can find peace and tranquility in some resorts or homestays which might be quite isolated from the towns, even during the on-season, but if you want good ones, they are going to cost such too.

The Off Season

The main drawback during off-season is that it is off-season! It can’t be put in a much simpler way, can it?

Bad Sightseeing
The beauty of the place cannot be savoured or enjoyed during these times. For example, hill stations and hilly places like Coorg (Kodagu), Wayanad, Munnar, Ooty, would be covered in thick mist during the rainy season. You won’t be able to see breathtaking views from the top of mountains, as all you will see is thick white mist.
The above is the main drawback of off-seasons.

The other can be that some resorts and homestays may not provide their optimum services during these times. For example, the pools may not be maintained or useable in the rainy season, even if on that particular day there is no rain.
This kind of thing will not occur in high end and star resorts and stays. But in other economic ones, these things might happen (we have a first hand experience of both).

Fewer crowds, less expensive accommodations
Now, there are some advantages of visiting a place during its off season too.
The places of stay- the resorts, hotels, homestays, lodges will be comparatively less expensive than during on-seasons.

However, nowadays we have seen places of stay or accommodations getting full even during some off-seasons too. We had to struggle to find good accommodations even during off seasons a couple of times. But, those were some last minute like plans, and it is always advisable that you plan your journey well in advance – on season or off season.

The places worth visiting and the ones offering tourist attractions will not be crowded. You can go to them peacefully.

Important Note:
Of course this depends that the place is approachable and watchable at that time, and there is no guarantee of this one. Visiting a place during bad weather is not at all a good idea.

For example, if there are heavy rains, then you may not be able to visit that place at all. The mist or fog will not let you travel or move around, and will definitely not reveal the beauty and charm of that place. Some roads may be shut down or untraversable due to bad weather.
Off season advantages only apply when in some rare occasions when there may not be much obstructions and hindrances. For example- less rainfall a particular month, resulting in very less or no mist, and showing the place in its full beauty, even during an off-season. But, as said before, such occurrences are typically rare.


If you don’t care being sun scorched and sweat bathed, then you may visit a coastal area, and enjoy the beaches and the nearby places during its summer, sweating profusely all over...

But then, it all depends on your likes and dislikes. You don’t like sweating profusely in hot and humid conditions, getting wet in rains, or freezing in cold, then off-seasons are not your domain.

Some of our off-season experiences

We went to a hot and humid place along the beach, called Murudeshwar in the summer, and we had fun there. The next, we went to Coorg at the beginning of monsoon season. There were rains and mist all around. We simply loved that mist filled environment during the day and the sound of raindrops during the peaceful nights. We actually went in the subsequent monsoon seasons to Wayanad and Chikkamagaluru, just for the sake of ambience we would get during the rains, but at both those occasions, the rains betrayed us. Hence, it totally depends on you and your attitude when you embark on a tour.

Does it really matter?

Finally, there is no given rule. If your aim in travelling is to have fun, rather than sightseeing, then on or off, the season should not matter (unless of course, you totally hate a particular weather). If you are a die hard traveller, in good company, and simply love to go places, whatever or however may be the conditions – hot/humid/wet or cold, then you would simply enjoy whatever the weather presents you with.

Or, simply go on tour on a Shoulder season! This can be the best bargain of both the on and off seasonal features. More on this one, next time. Until then, over and out...
Happy travelling :)

What are your thoughts on this? Would you prefer travelling off-season, or do you stick to on-season travel? Share your comments and experiences below.

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