MY FAVORITE TIME TO TRAVEL IS WHEN OTHER PEOPLE AREN'T. WHY? FOR SO MANY REASONS THAT I'LL DO MY BEST TO EXPLAIN.
1. YOU SAVE MONEY
If your husband is cheap like mine... excuse me, cost conservative... then you're always on the lookout for good prices. Quality is always a priority, so I will rarely ever go with the cheapest option, but I will try to find high end choices for a steal. For example, my favorite time of the year to travel to NYC is mid January because I can get a hotel room that would normally cost $200-$400 for half the price, department store sales are insane and flights almost always take a significant price drop. Most hotels offer great incentives for off-season travelers since rooms often go unfilled and it's usually the time that promotions run like restaurant weeks (set price pre-fix menus, up to 50% off), hotel weeks (half price hotel rooms), clothing and sample sales and even free admission to top attractions like popular museums.
2. IT'S LESS CROWDED
Have you ever been on vacation and felt like you were being herded around like a bunch of cattle or at every attraction you stood in a never-ending line like you were waiting for Space Mountain? When you travel in the off season, you don't have that issue. My husband and I spent the first part of our honeymoon in Santorini, Greece during Spring and it felt like we had the entire island to ourselves - such an experience! It also means that you often get exceptional service and are more likely to be upgraded as the stress of over bookings and angry consumers hasn't hit yet. And my favorite avoidance of all... large tour groups with those colorful flags that seem to block everywhere you're trying to go and seem oblivious to anything going onaround them (yes, this gives me nightmares!). Now, you don't want to be alone, alone where nothing is open and you have to fish for your own food, but a little peace and quiet never hurt anyone.
3. YOU GET A MORE AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE
During tourist season, most cities ramp up to accommodate travelers from around the world by providing goods and services that attract tourists. For some, this might sound like a delight, but rarely do you actually get an authentic cultural experience. For example, during college I lived in Florence, Italy for a summer (worst time of year!); not only did I hear more English than Italian, many restaurant menu items changed to serve hamburgers, french fries... even an American breakfast! However, when I went back in the spring, I felt much more like a local... shops that are only open for travelers during high season were closed, menus were in Italian, and the people of Florence were living their real daily lives. Don't get me wrong, you're still a tourist, but you become a commodity rather than a target.
4. IT'S EASIER TO TAKE TIME OFF WORK
Be the smartest person in the office by traveling when most people are still saving for the summer months. One of the hardest parts about going on vacation for most Americans is taking time off of work. Since the majority of workers take vacation between June - August, it can be a battle just to get approval. However, if you plan ahead and avoid traveling around major holidays or during the summer, you have a much better chance of getting time off without receiving the cold shoulder from everyone in the office.