Travel off peak season and discover these 6 incredible destinations without the crowds
With the world starting to open back up again, Booking.com research shows that a majority of US travelers (58%)* are more likely to travel during off-peak season now than they were before the pandemic, with the main reason being that it’s less crowded (90%) and there’s less risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 (73%)*. Research from Booking.com further shows that almost 7 in 10 (69%)**of American travelers would visit an alternative destination in a bid to avoid traveling during peak season. Since experiencing the world is not tied to a handful of months, but can be explored 365 days a year, Booking.com shares six incredible destinations to help inspire travelers to take advantage of the off-peak season to have a more meaningful interaction with the local community, culture and traditions while in general and discovering a beloved destination without the crowds.
San Francisco, USA
Located on the Westcoast of the US, and known for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, steep roads with its iconic trams, the first established LGBTQ+ neighborhood in the country, and amazing food scene, San Francisco has always been one of the top visited US destinations by travelers globally. And not surprisingly being highly recommended for ‘city trips’ by Booking.com travelers. While in normal times it can get very busy with tourists during summer, the best time to visit and explore the city is actually from September to November. At that time it is also the perfect temperatures for sightseeing and wandering around the city. And with a San Francisco Attractions and Tour Pass, travelers can easily access a wide selection of tours, attractions and popular landmarks.
Where to stay: Discover San Francisco by staying at Fairmont San Francisco. This landmark hotel features spacious rooms, full-service gym and spa and three unique dining experiences available on site. The Fairmont’s unique rooms include panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Coit Tower and the Financial District. This Proud Certified property makes it a perfect, extra welcoming stay for every traveler.
While the sights in Venice and Rome are certainly mesmerizing, to have a similar Italian experience in an alternative city, Turin is a perfect destination to visit. During the summer it can get pretty crowded with many tourists filling the magnificent squares throughout the city, visiting this Northern Italian city is also worth visiting during off-peak season. While occasionally it can rain, during the months of November and December travelers can easily skip the lines and explore as much as possible of what the city has to offer, since the city is known for its incredible museums, beautiful churches and amazing restaurants. The city is also famous for its desserts and pastries, including ‘gianduiotti’ – a creamy chocolate delicacy with hazelnut, and what better way to taste all the sweets and delicacies during a Desserts of Turin Tour.
Where to stay: Corte Realdi Luxury Rooms Torino is situated in the historical city center of Turin. The rooms offer luxurious, modern decor with views of the city center. The property has also taken steps to provide more sustainable and environmentally friendly travel, including water-efficient sanitary, offering tours and activities organised by local guides and businesses, and locally sourced food. It’s central location makes it a perfect place to stay to explore the city by foot, with many sightseeing spots in the nearby area, including Piazza Castello and the Cathedral of Turin just a short walk away. Guests can also choose from one of the many nearby restaurants for some delicious Italian cuisine.
Just a short flight from Tokyo, Hokkaido is Japan’s northern island and is famous for its unspoiled nature, beautiful culture, snowy ski areas, and delicious (sea)food. Hokkaido is the perfect escape in all seasons, but can get crowded during summer, when it has the perfect conditions for hiking and exploring the many National Parks, and during winter, as it’s a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding thanks to its abundant powder snow and top resorts. But even during off-peak season, there’s plenty to see and do. Travelers can enjoy and relax in one of the natural hot springs Hokkaido is known for, explore one of the volcanoes during a guided tour, or try out some of the many amazing restaurant with one of Japan’s famous beers, produced in the Hokkaido area, on the side.
Where to stay: ONSEN RYOKAN Yuen Sapporo is situated in Sapporo, Hokkaido’s main city, and is a traditional Japanese ryokan. Guests can enjoy clean and comfortable rooms, spa and wellness facilities including a hot spring bath and a sauna, and join a traditional tea ceremony. The property’ restaurant offers a wide selection of Japanese cuisine, but with its central location, guests can also choose to explore one of the many restaurants in the nearby area.
Located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena is known for its beautiful architecture, a vivid nightlife, lush landscapes, and incredible beaches where travelers can relax and unwind. It’s also a perfect destination to get a taste of amazing South American cuisine in one of the many dining options. Explore Cartagena’s historic center, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984, surrounded by miles of ancient walls and cobblestone streets. While many tourists visit the city during the summer months, the best time to visit the beautiful landscapes and beaches of Cartagena is between the end of November and the end of April, times when there is a drier climate and it’s less crowded.
Where to stay: Situated in the heart of Cartagena, Sophia Hotel is an ideal stay to explore Cartagena's pastel-hued colonial buildings and just steps from the sparkling waters of the Caribbean. Perfect for travelers looking for culture and relaxation during their trip. The property offers incredible views of the historic city center, and especially when the sun goes down, a great moment to enjoy the beauty the city has to offer.
This fortified town, one of the oldest in Europe, on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and over the years has become more and more popular among tourists. And that’s not surprising. The city is full of history, has incredible beaches and amazing nature in the nearby area for some outdoor activities, making it a perfect destination for each type of traveler. It’s a beautiful destination to visit during the summer months, with warm temperatures and beaches to explore. In November however, the temperature is still very pleasant, but it’s far less crowded and travelers can actually enjoy walking in the old town of Kotor during a Old Town Sightseeing Tour. And for those looking for a beach break, travelers can usually still enjoy a visit to the coast until November.
Where to stay: Wake up with incredible sea and mountain views at Palazzo Sbutega. This cozy bed & breakfast offers modern design and is situated just a short walk away from the beach where guests can enjoy a day near and on the water. To explore the surrounding area, guests can rent a bike and cycle their way through the historic town.
For many global travelers, Bali has always been on top of the wishlist, and many Instagram pages are filled with pictures of the incredible scenery, food, nature and culture of this beautiful Indonesian island. While the island is a popular tourist destination, and can be especially crowded from June to August, the best time to visit and explore the island is actually between September and November. At that time, everything turns green, for that ultimate tropical paradise island feeling. And with less crowds and traffic on the island, it’s a great time to reconnect with yourself and explore the island’s rich culture, ideal for the almost three-quarters (71%)** of US travelers who agree that exploring a new culture helps them to disconnect from daily life.
Where to stay: Surrounded by paddy fields, Bliss Ubud Spa Resort is a peaceful, quiet resort just a short drive from Ubud city center, which is situated in the heart of Bali. Rest and relaxation is what guests staying at the property can find, with a dedicated room for Yoga sessions available, and traditional Balinese massages being offered in the property spa. For guests looking to explore the surrounding greenery, bike rental and tour booking services are available on sight.
For those travelers looking forward to traveling during the off-peak season, Booking.com is sharing Getaway Deals for travelers to use when booking their next getaway, as it becomes safe to do so. Discounts start at 15 percent and are valid for stays before January 4 2022. In addition, Booking.com is bringing the great value of its Genius program to even more customers by giving all account holders access to the program’s Level 1 benefits, with no minimum number of previous bookings to qualify, including access to exclusive 10% discounts at hundreds of thousands of participating properties around the world. All travelers have to do is download the Booking.com app, log in and look for the Genius logo to identify associated benefits, discounts and perks.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 47,728 respondents across 28 markets (1,997 from USA, 1,987 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 1,996 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,994 from Australia, 985 from New Zealand, 1,993 from Spain, 1,993 from Italy, 1,993 from France, 1,984 from UK, 1,989 from Germany, 1,977 from Netherlands, 983 from Denmark, 986 from Sweden, 998 from Croatia, 1,997 from Russia, 999 from Israel, 1,997 from India, 1,992 from China, 991 from Hong Kong, 1,991 from Thailand, 1,977 from Singapore, 998 from Taiwan, 953 from Vietnam, 1,990 from South Korea, 1,987 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in November 2020.
**Travel Predictions 2022 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled (including 501 from Argentina, 1003 from Australia, 500 from Belgium, 1001 from Brazil, 500 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1007 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 508 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1000 from Germany, 1005 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 502 from Israel, 1003 from Italy, 1002 from Japan, 500 from Mexico, 501 from The Netherlands, 501 from New Zealand, 500 from Peru, 1000 from Russia, 1005 from Singapore, 1002 from South Korea, 1002 from Spain, 501 from Sweden, 501 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 500 from Thailand, 1000 from the UK, 1002 from the US and 501 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2021.