There’s nothing worse than making that dream trip come true and having it ruined by huge crowds. You don’t want to spend your precious time queuing up for attractions, just like you don’t want your photographs filled with unknown faces. This is especially true when it comes to iconic photos at famous landmarks, like the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
So how do you avoid the crowds?
Firstly, travel outside of the school holidays. Whilst schools differ on a few days, they largely follow the same schedule and you can easily find the dates online. If you have the flexibility to avoid half term and the school summer holidays you’ll notice a huge difference in the crowds.
Secondly, travel in the shoulder seasons. This means booking your trip for the start or end of a season. Think May, June and October in Europe. Whilst the weather won’t be at its hottest, or indeed its coldest, the perk of less crowds is an attractive one.
Thirdly, travel midweek. Most people work a Monday – Friday, 9 – 5 job, and so they use their weekends for city breaks. If you can avoid a Saturday or Sunday, you buck the trend and are more likely to enjoy less crowds.
The best thing about travelling this way is that you also usually save money by travelling during quieter times. Win, win! You’ll often find better rates for flights and accommodation during these times. If you avoid chain restaurants and eat like a local you’ll usually be able to enjoy cheaper meals too.
If you’re heading somewhere like Venice or Barcelona where there are big attractions that you definitely want to tick off your list, make sure you book your tickets in advance. This will often mean that you can skip the big queues, potentially saving you hours.
Not only that, but book an early or late slot to avoid the throngs of tourists. By doing that you’ll also be able to get some amazing photographs as you’ll be capturing your chosen destination during sunrise or sunset.
Before you head off on your adventures read a few travel blogs to get pointers for more offbeat things to see and do. You’ll often find the more unique, well-kept secrets of a city are the most rewarding; less tourists crowding the spots and a more authentic flavour. For example, you didn’t hear it from us, but head down Calle Tudescos in Madrid (Spain) for a dose of café culture with the locals.
Once you’re in your destination you can go further to avoid the crowds. Have a late breakfast (or at least a big one) so that you can eat lunch outside of the busy 12-2pm period. You’ll often find that you can take advantage of special prices if you eat this way too.
Do you have any tips to add to this list?
Char Taylor,Taylor Hearts Travel, UK travel blogger, lover of stylish travel & mama.