With the weather warming and the talk of graduation, many students’ thoughts will be turning to seeing the world outside their hometown or city. Many students take the months after leaving high school, college or university to go travelling around the world to far flung destinations like America, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand but when is the best time to start your backpacking adventure?
Whether you are a first time jetsetter or an experienced backpacker, we would recommend avoiding the post-graduation rush and summer holiday season, instead travel to your favourite destination out of season. The majority of backpackers travel from the end of April to late September, but why not opt for the autumn months to avoid the busier travelling seasons! Even during these cooler months, you can enjoy warmer climates without the inflated prices that tend to take over during the summer months. Expect to pay up to 60% less for flights, accommodation, food, drink and sightseeing during October and November.
Early spring is also a great time for travelling and backpackers will see considerably less tourists during these months, which tend to be a ‘no-fly zone’ for cash strapped jetsetters following the Christmas and New Year celebrations. Check out our golden rules for students looking to travel the world out of season:
Planning Makes Perfect
Make sure you plan ahead if you are looking to save some money and avoid the hustle and bustle by travelling during the autumn and early spring months. Whilst attractions will be prone to less visitors, many close their doors during the off-peak season so if you have your heart set on seeing a particular attraction, check its seasonal opening hours before your board.
Don’t Always Book in Advance
Take advantage of the savings that travelling out of season can unlock! Hostels and other accommodation are less crowded during these times so you can travel to a city and find accommodation there and then for a cheaper price than booking in advance. The same applies to transport, if you are travelling the country via bus or train, then quite often there is no need to spend time and money making reservations, meaning you can see the sights without being bothered by the time restraints strict reservations may have.
Whilst exotic destinations may be considerably warmer than the weather and climate we experience at home, these locations may be prone to more sporadic weather during the autumn, winter and early spring months, so check out the forecast before you go and be prepared by packing a careful mix of clothes for warm and cold weather. You may need to travel a little heavier out of season as warmer clothes tend to be much more bulky to pack. Keep an eye on the weight of your luggage and be careful not to push your baggage allowance too far!
Travelling outside of the late spring and summer season does have its advantages, not only will it make your student budget go much further, but you also get the chance to meet more locals and explore some of the most beautiful countries in the world without having to wrestle fellow backpackers for that last bed at the hostel!