In general, avoiding crowds often allows you to have better travel experiences. Sometimes crowds add to the excitement and hustle and bustle of an area. But generally, it’s not as enjoyable to be crowded in a sea of other tourists. Especially in this day and age where social distancing is the norm, avoiding crowds is pertinent while traveling. Follow these tips to avoid crowds while traveling.
Top Tips for Avoiding Crowds While Traveling
Travel During Off-Season/ Shoulder Season
If you want to steer clear of crowds, avoid travel to a destination during its peak season. Many destinations tend to be busiest during the summer, yet some peak during other seasons and holidays. Look up what the high season is for the destination you are planning to visit and consider visiting during shoulder season. Shoulder season is a great time to visit because there are still plenty of activities to do and usually the weather is still nice. In some destinations, restaurants may close and activities may not be available during the off-season, so be sure to check before booking a trip at this time. Yet, chances are if you book a trip during the off-season, you can have the place to yourself (and the handful of other tourists who did the same).
Visit Lesser-Known Destinations
If you don’t want to go to a crowded tourism destination, avoid well-known destinations. Swap out the major tourist destinations for lesser-known spots. Pick smaller, less-visited cities, quaint beach towns, and parks that don’t attract lots of visitors. Basically, avoid traveling to those super Instagrammable spots, because lots of people know about them.
Avoid Busy Tourists Spots
If you do choose to visit a well-known destination, avoid visiting the busy tourist spots. These major attractions will draw a lot of people and can be very overcrowded. While these spots may be on your bucket list for a destination, often times the large crowds makes the experience less than ideal, especially if you’re trying to social distance.
Go on Road Trips
Road trips are a great way to social distance and avoid crowds. Having a car allows you to avoid crowded public transportation and airports. They also allow you flexibility. For example, if you arrive at a destination that seems overly crowded, you can hop in your car and go somewhere else.
See the Top Sites Early in the Morning
If you want to visit the top sites in a destination (which I fully support), try to arrive early in the morning. Most touristy spots don’t get overly crowded until the afternoon. I’ve had plenty of major tourism destinations completely to myself just by visiting in the early morning.
Pick Nature over City Trips
Parks tend to be less busy than cities, that’s the nature of it. Consider visiting State and National Parks, where you will have plenty of trails to explore without the crowds of a city. Getting out in nature is a great way to get away from it all. However, that being said, some trails tend to get very busy. If you want to avoid crowds, check how highly trafficked a trail is before hiking.
Walk Instead of Taking Public Transportation
Public transportation can get very crowded in certain cities. If you don’t want to deal with squishing on a public metro or bus, consider walking whenever possible. Not only does walking keep you from having to take crowded public transportation, but it also allows you to look around a city as you get from point A to point B.
Buy Skip the Line Tickets for Busy Attractions
Buying skip-the-line tickets at busy attractions saves you time and saves you from having to wait in a busy line. Buying a skip the line ticket allows you to bypass the line and the crowds that come with it.
Do Self Guided Walking Tours Over Guided Tours
While having a tour guide is very helpful, guided group tours in a city are a sure-fire way to end up in crowded spots. These guided group tours tend to want to show you the top attractions and will often weave you in and out of crowds in order to do so. Instead, opt for self-guided walking tours where you will be in control of where you visit and for how long.
While joining a group tour can have its myriad of benefits, including not having to worry about transportation, hotels, activities, and even meals, they often mean that you are traveling with a large group of people. The group in itself can often be a crowd. That means, that no matter where you go, at minimum the 20-30 people who are on your large group tour will be there too. Consider traveling independently, so that you will only have to worry about being nearby the few people you know and are traveling with. If you do opt for a group tour, choose a small one.