Off-peak travel – See the world with different eyes

From saving money to fewer crowds and experiencing a city like the locals do, planning outside the normal Thursday-to-Sunday weekend getaway can reap a host of benefits.

Illustration: Elen Winata

1. Cheaper flights

Instead of planning the ­expected Thursday or Friday through Sunday weekend getaway, why not leave on Saturday and return Tuesday, or book Sunday to Wednesday? Be flexible with your criteria and instead of booking during the most popular times – school holidays, summer break or special holiday weekends – search for tickets outside of these times. Book in advance using the SAS low-price calendar where you’ll find the best prices for each month.

Illustration: Elen Winata

2. More availability

Not only are airline tickets cheaper during off-peak, there’s also more choice, so if you want to travel at a specific time of day you’re more likely to get the ticket you want. This also extends to your destination – that restaurant ­everyone’s been raving about in Barcelona will probably be booked months in advance during the high season, but off-peak you’ll probably be sitting at a prime table, enjoying a meal that you’ll rave about for months.

3. Cheaper hotels and car rentals

Empty rooms and a surplus of cars mean great deals are there for the taking. During off-peak, hotel occupancy goes down, so you can often upgrade to a better room for the price you would pay for a less favorable one during peak times. The same goes for car rentals – a car sitting in a garage means the car rental company isn’t making money, so the pricing will reflect their need to get vehicles on the road.

Photo: Shutterstock

4. Shorter lines

If you visit a city’s most pop­ular attractions at peak times, such as the Vatican in Rome or the Louvre in Paris, you’ll face long lines and waiting times that can stretch into hours. Visiting during off-peak means you’ll be through the doors and enjoying the marvels of the world in record time. And don’t forget – you’ll face fewer lines at airport check-in and security and find more space to relax in the SAS Lounge.

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Fewer tourists

Hordes of tourists can spoil even the best getaway. Traveling during off-peak means the simple act of wandering the streets and absorbing the local culture is eminently more pleasurable. Additionally, traveling when there are fewer tourists means you get a better feeling of the local flavor of your destination – you get to see locals go about their lives in a real way since they’re not as affected by large numbers of seasonal tourists taking over their city.


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