You’ve probably read dozens of articles and posts about the downsides and upsides of traveling with a baby. Although we hope that all our blog convinces you that these are only advantages themselves ;-) In this post a little different: we consider whether it’s worth traveling with a child in the off-season :)
Do you ride in the off-season? We do! If we can, we try to plan our trips so that we don’t go in July and August. Although sometimes, we deliberately target some trips for August (this was the case with Iceland or the Faroe Islands).
However, if we don’t have to, we choose less busy dates, for a number of reasons. The obvious ones include higher prices, problems finding accommodation, lots of tourists, excessive temperatures, etc. Besides, we can’t plan trips well in advance. It is more common for us to buy tickets spontaneously, on some occasions, and that these occasions generally involve off-season dates is another matter.
We have already written quite a bit about off-season travel itself in this post.
Table of contents
Traveling with a child in the off-season
Can traveling with a child in the off-season be a hassle? Well, it turns out that it has a lot of pluses, but there will also be a few downsides that we once would not have thought of.
So let’s start one step at a time :)
+ It’s cheap (or at least cheaper)
This is the overall benefit of traveling in the off-season, even obvious. However, once we count the extra person on board during our expeditions, this is a very important factor. Fortunately, we rarely pay for our Beaver, but looking ahead a few years is worth considering.
+ It’s less crowded
We don’t like crowds…. We feel bad falling into the current of flowing people, when it is barely possible to change direction. That’s why we prefer to go when the volume on the sidewalks decreases and there are no problems to pass a stroller without running into someone’s legs, because just then, he suddenly stopped to take pictures.
It’s safer, calmer that way. If the child is already walking then it can also explore places on its own feet, without fear of being immediately run down by someone. Our best memory in this regard is the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily, where we were almost alone!
There are also no queues for attractions (by the way, it happens that families with children can enter outside the queue – sometimes you just have to ask), and in restaurants you will always find a free table. And not just any kind, because it’s bigger and still with a chair for children. To live not to die! ;)
Fewer crowds also mean less risk of a child getting lost or at least losing sight of parents for a while. It also means less stress, less stimuli for the toddler, and therefore a more relaxed and calm child.
+ Less temptation
A plus and a minus, but let’s look at the plus side. How many times have you stopped by for ice cream, even though you hadn’t thought about it at all before? Well, that’s right :)
During the off-season, such places are often simply closed. We were most surprised in Sicily, well, because where as where, but in Italy we would expect Gelateria right and left. It turns out that not necessarily in January ;) Fact, a few were open but more were definitely closed to four triggers. Well, it worked out for the health and for the benefit of the wallet ;)
The same is also true of the numerous souvenir stores and stalls, at which we do not have to stop, and children are not tempted by the numerous candles, mascots, cotton candy and other Chinese trinkets.
+ More chance for an extra seat on the plane
During the off-season, there is a greater chance of lower occupancy on the plane, and thus vacant seats. And if you already find one, believe me that the staff will gladly seat a family with a child there :)
>> We also recommend our post about traveling with a baby through the eyes of a dad!
But, not to be so colorful, it’s time to mention some tiny downsides ;-)
– Hard to get clothes and accessories
Especially for a toddler who grows several sizes a year and there’s no chance he’ll get into some summer clothes in the winter! We found this especially true when we traveled to Sicily in the winter and the Faroe Islands in the summer.
Finding a lightweight jacket in January borders on the miraculous. Also, finding warm boots and gloves in August is not easy. Ok, these days, where everything can be ordered online and the ‘Outlet’ sections are still hanging leftovers from five seasons back, it’s easier, but it can still be a problem to find what we need in the right size, especially just for a baby.
– Easier to get colds, illnesses
While climate change has a positive impact on a child’s immunity, the initial period of adaptation to a different climate can be difficult. Driving in the off-season often means greater temperature differences, even within a few hours. Suddenly, from -10 degrees Celsius in Poland, we land in the Canary Islands or the Caribbean, and the temperature difference reaches up to 40 degrees.
We rejoice, but the small body may need more time to acclimatize. In addition, air-conditioning, the accumulation of viruses on the airplane – all of these have an impact on the risk of infection and the common cold.
It is also important to remember that the autumn-winter period in Poland increases the risk of catching some kind of infection, which can also make travel less comfortable.
– Fewer on-site attractions
It may happen that in the off-season some attractions are closed, so it is worth checking in advance. In early November, we were in Vienna. Even before we left, we found out that the funfair in Park Prater is closing at the end of October. What a positive surprise it was when from the hotel windows we saw shining and working attractions!
Don’t let this deter you, often the opening hours are simply shortened. However, if you are going for a specific purpose then be sure to check that you do not kiss the doorknob, because unfortunately the child may be very disappointed that something you promised him is closed.
What is the verdict? Is it worth traveling with a child in the off-season? The answer is only one: with a child, traveling is always worth it! :)
And seriously, of course you can travel with your child in the off-season. And let’s do it while we can, because when Olive goes to school these “off-season” outings will be increasingly difficult.
>> We also recommend a post on how to make a passport and ID card?
What does it look like for you? Do you see any other pros and cons? Let us know in the comments! :)