Big European Odyssey - The benefits of touring out of season

I’ll be the first to admit that travelling in a leisure vehicle is best when the sun is shining and the air is warm. Which for most of us means heading away in the summer months, however, as we have discovered on our travels there are many advantages to travelling out of season. 

We appreciate that not everyone has this luxury due to work and life commitments, but for those who can get away outside of peak season, these are some of the benefits you can enjoy.

It’s cheaper: With demand lower during the low season many campsites and tourist attractions offer lower prices. We have specifically noticed this on the cost of campsites in Europe, often paying as much as 30% less out of season. We’ve also noticed people in markets and local shops being prepared to drop their prices as there’s less chance of sales with fewer people in the low season.

Authentic experiences: We’ve found that during quieter times of the year the locals we meet have more time to engage with people, which often leads to unique experiences simply not possible when it’s busy and they are in a more focused work mode to maximise the peak season. For example, during our time on the Greek island of Chios, we were invited to eat with the family of the restaurant we went to after chatting to the daughter about our travels and connecting over a shared love of pork dishes.

Peace and quiet: Not only are there fewer vehicles on the road during low season, but it also means sites and attractions are far quieter as well. It’s amazing the difference it makes visiting an attraction without all the crowds. When we went to Ephesus we practically had the place to ourselves. The same for campsites, fewer people means no queuing for facilities and peaceful nights.

Cooler temperatures: This might be a divisive benefit, as many people love the heat, but actually if you’re out and about visiting a lot of places it’s not much fun in thirty degrees, especially not when you have children to think about as well. Exploring under the warmth of winter sun is far more enjoyable.

Natural beauty: No matter what time of year you travel the natural world is magical, but there are certain seasons where the colours of nature are enchanting. We will never forget droving through Armenia in autumn as the leaves on the trees were beginning to change. Mile upon mile of the most extraordinary kaleidoscope of colours. Burnt oranges, rusty browns, deep reds. And that’s not forgetting the spellbinding site of being in the Austrian Alps during winter, camping in our very own winter wonderland and having a totally different experience thanks to the snow.

Greater flexibility: Booking anything for travel in peak season requires a lot of forward planning to ensure you don’t miss out on campsites and activities, given things get booked up so quickly. However, in low season there is far less demand and therefore you can often leave things to the last minute, allowing for far more freedom with your travels and ever-changing plans once on the road. We also found companies more willing to change bookings at shorter notice when out of season, as they have more freedom to accommodate any changes to plans as well given they are not fully booked.

Long before we set off on the Big European Odyssey we firmly believed that travelling and exploring in a leisure vehicle was an all year round endeavour, and not something simply confined to the warmer summer months. It’s a belief that is stronger now than ever before and so, as we start the new year, if there’s one thing we can encourage others to do more of, it’s getting our and about at every possible opportunity. 

You can continue to follow our adventures on social media. Instagram is @MarcusLeachGlobal and @Our.Roaming.Odyssey and X (formerly Twitter) is @MarcusGLeach You can also see us at the Caravan and Camping Show at the NEC in February where I will be talking about travelling in Croatia on the Inspiration Stage, and looking at travelling to the far edges of the CAMC European Network at the Club stand.