When we think of the word “season,” our minds naturally leap to summer, fall, winter, and spring. But for the frequent traveler, the word brings forth an entirely different association: high season and low season — with the high season of any travel destination being known for big crowds and the low season for its tranquilo days.
High season in any country is usually that way for a reason. The weather may be nicer, the activities more bountiful, and the nightlife more bumping. But it’s also when you’ll pay the highest prices for your adventure, and have to fight the most people for that unobscured selfie in front of a famous monument or a little space to spread out your beach towel. Weeks or months when everyone flocks to the same paradise may still result in a great time, but your trip will also end with emptier pockets, more carryover stress, and less of a sense of the culture of the place you visited. It’s hard to get a real feel for a country’s vibe when everyone around you is from Des Moines.
For Central America, high season is generally in the US winter and spring. That’s when the weather is the dryest. Plus, many travelers come from areas with cold winters, and so the people looking for an escape from harsh, freezing conditions flock to the region from December to March. There’s really no bad time to visit these beautiful countries, but I’ve spent many months throughout Central America. And I have to tell you that it’s the low season that keeps bringing me back again and again.
Here are the five reasons why you should rethink that winter getaway to Nicaragua, and start considering it for your summer and fall travel.
1. Three words: money, money, and well…money.
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One of the biggest factors in travel is money, that’s undeniable. Having the finances to make sure you can afford a room, eat comfortably and possibly extend your trip are very important. Businesses respond to the trends of travel; plane ticket prices rise during the peak seasons and negotiating for a cheaper price on a hotel or hostel is not an option.
Last year, I spent the entire summer in Central America and stayed at this beautiful resort directly on the beach. The key word being: resort. Where room I stayed in is usually $150 USD a night, but since I had built a relationship with the management, and I’d be staying for over a month, I was given the rate of $15 USD a night. It’s simple math, really. Had I not stayed there for that lower rate, they wouldn’t have been making an income at all. They just couldn’t fill the room. When I think about it now, I’m still grateful.
If you want to get the most bang for your buck, taking a trip in the low season is the best option, especially for those that prefer to backpack and extend their travels as long as possible. Somewhere known for being affordable, like Central America, has potential to be even more affordable than you originally expected.