If you are planning on travelling this summer, chances are that you want to avoid the crowds and find a quiet, safe place to enjoy a relaxing holiday. You may be limited in choice of where you can travel to, but you can find tranquil secret spots anywhere in the world. This is the perfect time to get off the beaten track and discover hidden gems that may not normally have been on your radar. Save the holiday hotspots for post-pandemic and follow our top tips for avoiding busy crowds.
Visit outside peak season
If you can choose to travel outside peak season (July and August in Europe), this is the best way to avoid crowds. When booking a summer holiday in Europe, bear in mind that most Europeans head to the coast during August, so you’ll struggle to find an empty beach. If you can, travel in June or September for summer weather but quieter beaches. This goes for any destination – research the busiest months and avoid them.
Stay clear of ‘must visit’ destinations
If you want to avoid the crowds, stay clear of anywhere which has been named a ‘must visit’ destination or is heavily photographed on Instagram. The middle of a pandemic is not the best time to be ticking off your bucket list of dream destinations. Think outside the box and focus your travels on lesser-known spots this summer. Those hyped destinations will still be around next year.
Seek out alternatives
If you’re struggling to find a quiet destination, seek out alternatives to popular places. Look at second or third cities, rather than capitals, and investigate smaller islands close to more popular isles. For example, look at Menorca rather than Mallorca or Rotterdam rather than Amsterdam. Stay clear of Capri during the busy summer months and look instead at Ischia, and if you’d like to visit Greece, focus on the smaller islands that you may not have previously heard of, avoiding the likes of Mykonos and Santorini.
Avoid destinations you can reach on direct flights
A simple way to avoid the more popular destinations is not to rely on direct flights. Most holidaymakers prefer to take a direct flight to the place they will spend their holiday. If you’re prepared to take a train or boat journey to a quieter spot or hire your own car to drive to a more secluded area, you will find it easier to avoid the crowds.
Wake up early to visit popular attractions
If you’re staying somewhere that is busy and would like to see the local attractions, set your alarm for early in the morning. Wake up at the crack of dawn and get out early to beat the crowds. This usually works for everything from museums and galleries to ruins, interesting buildings and natural landscapes. You can then spend the remainder of your day relaxing while everyone else rushes around and queues up.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.