There are some mistakes that we can habitually make when choosing the ideal date to travel to a destination that we have in mind, here a small list of some that I have compiled in my personal experience:
1) The season in which the place of destination is: Maybe in your country of origin is low season, like June in Chile and therefore the tickets leaving Chile are cheaper, But in Europe on the same date, it is full summer and it is when everything is fuller, the heat becomes difficult to support and also raise the prices of the entrances to the main attractions and tours and also the accommodation. In my experience, visiting Europe in late summer, in September, starting autumn was the ideal date, prices were lower, also in accommodations, there were not so many crowds and temperatures were very bearable.This is a detail that sometimes we forget and then we take surprises with the prices when arriving at the place.
2) Weather and natural disasters: most of them can not be predicted, but there are some certainties that we can consider, when choosing our ideal date, here are some examples:
- Hurricane season in the Caribbean: begins in September so it is much more likely to get many rains in this period and the possibility of being on the path of some hurricane, I remember reading reviews of very angry travelers because it rained heavily on their holidays, but we can´t blame the hotel for that, dont you think so? It´s our responsibility to inform ourselves, although you will not feel cold, if it is possible to encounter more than one tropical storm. I had to travel to Dominican Republic a month after Hurricane Isaac in 2012, and certainly those beaches that normally look like a cup of tea and that have an incredible transparency of water were much more disturbed and full of seaweed because of the that. Bathe in the caribbean sea with a little rain can be an exquisite experience, but a hurricane is a whole different story.
- Bolivian Winter: To travel to Peru and Bolivia it is important to consider it. It starts in December and lasts until March, although it is the ideal date to find the Salar de Uyuni, in Bolivia, as a mirror of the sky, it must be considered that there may be cut roads and to wear warm clothes according to the weather. If the destination is Machupicchu consider that the town of Aguascalientes is frequently isolated by heavy rains, due to its geographic location. I remember a group of friends whose hostel was flooded and as they had their backpacks on the floor they got all wet, passports, money, etc, because they were on tour at that time. It was quite a mess then contact the embassy to get the documents and travel back home. If you decide to venture on this date, take extra precautions (or leave the backpacks on top of the cabins and consider that your return may be delayed), it is part of the adventure.
- Closing of border crossings in the Andes: If you are backpacking and you want to cross from Argentina to Chile by land,you have to consider that during the winter in June and July mainly, is quite frequent that the border crossing may be close, because of the snowfall in the mountain range. This is important for several reasons, first because it is essential to use chains in the cars for the crossing and because it may mean staying longer than stipulated in the destination or, in the worst case, being stopped in the middle of a mountain range with a Long list of cars and trucks until you can re-enable the passage, in those cases consider carrying extra food and coat and the car well loaded with gasoline.
The positive side, if we try to think positive, is that many destinations where a natural disaster has already taken place, strive to recover tourism, which is an important source of income for the place, in those cases prices are very low, in this cases evaluate the level of real risk and take advantage of the low prices.
I remember that months after a volcano erupted near Puyehue in southern Chile, nobody wanted to get close to the area and the Hotel Termas de Puyehue launched all inclusive promotions at ridiculously cheap prices, that was the first time I went and I met The wonder that was the National Park Puyehue, already out of all risk, but empty by the collective fear that had been generated.
Now, if you decide to travel to an area where a major disaster has occurred and prices have actually fallen, but there have been people affected, consider packing between your belongings some humanitarian aid (subject that I will touch on another post) and consider making an altruistic trip. As the world gives us, the world receives, and puts our energy in going to help some particular destination, can be a unique experience of life and a different way of knowing a place.
3) Inform yourself to fulfill your dream: If your dream is to visit a particular natural spectacle, find out the ideal date to do it and if you require a particular reservation. My current dream is to see a Aurora Borealis in Iceland and I know that for this the ideal date is between December and May. If you dream of being able to see the plumed serpent coming down from the main pyramid of Chichen Itza, you must be at one of the equinoxes (March 21 or September 21) and try to secure your entry, because its great event and many people want to visit the place.
There are several destinations that have been restricting the number of visitors daily or even have been closed for a while, in order to protect them from the impact of tourism on the ecosystem. If you are going to travel far to fulfill a dream, make sure beforehand to be at the right time and ensure your income and I´m sure it wil worth it …
Even though there are several data you can take to choose an ideal date to visit a place, the destination can always surprise you out of the expected in some way. The same year 2012 thanks to a travel promotion with kilometers I was able to visit Easter Island and I was lucky to witness a unique moment, the arrival of the Maori from New Zealand, who had been sailing their boat for 3 months and guided only by the stars to arrive.It was very exciting to see the encounter, the Haka of the Maori with their tattooed faces, the typical dances of the Pascuenses and their painted bodies, to see how two cultures that on the map we see distant, actually have so much in common, with the 7 Moai Of the Ahu Nau Nau in the background, was an absolutely overwhelming experience and in that case, impossible to predict, plan your escapades but also let yourself be surprised …