5 ways to avoid crowds and 1 way to deal when you can’t.
Waiting in line to take an iconic photo or a photo. Trying to photograph around people or wanting to experience a destination without being elbowed. You hate crowds yet want to visit popular destinations. What do you do? The most popular tourist destinations are popular for a reason and you should not have to forgo them because of the crowds.
So, if you hate crowds and don’t want to have to medicate yourself to enjoy your vacation read on.
1. Travel on the off season.
You don’t have to go to remote places but knowing the time to go is important. In order to avoid the largest crowds go on the off season for your destination. Traveling opposite the crowds can save your sanity and your budget. Also try to avoid major religious and school holidays.
2. Arrive early/or late.
Museums and other attractions are less crowded in the first and final two hours of operation. The morning is when lines are the shortest. If you really want to go somewhere, do it first thing, don’t wait.
It's also good to know when other major attractions are closed because when one is closed the others will draw more people.
3. Have a plan.
Whether you plan to knock out all of the most popular sites first to avoid or lower wait times or vice versa, if you want to avoid the masses it is important not to wing it. For example, most people enter a museum and follow the crowd into the first exhibit they see. Instead, head to the back and work your way to the front or take the elevator to the top floor and walk your way down. This will help avoid the masses and is also less tiresome. Know what is a must see and do. This way you'll be exiting while the masses are entering. Having a plan will keep you from scrambling to see what's most important to you.
4. Take a midday break.
While everyone who didn’t take advantage of the morning hours is battling the midday crowds and midday heat is when you should be relaxing on a midday break. Head back to your hotel or away from the tourist center. Rest up for the second half of the day when you are “arriving late” and taking advantage of the lessoning crowds an hour or two before closing time.
5. Find an alternative.
Who says you have to visit The Louvre during your time in Paris. If you want to see art but the thought of tackling a museum the size of the Louvre and its crowds is daunting,
Trade The Louvre for The Musee d’Orsay, a smaller museum filled with mostly French art and housed in a former railway station.
Trade Chiang Mai, Thailand for the still popular but less crowded Chiang Rai, Thailand. They are very similar yet Chiang Rai has fewer tourists.
Trade Los Angeles, CA for beachy Laguna Beach, CA. You’re also more likely see run into a celebrity.
6. Go with it.
If you find yourself immersed in a crowd, don’t fight it, just go with it. This may not sound like great advice but remembering why you are there and making the most of it is the best way to keep your sanity.
Check out some of the crowds we encountered. Let me know other destinations where the crowds were overwhelming….so the rest of us can plan to avert them.