Our vacations tend to be governed by easy openings in our busy schedules: school breaks, national holidays, that annual winter escape to the tropics. But, when you travel to popular spots at the same time as everyone else, you’re competing for access to accommodation, reservations at top restaurants, even sidewalk space.

To avoid the crowds and score some sweet deals, consider making an easy escape at off-peak times. Not only will you save money (and time spent lining up at attractions), you’ll get to experience the destination more like locals do.