Have you ever been so excited to go sightseeing, to a national park, or to a new country, but when you got there you were accompanied by thousands of other people? If you are headed somewhere to experience the best destinations that area has to offer, you might find yourself trying to avoid the crowds at all costs… but how exactly do you plan for that?

Hiking with friends to an empty lake in the mountains


Weekends are a pretty obvious time to find yourself in a sea of other people. With most people off on the weekends, they are ready to get out and about with their friends and family. Because of this, week days are generally far less crowded, and sometimes you can even find better deals on travel and accommodations. If you're able to slip away during the week, you'll find your dream destinations are much less crowded!

Sunrise above the clouds in San Diego


Oftentimes, when you set out to your destination at sunrise or earlier, you'll find peace and quiet. Not only will you get places all to yourself, but sunrise is one of the most beautiful times to experience most places. There is something extra rewarding about catching the sunrise, maybe it's because most people miss it, or maybe it's because getting up early is a challenge to overcome. Don't forget those mornings can be cold, so be sure to bring along a hot beverage in an insulated coffee tumbler, a warm blanket, and some warm clothes.

You can also learn about choosing the right thermal travel mug here.

Car camping during a beautiful sunset in the fall at Big Sur


Seasonal travel exists in almost all parts of the world. With summer comes the heat, and with the heat comes people (most of the time). If you can pick a less mainstream season to go like spring or fall, you'll avoid not only the heat but most tourists as well. However, not every place has the same peak season, so make sure to get your research in before you go.


Holidays can draw some of the biggest crowds. Heading out the weekend before or after a holiday weekend can be a great alternative to spending a weekend in traffic and lines.

Snowshoeing in Crater Lake National Park


Most people choose the shorter option when it comes to visiting destinations. There is nothing wrong with that, but this article is about avoiding crowds. So, instead of stopping at the main attraction, keep going. In most cases, there is so much more to see than just one view, and you will avoid having to crop people out of your photos.

Cooking food in Yosemite in the winter


Bringing your own food and having everything prepared in advance can take a little bit more time to prepare, but when faced with massive lines, you'll end up saving a lot of time, and money, in the long run.

Standing on a mountain top during a break between rain in New Zealand


Don't let a little rain and wind stop you. If you aren't too picky about the weather, you'll find yourself setting out on some amazing adventures when everyone else is headed back to the car. It is important to bring the correct gear when using this tactic. We recommend a high-quality rain jacket, rain pants, waterproof shoes, a waterproof bag, and a lightweight travel towel for after.


Research is key when it comes to avoiding crowds. There is almost always an amazing destination to explore that is less crowded and almost just as amazing as the one everyone usually goes to. Find these lesser-known places and trails and get out to explore them!


If you follow these 8 tips, you'll be able to enjoy the places you want with far fewer people to compete with over views, parking, and lines.  Keep in mind that avoiding crowds takes a little bit of extra effort, but it's almost always worth it. You may have to go further, you might have to get up earlier, and you might have to work a little harder, but when you find yourself gazing over the most beautiful mountain range that's glowing pink from the crisp sunrise, you'll think to yourself "I can't wait until next time".

While choosing a time and location makes or breaks a trip, having the right gear is just as important. We've put together an article about the most useful travel essentials that can easily be forgotten so you're ready to go on your next trip!

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  • When I go hiking the thing I value most is the peace and serenity. I don’t mind braving the weather but it always seems that no matter when I plan my trip so many others are doing the same thing in the same time frame. Thank you for your tips on avoiding crowds. I can see by reading this article that there are steps I had not considered before but will now.

    Laurie Emerson on
  • Nice

    Justin on
  • Always go with a buddy in the woods even if it is skiiing in case you slide off a mountain no matter how private you want your snow ski adventure or rock climbing adventure. Same with hiking, don’t go into an area with bears without ammunition. I personally never used a shotgun, but in Alaska they trap bears and shoot them for bear rugs because they tear people apart and in the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, you have to worry about mountain lions. So if your on skiis, be good at fast, but realize icy patches can make us fall and we should have a buddy system to hope is there no matter how private you like it.

    Debbie Beswick on
  • Hey guys, what an amazing post! I really love to travel and of course I will use these tips.

    Mari on
  • This night owl needs to learn how to get up early. Early bird gets the worm, right? Yawn! Trying!

    Win on
  • As easy as it is nowadays to research, i.e. with the touch of a finger on a keyboard, I am amazed that people don’t do it more and especially with kids. Your article had some outstanding tips, first and foremost should be researching before you go AND starting early. I am planning a ladies trip to Kauai for next December/January and started researching last year.

    Darla on
  • I am a tried and true off season traveler. Summer and holidays I stay home and enjoy the weather and activities close to home. I like having cheaper options for airfare and lodging, but most of all I enjoy having fewer crowds at all of the touristy spots. I went to Mount Rushmore in late October in the evening and got a picture down the main walkway without a single person in the background! Thanks for some extra tips.

    Lindsay on
  • As much as I enjoy a sparsely populated vacation paradise, I have found that wherever you go, there you are!

    Jon Register on
  • Spring and Fall are my favorite times to travel. I love just getting lost as in exploring an area without too many set plans to see what I discover. I researched beforehand so I know what’s around and then I see what I can find. Layers are always good to have options for weather. Great article ~

    Sierra Lopez on
  • Great tips! Go further and embrace weather are keys for me! (Just layer and prep well!).

    Joey C. on

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