If I were to ask you when the perfect time to travel is, what would you say?

If you said summer, you’d be wrong.

If you said winter, you’d be wrong.

If you said whenever you can afford it, you’d be…right, technically, but for the bit I’m doing, let’s just say you’d be wrong.

The truth of the matter is that there is no perfect time to travel. That said, based on your circumstances, there can be some really great times to finally take that trip you’ve been dreaming about.

To help you figure out what time works best for you, we’ve compiled the pros and cons of the major (and minor) travel seasons.

The Busy Season

The busy season gets a bad rap. It’s mostly because it’s super expensive every step of the way and there are tons of (read as too many) people everywhere you want to be.

There is a reason for those things though. If you can (somehow) look passed those, admittedly, glaring negatives, you’ll see why the busy season is the only time some people travel.

It comes down to logistics. It’s not a coincidence that the busy season of travel coincides with the more pleasant weather months of a particular location. It wouldn’t make sense for people to go to a location known for their water parks in the dead of winter.

The other big issue is scheduling. Kids are out of school during the summer. If you’re trying to plan a family trip, it can be difficult to make any other time of the year work.

The Offseason

The offseason may seem like the obvious alternative if you don’t have to worry about kids and want to save a considerable amount of money. For some places it is. However, those reduced rates often come at a price.

Weather conditions tend to be considerably worse in the offseason. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the beach is if it’s too cold to enjoy.

Moreover, since fewer people come around, some of the more tourist-centric areas and activities can operate at a reduced capacity (if at all).

That said, because of the decrease in foot traffic during the off months, you’re likely to have free reign over whatever you happen to find open.

The In-Between

There are a lot of months in-between January and July. Travel activity tends to fluctuate from month to month as you get closer too and farther from each particular season. Traveling during these times can offer both the best and worst of both seasons.

It all comes down to what you’re looking to get out of your trip. If the weather isn’t a consideration in your plans, an off-season getaway could be the best call.

If your obligations won’t allow you to take time off at the start of a new year, doing additional saving to make a summer trip happen may be your only option.

Remember, you might not enjoy a trip that is just cobbled together out of convenience. Jackie Chan once said, “Money you can get back, time you can’t.” Going all out on a trip you enjoy might be better than penny-pinching for a trip you don’t.