Where to Go in May: What’s “in season” in May?

by Jessica

December 16th, 2010

If given the opportunity to travel at any time of year, many frequent travelers automatically gravitate toward the shoulder seasons. They usually offer that perfect mix of nice weather, smaller crowds, and lower prices – even in some of the most popular places to visit around the globe. Even within shoulder seasons, however, there are some months that are more popular than others – and May is definitely one of the popular months.

May is the end of the spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and the end of fall in the Southern Hemisphere. In some places, however, May can feel like it’s already summer – and although it’s technically in a shoulder season you won’t always find bargain basement prices.

The list of good places to go in May that follows, therefore, isn’t as full of cheap destinations as the similar lists for April or March – but all of these places make great vacation destinations in May.

>> Planning to travel for one of May’s big holidays? Learn more about finding Kentucky Derby travel deals, Sasquatch Music Festival travel deals, and Memorial Day travel deals for the unofficial start of summer.

Here are some of the best places to go in May.

Warm Weather Places in May

Summer in Europe is the high season, when prices and crowds are at their peak, so a visit just before that can be ideal. In some parts of Europe it may already be quite hot by May, especially the end of May and in the southern parts of Europe, while in northern Europe it might still be a little chilly at night. Note that some places consider May part of their high season, so prices may no longer be at shoulder season cheap levels.

Caribbean, Mexico
The Caribbean and Mexico are really popular in the winter months when people try to escape the snow up north, and they’re popular again in the summer when everyone seems to have vacation time. So visiting in between those seasons when the weather is nice but the crowds aren’t as huge is a great idea.

Parts of Africa
Some countries in Africa are too hot or too wet to be terribly enjoyable in May, but other parts are great vacation spots at this time of year. Morocco is warm and quite green in places while not being too hot. This is also when the Okavango Delta typically begins to flood after the rainy season, which is a fascinating time to explore the area in search of wildlife.

Much of Asia is too hot in May, but Indonesia and Bali in particular are good options. May is part of the dry season in Indonesia, but the high season doesn’t tend to start until July – so you’ll avoid the worst of the crowds (and the heat) by visiting in May.

Cold Weather Places in May

Argentina, Chile
While the northern parts of South America are close enough to the equator that there isn’t a huge amount of variation when it comes to the weather, the southern parts of the continent are nearing their winter in May. Some of the hikes in Chile and Argentina may not be as accessible in late fall, but some of the skiing in the region may be opening up for the season.

Australia, New Zealand
As is the case with the southern parts of South America, Australia and New Zealand are also finishing up their autumn in May and getting ready for winter. There are parts of both countries that stay fairly mild year-round, but other parts do experience real winter – including some great skiing and snowboarding in the mountains of New Zealand’s south island.

photo by seanmcgrath


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