Monsoon season has just begun, turning the months between June and September into low season for travel throughout Asia. While no one wants Mother Nature to put a damper on their hard-earned vacation days, the rain shouldn't scare travelers away. Despite reports of heavy rainfall, a majority of the day can still be sunny and clear, leaving plenty of time to explore and discover the wonders of the region -- all with fewer crowds and lower travel costs. Here are some tips for making the most out of traveling in Asia during the wet season.
1. Safety first. Always adhere to safety precautions and emergency warnings during the monsoons. Roads can become treacherous, causing some destinations to become unsafe to visit. Be sure to check in with your hotel’s front desk each day before heading out to find out if there are any road conditions to be aware of.
2. Plan for indoor activities. Unless you’re taking a beach holiday exclusively, there are still many indoor destinations to explore when the rain comes. Take a trip to a local indoor market, head to the crafts museum, or take a cooking class. Just because it’s raining, it doesn’t mean you can’t be using that time to do other fun things.
3. Flexibility is key. Remember to take things in stride. Monsoon season can be wildly erratic and in times of heavy rains, streets may flood -- rendering travel virtually impossible. When planning your trip, always have a backup activity or alternate destination should the rains force you to change plans on the fly.
4. Make use of rain time for down time. While it’s not necessary to plan your daily schedule in anticipation of the rainfall, you can use your rain time wisely. The downpour can be a great opportunity to recharge during the middle of the day: treat yourself to a relaxing massage to relieve your tired and sore body or squeeze in a quick, revitalizing nap. Both will give you the extra shot of energy needed to maximize the drier hours of the day.
5. Allow yourself to splurge a little. Because so many people are reluctant to travel during what they consider inclement weather, rates for travelers drop significantly during the monsoon months. Now that your money is going to stretch farther, you can afford to book that five-star hotel at a three-star price, pamper yourself with spa treatments, or partake in excursions like boat trips and adventure sports that were not previously within your travel budget.
6. Enjoy the experience. Sometimes you may just have to throw your hands up and give into the monsoon, whatever the result may be. If you get caught in a torrential downpour, there may be little to do but to run and find shelter for a while or throw inhibitions aside and enjoy the thrill of stomping around in the rain.