We live in a want-it-get-it culture, which can make it easy to forget the real-life impact of seasonality, the idea that unto everything there is a season.
It's a maxim that can also be applied to travel. There is, for example, definitely a season for traveling to Nepal (pictured), and it happens to be right now. Seasonality often gets lost when booking off a bucket list. Sometimes, though, privileging spontaneity and cost can make for a subpar trip.
But the map you see below — illustrating every country's seasons and produced by lastminute.com (of all unlikely sources) — is a small, solid way to prevent it.
Nearly every destination on Earth has a high, low, and shoulder season. There are reasons to appreciate each of them: August might be high season in the Hamptons but if you're looking for buzzy-beachy, there's nothing quite like it. Paris might be deserted in late January (its lowest of low seasons), but the weather can be surprisingly nice and few cities are so improved by reduced foot traffic.
Meanwhile, shoulder season often offers the best of both worlds: moderate traffic, maybe some inconvenience, reduced prices and smaller crowds. But it's a decision worth making consciously — rather than showing up in Tokyo on a super-cheap fare to find one of the most dynamic cities in the world strangely deserted.
Either way, there's something weirdly appealing about watching it slide through the months, with Europe and North America moving into high season in the summer, then transitioning into shoulder and low season (except for the notable exceptions of ski-centric Switzerland) — with the reverse happening below the Equator.