Question: do you consider yourself a canny operator (*taps nose and winks*)? Are you willing to buck the trend, go off-piste, roll the dice as it were? Well it's time to channel your inner wheeler dealer, à la Del Boy Trotter (perhaps without the dodgy gold medallions and morally ambiguous schemes), and beat the system, whether travelling out of season, getting the inside track on how to beat the crowds or taking advantage of some amazing special offers at our favourite resorts. And so that you can secure the most cushty of escapes, we've rounded up the cream of the crop for your eyes only. Lovely Jubbly.
A Last-Minute Grenada Escape
If you're a last-minute merchant, let us point you in the direction of Mount Cinnamon's 40% discount when travelling before 20 December 2018. Embrace Grenada's white sand beaches, underwater sculpture parks and shallow coral gardens.
Winter Sun in the Seychelles
While much of the Seychelles welcomes rainy season during our winter months, it's actually the best time to be on Alphonse, our favourite dive spot in the archipelago. Think huge corals, a blizzard of marine life and very few other people around.
Off-Peak in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Eco-extraordinaire Misool Eco Resorthas championed something of a marine life renaissance since its inception, with a 250% biomass increase across Misool Marine Reserve in just six years. While May and September are considered 'off-peak', the reality is that it's just a bit windier weather-wise, so still excellent for diving (and much cheaper).
An Insider Trick: The Dampier Strait, Indonesia
…And while we're on the topic of Raja Ampat: head to the Dampier Strait over summer and you'll enjoy the spectacular diving without the liveaboard crowd, who tend to descend on Komodo at that time of year. The Strait is dotted with good dive resorts and is home to one of the most beautiful dive sites in Raja Ampat - Blue Magic.
Be a Maverick in the Maldives
When we say Maldives you no doubt think winter sun, right? But visit in the summer months and reap the rewards, from marvellous offers across the atolls to some of the marine world's greatest moments. Stay at Six Senses Laamu and catch turtle nesting and hatching season on the island, surf the famous Yin Yang wave (it is prime surfing season, after all) and have entire reefs to yourself.
Summer in Mexico
While the crowds flock to the Yucatan Peninsula during the winter months for a decent dose of vitamin D, visit between June and August for the chance to snorkel with whale sharks near Isla Holbox. Spend your time on land exploring the peninsula's cultural highlights or simply cocooned in a comfy hammock, beer in hand and taco in mouth.
Shoulder Season in Gozo
The cat has been out of the bag about the Maltese islands since Valletta gained Capital of Culture this year. But visit in the shoulder months pre or post summer (June or September) and you'll avoid the throngs of tourists, experiencing a deeper cut of Gozo, home to the best diving in the Med (official title).
Octopus Mating Season in the Philippines
The end of October sees the Philippines emerge from the rainy season bright and bushy. And while there might be the odd downpour, you'll have the opportunity to witness octopus mating season at. Stay at Atmosphere Resort & Spa to cap off the experience (just ask Original Diver India about her recent trip there).