· Late August: Italy. Have you ever been in a major Italian city in August? There is niente going on, nessuno around and everything is chiuso, with the exception of businesses catering to international tourists. August 15 is the official Ferragosto summer holiday, where decamping to a beach town for at least two weeks is the norm. Go to the Adriatic Sea fun-in-the-sun town of Rimini on Ferragosto, and find half of Italy in their speedos, playing bocce right on the beach. Return to Rimini in late September, and it's like night and day; it'll just be you and the old guys with metal detectors out on a beach that stretches for miles.
· Thanksgiving/Mother's Day/the month of July: New York CIty. It's simply too easy to get the heck out of dodge in New York. There's so many air routes, train routes, easy rental car weekend destinations and yes, even the $1 buses. Any holiday is fair game for the ratio of locals : tourists to greatly shift. And there's something you know about summer in NY. June is the month for "awww isn't NYC pretty in the summer?" July is the month for "hey let's go somewhere like the Hamptons--the city is too hot." August is the month for "when will it be winter already?"
· London Olympics: London. Money money money. It's all coming down to money, as it usually does with the Olympics. Londoners who can afford to be out of town during the Games are seeking to rent out their flats, while those who can't will be stuck dealing with inflated prices in hot tourist districts, which is basically all of central London. Personally, as an Airbnb host, I've received many inquires from Brits looking to come visit NYC those two weeks. Sorry guys, I'll be out of town as well.
· Chinese New Year: China, Hong Kong, Singapore. Chinese New Year was January 23 this year, and it'll be February 10 in 2013. We made the awesome mistake of being in Singapore during it, and noted firsthand how it seemed like the Chinese mainland had emptied and streamed down into places like Singapore and Hong Kong for family reunions, shopping and a mini-vacation. Hotel occupancy and room rates went sky-high, restaurants were taken over by the Yusheng salad tradition and it became harder to bargain in the markets, with so many buyers. On the other hand, the decorations and strangers wishing strangers "Gong Hei Fat Choi" made up for it.