By the end of this post, you will know a valuable secret to planning great vacations for less. Not only will you know, but you will be an instant expert. It’s simple, there are only two steps, don’t follow the masses and find great off season activities.
A trip to the beach in the summer, Aspen in the winter, or to see the leaves change in the fall is great, but these will cost you. Every location has its reasons for visiting during “peak season” but there are also great activities to be discovered during off-seasons.
Don’t be a part of the masses. Find the “off seasons” that cater to your needs and plan accordingly. When you travel during slower times of the year you can find great prices on plane tickets, lodging and events. The other reason, and real secret to traveling during the off season, the locals will treat you like royalty. During the peak season their cities and towns are inundated with travelers and the last thing that they want is another “which way to the restaurant” question.
Find “off season” activities you will love. It doesn’t matter if you are a warm or cold weather person, love the outdoors or like family oriented activities, there will always be a destination recovering from its busy season with plenty of overlooked fun. Here are my top three off season locations and activities that make them great. All I ask is that you share your secrets. Leave a comment with your off season destinations.
Napa Valley – Avoid the masses and head to the valley between November and April, you are sure to get the red carpet treatment. You can expect cool weather with the occasional drizzle (what better way to enjoy a nice red?). Enjoy a day of great food and an afternoon of fantastic wine. Take a walk though rows of vineyards whose leaves have turned golden and begun to fall. Notice the rare quiet in this normally swarming area of the state. Catch a drift of wood stoves burning inside each of the cozy cottages and wineries, this trip will leave you rested and rejuvenated and most definitely wondering how can this be the off season?
Phoenix- Who wants to visit phoenix in the summer? 100+ degrees during the day and high 80’s and 90’s at night… I do! In the summer Phoenix becomes the land of great indoor activities and boasts some of the best air conditioning in the country. Spend a day at an upscale mall, visit the Arizona Science Center, or bring the family and tour the water park scene. You will find plenty to keep you busy until the sun goes down. Then, at night, emerge from your air conditioned activities and enjoy great night life, patios and mist systems. For fun night life and great people watching I recommend downtown Scottsdale or Mill Avenue in Tempe.
Hawaii- From September through mid December the tourists head back home to school and work and the islands regain their special calm. Pick an island to visit and plan to get great rates on your flight. The weather is nice year round but with standard afternoon showers (the last few years have seen less showers than ever!). The waves are starting to get bigger and professional surfers flock to the islands to show their stuff (WOW!), but don’t worry, there are beaches with small waves too. My favorite island is Kauai. Check out the Napoli coast line and make sure to snorkel till dark at tunnels beach. I wonder if the name came from the underwater tunnels you can explore or the great surf break that creates perfect “tunnels”? My last advise for Kauai, use the money you saved on the flight to get back up in the air and tour the island by helicopter, it is an amazing experience!
Did you like these off season ideas, got some of your own? Leave a comment below and let me know.