Following the Off-Season

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Scheduled Vacation

Trying to squeeze a big vacation into a small budget? People who take the time to time their vacations are rewarded with off-season airfare and accommodation deals. It’s not always about where you go, but when. Disney in October, Aruba in June, and NYC in February – there are plenty of bargains to be had. You just have to know when to find them!

Where to Go in the Summer

Summer is vacation season, so how can you save money? Well, there’s the Caribbean, for starters.  The snowbirds are long gone, but the 80-degree weather guarantees a great beach getaway. Just watch out for the occasional rain shower. Also, visit in early summer to decrease your risks of vacationing alongside a hurricane. The same rule holds for Mexico, another destination loved by snow birds but forgotten about in the summer. Other great bets include Lake Tahoe, a winter ski destination with plenty up its sleeves for summer guests (like North America’s largest alpine lake), New Orleans, where you won’t find any Mardi Gras or Voodoo Fest revelers, and Australia, which is experiencing its ski season this time of year. Another suggestion is Arizona, however consider vacation homes with a pool, so you can cool off from the 100-degree temps.

mountain-town-hiking

Where to Go in the Winter

Whether you want to get away for the holidays, or from your hometown’s nonstop snowfall, many destinations get cheap in the winter. At the top of the list is Europe. Yes, it’s cold there, but a far-flung destination can get very expensive very quick, and it’s no fun visiting a new foreign city if you’re rushed and crushed by crowds. After all, the top attractions in Paris, Rome, and London remain top attractions in the wintertime. In the US, you have lots of options, too: Texas flirts with freezing temperatures but is otherwise very comfortable this time of year, a Napa Valley wine tour will warm you up without breaking the bank, Yellowstone National Park is open for skiing, and big cities like Chicago, Vegas, and NYC aren’t too crowded. Keep in mind: while winter is low season for many destinations, that trend gets bucked on Christmas and New Years Eve.

Where to Go in the Fall

Just about every destination is cheaper to visit in the fall when the kids go back to school. Ironically, fall foliage, Oktoberfest events, and great weather means that fall is the best time to go on a vacation – period! Consider Disney World and other popular theme parks, as their target demo is in school. Or plan that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Hawaii. Fall is the islands’ low season, despite beautiful year-round weather.

lake-tahoe-boats

Where to Go in the Spring

Excluding Spring Break, many destinations are cheap to visit in March, April, and May. You can hit the beaches in Florida, for one. The weather is warming up but the crowd levels are still low. Watch out for some sprinkles, though! If you’re up for a more exotic beach vacation, head to Central America or Southeast Asia, which are experiencing their low seasons, despite sporting great beach weather. You might, however, head to the mountains, as ski season is winding down – Vermont, Colorado, Utah, and the Smoky Mountains are alive with wildflowers and outdoor adventure in the fall.

Photos from BigStockPhoto.com

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About the Author: Matt Gibson

Matt Gibson is the Let's Roll blog manager. He also writes for the Huffington Post, About.com, and his own adventure travel blog.

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