While summer is one of the most popular (and busiest) of travel seasons, who says you can’t have a great vacation in the off-season? Here are five ways to create a nice getaway and stretch those vacation dollars a little further after Labor Day.
1. Find a beach and keep it companyBeaches get a little lonely this time of year as daytime temperatures start dipping. But as the temps dip, so do rates on hotels, B&B’s and beachfront rentals in and around many coastal destinations. Combine that with discounted airfare, fewer crowds and deals on amenities like ocean-view rooms, in-room Jacuzzis and fireplaces and private patios, and your stay can feel downright balmy.
2. Take a walk on the wild sideWhen the country’s most popular national parks teem with visitors during the summer months, it’s enough to make the wildlife want to take a vacation. However, fewer crowds in the fall mean you can take things at your pace, unhurried and relaxed, and without fear that that perfect shot of a Rocky Mountain Elk will be photo bombed by another tourist. It also means you can take advantage of lower rates and discounts on lodging in areas surrounding the parks.
3. Cruise in the other directionIf you relish a relaxing time at sea, a repositioning cruise may be just thing for you. When seasons change, many cruise lines take their ships on a trip to a new embarking location, inviting you along for the ride…and for less than during peak season. How about a repositioning trip from Alaska to Hawaii, or one from Europe to the Caribbean?
4. Embrace your Inner EuropeanWhile Europe can get a bit dreary as fall turns to winter, there is still that nice in-between time when visitors get both desirable weather and decent prices. It’s called shoulder season, and for destinations in areas such as Scotland, Ireland or Germany, it is usually in September or October. Fewer tourists during this time makes for a more personal and intimate visit, especially as the locals are more apt to converse and interact with you. Fewer crowds also means improved room availability without the need for as much advance notice. Who doesn’t enjoy a little spontaneity every once in awhile? All this, combined with discounted airfare and lodging, makes for a truly immersive and economical European experience.
5. Stay alert and collect your perksOne of the best ways to keep abreast of the many great deals, packages and opportunities available during the post-Labor Day season is to subscribe to newsletters and fare alerts offered through various travel providers. Don’t forget to subscribe yourself to include daily deal emails from non-travel providers that also cover a wide range of specials, including restaurants, hotels and resort packages. And if you belong to a rewards program offered through your bank or credit card, you can save money using miles, points and other bonus incentives.
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