EchelonTravels

Luxurious and Affordable Travel Destinations

Advantages and Disadvantages of Off-Season Travel

Posted by JenW On July - 23 - 2009

Everyone wants to get the most for their money when they travel, and it is often recommended to travel off-season for many destinations in order to benefit from this. While this idea has many advantages, you must also weigh the disadvantages so you don’t end up in the middle of a vacation nightmare!

First, try to narrow down where you would like to go. Would it be fun to travel to Vermont or Colorado in the summer? Sure, you won’t be going to ski, however you could stay in a 4 or 5 star luxury hotel at 75% off of the regular winter rate! Winter resorts still offer many activities such as hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. Many resorts have wonderful spas where you can treat yourself to an afternoon of pampering. With the money you are saving, the possibilities for a relaxing and luxurious vacation are all yours.

Europe will do its best to lure tourists in the winter months, offering fantastic package deals where you could take advantage of a more “cultural” vacation. While enjoying luxury and fantastic savings, you will also enjoy less crowded museums and restaurants, and more than likely be able to take in more local flair than a high-season traveler.

I recommend that you do your homework regarding where you would like to go. Every country has a department of tourism website which offers valuable information such as weather conditions and if there will be enough attractions and activities open and available for you to visit.

Keep in mind, weather conditions are probably the #1 determining factor for seasonal travel. It is cheaper to visit the Caribbean in the fall, however, this is usually peak hurricane season so try to keep your vacation plans flexible. Taking advantage of great last minute travel deals will usually alleviate this problem and at the same time get you a great deal!

As you move closer to your reservation process, keep in mind that hotels do not like having empty rooms no matter what the season is. Call a couple of hotels that you are interested in directly and ask to speak to the manager (do NOT call the 800#). You will find that you will have more freedom to haggle for added amenities, upgrades, and most important, a great nightly rate!

A word of caution when choosing an off-season hotel – ask them if they are planning on any renovations or construction when you plan to visit. Many hotels use their slow season to spruce up the facilities, and the last thing you want is to be surrounded by scaffolding and noise!

As always, check out reliable on-line booking sites such as Priceline that will compare rates for on and off seasons. It may be more cost-effective for you to bundle your vacation by booking air, hotel and rental car all in one package using their services.

The bottom line for traveling off-season is to do your homework and plan accordingly. You may find you are able to travel to your dream destination for pennies on the dollar and have an amazing experience!

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