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A Few Things to Consider when Planning Off Season Travel

Off Season Travel is great- but there are a few things you should consider before you plan that trip.

As a homeschooling family we are not bound by the calendar of the local school district. Instead, we have the freedom to plan vacations and getaways when it works best for our family- typically around my husband’s work schedule. Since his work is normally slow during the winter, we’ve been able to experience the benefits of off season travel.

Here are a few things to consider when planning off season travel.

1. Call ahead to make sure that the attraction or location you plan to visit is open and verify the hours of operation.

Though you’ll find lighter crowds, you may also find out that the attraction or exhibit you traveled to see isn’t open or has reduced hours during these times. Amusement parks and theme parks often undergo routine maintenance during the off season.  A quick call in advance can help to avoid potential disappointment later.

2. Make sure you check the weather forecast before you head out.

You may find that the local weather could really put a damper on your vacation. It could be too hot, too cold, too rainy, etc. We’ve traveled to the Smokey Mountains during the off-season and found some of the hiking trails inaccessible because some of the mountain roads are closed after a certain date. We also got a great deal on a cruise only to realize it sailed right in the middle of hurricane season.

3. Renovations also take place during the off-season.

Call the destination directly and ask if any renovations are planned. We once stayed in Virginia Beach during the off-season and didn’t realize until we arrived that our hotel was undergoing major renovations. Each day around 8:00 a.m. we were awakened to the sound of power tools as work began for the day. We accepted the power tools as a wake up call but if we had planned to sleep until noon each day of vacation, we may have felt differently.

Do you travel during the off season? What tips would you add to this list?

This post is linked to Travel Tips Tuesday with Walkingon Travels and Suitcases and Sippy Cups.

Stephanie @ CrayonMarks&TigerStripes

Tuesday 28th of January 2014

My husband and I went to Europe for 3 weeks during the winter. Everything cost considerably less than it would had we traveled during the spring or summer. The snow was beautiful and we had soooo much fun even though it was so cold!

Danielle @ Bubs on the Move

Wednesday 16th of January 2013

Good practical suggestions. A compromise is to travel during the shoulder season when prices are substantially cheaper than peak, but weather and closures are less of a problem. Given that I've said that, peak season in Australia is in the height of summer when the weather can be really too hot, and cyclones are a risk. Off season weather may actually be better.

Cheryl @ KidsOnAPlane

Wednesday 16th of January 2013

We travel a lot during the off season as well because it's more affordable, we aren't too fond of crowds and long lines and our kids aren't in full time school yet.

That being said, since we live in Canada, planning to travel in the Winter is a bit risky as we never know when we will get snowed in! So far we have only been delayed once (for a few hours and not overnight, thank goodness!) so my tip is to always buy cancellation insurance just to be on the safe side.

Jessica

Tuesday 15th of January 2013

We have totally been bitten by the off season closures, but love, love to travel in the off season.

Amy @ Raising Arrows

Tuesday 16th of March 2010

This is exactly what we do! We absolutely love it because with so many children and a mama who hates crowds (and is insanely frugal!), this is a perfect fit!Blessings,Amy

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