The summer is rapidly drawing to a close, and you may think that your summer vacation window is closing. However, if you are looking to take a trip on the cheap, now is the perfect time to take a late summer vacation and save some serious money.
For many destinations, the summer is the top vacation season. Families pack up and take road trips to a variety of locations. Once school begins, tourism drops off significantly. In fact, “The Travel Industry Association says that 38 percent of trips are taken during the summer; the number drops sharply to 23 percent in fall” (MSNBC.com).
You can take advantage of this drop off by scoring better rates and benefiting from thinning crowds. Here are some trips you may want to consider:
Take a trip to the beach—in September. This isn’t possible for everyone, but if you don’t yet have children or you home-school, September may be the perfect time to hit the beach. It is still warm, but the crowds have left and you benefit from discounted rates. Great destinations include beaches on the coast of North Carolina or even Key West, where the prime tourist season doesn’t ramp up until November and December.
Visit Mickey—Take a trip to Disneyland. Disneyland can be very expensive, but if you plan a trip in the fall, you will benefit from reduced rates and shorter to no lines for rides. The trade off is that the park closes earlier and that there may not be as many shows being performed. However, I will take that trade off if it means I will save a few hundred dollars on accommodations and will save time not waiting in line!
Take a trip to the big city—Cities also experience a drop in tourism after the crisp fall weather sets in. While New York City, Chicago and Miami may be prohibitively expensive in the summer months, hotels often discount their rates in the fall, making a trip to the city a bit more affordable. Most of the big city locales, regardless of location around the country, still have relatively comfortable weather. In Chicago and New York City, you don’t generally have to worry about biting cold weather and snow at least until November, leaving you the entire fall to enjoy.
Go big guns and visit Europe—I made the mistake of traveling in Europe in August, and it was packed and expensive. Unbeknownst to me, many Europeans have August off and vacation with their families in addition to all of the travelers who come from outside Europe. Save yourself money and the need to fight the crowds by traveling to Europe in the fall. The only drawback? You may have to deal with some rain (or sometimes a lot of rain), especially if you are traveling to a Mediterranean country. You can defeat this drawback in part by scheduling museum days and other indoor attractions for the rainy days.
While the dog days of summer may be past us, there is still plenty of warmth left. Take advantage of the lovely fall weather to take an off season vacation and save some serious money.
img credit: librarygroover, on Flickr.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.