Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Two goals I have in planning every family vacation are to make it as economical as possible (without skimping on the fabulousness) and to avoid big crowds.
A simple way to accomplish both of these preferences is to visit destinations in their off-season.
Oh, how I love the off-season! Just think of yourself as a salmon swimming upstream. Everyone is going one way and you’re heading in the opposite direction straight to vacation bliss.
If you like the sound of that and can finagle some freedom in your schedule to swim against the tide, here are some destinations you may want to check out with your family.
Ever heard of it? 😉 Well, you should see it in September when most families are in the “back to school” zone. It’s still a bit warm this time of year, but getting any reservation you wish for and walking right onto the most popular rides in the park make this a magical time to visit!
Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao
According to Lonely Planet, these gorgeous beach destinations are nice picks in the summer months. Hurricane season scares many away, but these islands see storms only rarely. Keep an eye on the forecast and enjoy!
According to MyDomaine, mid-September and October are still warm and sunny along the stunning Amalfi Coast, but most tourists have headed back home. Rates drop and the cool evening breezes are all yours.
The Riviera Maya
According to Travel & Leisure, mid-November is the sweet spot here, as hurricane season has ended but warmth and sunshine reign on ahead of holiday crowds.
According to Mother Nature Network, this Hawaiian island sees fewer tourist in the spring and fall. In particular, September and October are still part of the dry season with comfortable temperatures in the 80s.
How much heat can you stand? Arizona gets really, really hot in the summer, but according to CNN, Scotsdale’s luxurious hotel The Phoenician offers drastically reduced rates during this off-season. Schedule some air-conditioned touring and spend the rest of the time in the amazing pool if you can stand it.
Paris, Rome, London
Heading to these major European cities in the winter will be a chilly experience. According to SmarterTravel. If you don’t mind the cold or plan to partake in mostly indoor exploring, you’ll enjoy lower crowds and prices.
Before you plan your next trip, consider whether being the salmon is the way to go for your family.