Off-Season Vacation Guide

Off-Season Vacation Guide

This week kicks off LearnVest's Travel Week, because we want you to plan NOW for your spring and summer vacations. We'll walk you through many money-saving ways to plan a vacation, but the first step is to think about where you'll go, and when. One of the easiest ways to save is to travel to off-season locales, so we've made you a chart to help you choose.

We've all got the travel itch, but it might make sense to scratch it in some places rather than in others.

For example, traveling from New York to Miami with American Airlines on Friday, April 2nd costs $174, plus $174 to return on April 4th. Meanwhile, the same trip costs as little as $114 on Friday, August 6th and $134 to return on August 8th. The South Beach Marriott costs $379 per night for the weekend of April 2nd, whereas it costs only $249 per night for the weekend of August 6th. Total savings for taking that trip in August rather than April: $230. (Yes, yes, we know it's a little hotter in August but there's an ocean right there!)

Welcome to the off season.

On the whole, tropical beaches are cheapest in the summer not only because of the abundance of beaches open closer to home but also because of hurricane season (though some hotels offer compensatory policies in case of bad weather). Meanwhile, wine country might be a solid choice for a winter getaway, as the vineyards are notably less crowded.

So, plan your Colorado hiking trip in May and your Florida getaway in October. Whatever you do, make the smartest, most informed decisions you can:

Month Locations Notes
January
New York; Santa Barbara, California; Virginia Beach
February Colorado Springs
March
Portland, Maine; Reno, Nevada; Canada
April Santa Fe
May
Lake Tahoe; Denver; Atlanta
June Caribbean; Dallas The Caribbean and tropical locations tend to offer vacation deals over the summer, because of hurricane season
July
Caribbean; West Palm Beach; Baton Rouge
August Caribbean; Tuscon, Arizona; New Orleans; Las Vegas
September
Caribbean; Florida; Martha's Vineyard; South California
The period after Labor Day is known as "the shoulder" season, and typically features lower rates.
October Mexico; Miami; Hilton Head & Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
November
Florida
December Napa, California; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Cocoa Beach, Florida Wine country experiences its off-season during the winter, which means it's a cheap time to go

Happy (cheap) travels!

THE BOTTOM LINE

If you do what's in this Daily, you save:

$230/trip*

If you invested this amount today and earned an 8% return, you would have $4,997 by retirement.**

That's LearnVest.

*Savings for a trip to Miami in August rather than April, as calculated above.

**If you are 25 today and retire at age 65. We calculated that number here.

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