Friday, October 29, 2010

Vacation Planning When is the best time to go?

Over the past week I have been asked by many people that follow my blog: (thank you!)
"When is the best time to go on vacation to _____?"

Most people vacation in the summer months when their kids get out of school or when the weather is hot. This may seem like the best time for people but it really isn’t the best time, for some it is the only time. They think if they don’t go on vacation now they probably won’t get away that year at all.

Let’s face it; if your kids are off on a school break like summer holidays or spring break, chances are, everyone else's kids are too. The time of year will affect the price that you will pay for the accommodation. It will also make a difference to the lengths of the line-up at amusement parks!

I've created a Month by Month list:

January/Feburary- Disneyland or World (minus school holidays during these months), Mexico, Caribbean, Costa Rica, South America & South Pacific. South of the Equator it's summer time. So heading below the boarder will be great weather.

March/April- Las Vegas, Arizona, Washington DC, Europe, South Pacific, Caribbean, Belize, South America. Spring weather in LV and AZ is nice and warm, but not crazy hot. Again, South of the Equator is nice this time of year. Europe is also nice, but beware of their Spring Break. My husband and I did England/Germany/Chez Republic
(above photo) and Holland in April. It was not crowded, but in England it rained quite a bit, and water proof hoddies were needed everywhere we went, it got quite cold and tried to snow on us in Germany.

May/June- California, Yellowstone, England, Greece, France, Italy, Spain. The weather is warmer (see above post), but the crowds are not out yet.

July-August- Tahiti, Fiji, Cairns Australia, Indonesia. This time of year is Spring South of the Equator. My husband and I did Australia and Fiji in August. It was hoddie/pants weather in Sydney, and shorts and T-shirts in Cairns (Great Barrier Reef area). Because it's off season for locals, we were able to score some great deals. I've also been to Thailand and Indonesia this time of year with the same results as AU. Great time of year to go. **If you find deals to Tahiti....tell me.....then GO! It is known to be a VERY expensive vacation destination.

September/October- Disneyland or World (after Labor Day until the week prior to Thanksgiving), Fiji, Australia, Europe, Italy. AU/Fiji will be warmer then the above post, but it's still off season for locals. Europe and Italy have warm long days and no holidays so crowds are low.

November/Dec- Disneyland or World (until a week before Thanksgiving, and the week after Thanksgiving till mid-December), Asia, Maldives, Mexico. South of the Equator is now Summer season which means High Season. I've been to Cains Australia for a week over New Years and trust me, you don't want to go. It's EXTREMELY hot. Like so hot you want to die. Not fun at all.
***Hawaii is a year round destination. Avoid Holidays, and days the kids have out of school.>>***
I was reading Money magazine last week, and it listed these places as the best Winter Holiday getaways:

Where the crowds are going:
Breckenridge, Colorado
New York City

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Where you should go:
Crested Butte Colorado save over $200 per person in comparison
Washington DC 4 Star hotels are $96 compared to NYC at $255 a night.
Nassau, Bahamas1/2 as crowded as Puerto Rico and flights are 50% less too.

One last thing to consider when planning a holiday trip is car rental costs. After reading this article, we were looking into a Washington DC trip over Thanksgiving and looked up car rental prices. $68 a day. Not too bad we thought until we plugged in the week of June 4 and rates were $19 a day. We quickly decided to bail on the Thanksgiving trip because not only were we dealing with the jacked up rates of the car rental, but we were also dealing with a time restraint, we were trying to plan around airfare deals which means we were flying home Thanksgiving day and not taking full advantage of our time off of school.

The moral to this story is be sure to research all your options and don't just assume that what you found is the best you will find. After checking the car rental prices in June, I checked airfare and the same rates we were planning around in Nov. were available in early June.
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