It’s always shoulder season somewhere. Off-season travel can be a wonderful experience for your family when tourist destinations quiet down and vacation deals are up for grabs. But is off season travel always a steal? Not really. From staring down the eye of a tropical storm to paying just slightly below premium prices, here’s when off-season budget travel is a bad idea.
When the Weather is Crazy Dangerous
This should go without saying, but not every family traveler really thinks about the consequences of hurricane season, heat waves and epic snow drifts. It’s not always necessary to avoid inclement weather, but you need to do some serious research in advance. Even if you’re pretty sure a hurricane won’t hit anywhere near you, don’t dismiss tropical storms that can be just as destructive as a hurricane. Even nonstop downpours and snow can make it impossible to get out of your hotel room and do much but use the indoor pool. If you decide to go for it anyway, make sure to invest in travel insurance that actually covers hurricanes and natural disasters. Many travelers find out too late that many policies do not.
When Everything is Abandoned for the Season
You found that amazing deal in a sleepy ski town in early fall or a beach in a cold-weather destination.The views might be spectacular, but the novelty will quickly wear thin if everything is closed down for the season. From ski towns to beach resorts, many off-season destinations slow down to a halt. Think your family can handle it anyway? Bring along lots of back-up, from games to puzzles to off-season activities like hiking or shelling on the beach.
When The Deal is Just Okay
Just because it’s shoulder season doesn’t mean you’re going to get the deal of a lifetime. Many popular off-season destinations manage to keep prices high by advertising special packages. They might also roll out special activities, like poolside movies, drive-ins and free food and drink, in an insanely hot off-season destination. But look closely and you may find the rate just isn’t that much different than right around peak season. Do your research and hold out for a deal that actually makes an impact on your bank account.
Off-season travel can be a slam dunk for frugal family travelers looking to see more of the world without the hefty price tag. But it can also lay the groundwork for the worst family vacation of a lifetime. Carefully weigh the pros and cons to your trip before booking, and remember to always have a plan B, from indoor play centers to hotel kids clubs while parents relax at the on-site restaurant. After all, if the kids are happy, the parents are happy.
What better setting for grandparents and granddaughters to connect and share than a fairy-tale château set beside a fabulous forest? The Gramping Getaway at Chateau Mcely Spa Hotel & Forest Retreat in Mcely, Czech Republic, offers a themed adventure centering around the charming story of the château’s Princess Nely and her magical cheetah friend Pralinka. The character of the princess is based on the children’s book Nely, the Princess of Chateau Mcely written by château owner Inez Cusumano.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
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