QUICK VACATION TIPS BEFORE THE WEATHER CHANGES
So, summertime has picked up speed, and football season fast approaches. Before long, Labor Day will be here, and everyone will be dealing with the sudden increase of pumpkin flavor in everything. But before that happens, there’s still time for a last-minute summer vacation.
Without taking the time to properly research and budget a vacation, the results can be stressful and disappointing, especially for anyone with a specific destination spot in mind; nobody dreaming of a tropical cruise will be satisfied sipping piña coladas on their in-laws back porch, for example.
Fortunately, last-minute trips don’t have to feel rushed or unpleasant.
When planning any vacation, the first item to consider should be travel costs. Hit up the travel and hotel websites and search for the deals section; they’ve all got one, and you might find somewhere interesting for a low price. If you do happen to have a destination in mind, set up alerts from the sites to inform you when the pricing changes; you might be able to catch a deal.
Keep in mind that finding a good vacation destination sometimes means looking past the obvious popular choices. California, Nevada, Florida, and New York will always pop up as the big tourist hot spots, but some careful searching might yield some fun results. Try Tupelo, Mississippi, for example, where you can tour the house Elvis Presley grew up in and the Tupelo Automobile Museum. Compare that to Atlanta, Georgia, where hot summer temperatures might dissuade most tourists from leaving their hotels long enough to visit the World of Coca-Cola museum.
For even better pricing, try looking for cities and states where the summer season doesn’t serve as peak tourist season. Between the unending sunshine and hot beach weather, it’s to be expected that everyone’s going to be headed to Florida in the summer. So why not head the opposite direction and visit Alaska instead? It’s got great landscapes, zoos and wildlife conservatories, and you won’t have to fight anyone for space on the beach. Plus, depending on the weather, you might be able to bring some of your winter wardrobe, which could be a wonderfully odd experience if you don’t have a problem with cold weather.
Good pricing doesn’t just include hotel accommodations, either. Part of the excitement of last-minute vacations rests with the possibility of finding unexpected treasures like a cheap flight to a city you’ve heard of but never given serious thought to visiting. You may find trips to larger cities like San Francisco cost substantially less during the summer months, or that Chicago tourism hits a low point in August. And for pricing variations, consider booking two one-way flights instead of a roundtrip ticket or choosing different airports for arrivals and destinations; doing so might be less expensive than using a one-and-done option.
Remember that “last minute” doesn’t just mean “the day before.” Since July and August tend to be big travel months due to school being out, it may be worthwhile to hold off on traveling until late August or even September, scheduling permitting.