I love the fact that as homeschoolers, we are able to determine our own schedule and are not bound by our local school districts calendar. This freedom has been wonderful in the past, as we've sat down to schedule some fun getaways for our family.
Personally, we don't like crowds and prefer to travel during "low peak travel times" or a.k.a. "the off-season". In addition to lower crowds, we've also reaped the benefits of finding lower prices on hotels, food specials and discounted attraction tickets. We've found that for many destinations, off-season travel has worked out really well and have only experienced setbacks a few times. So, here are a couple pointers from our experiences to help you as you begin to plan your own off season trip:
1. Though you'll find lighter crowds, you may also find out that the attraction or exhibit you traveled to see isn't open or has reduced hours during these times. Make sure that you call directly before planning your trip and inquire about the hours. When you call, confirm that the entire exhibit will be open for viewing.
2. You may find that the local weather could really put a damper on your vacation. It could be too hot, too cold, too rainy, etc. We've traveled to the Smokey Mountains during the off-season and found that some of the hiking, etc. is inaccessible because some of the mountain roads are closed during those times.
3. Renovations also take place during the off-season. Call the destination directly and ask if any renovations are planned. A hotel we were staying at recently was undergoing major renovations. This wasn't a problem for us, but each day around 8:00a.m. we were awakened to the sound of power tools as work began. We weren't on vacation here so we just accepted the power tools as a wake up call. But had we been there for some R & R, we might have felt differently.
Here's a few tips to help you get started. If you have any tips that you've gleaned from your own off -season trip, why not leave a tip for us in the comment section?