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Whenever it’s time to take a vacation we describe it as slowing things down, taking time off, getting some R&R and clearing our minds. Yet, in the summer we ship off to crowded beaches and during the colder part of the year, to packed ski resorts. There’s no doubt that these destinations make the most sense for their climates, but do they truly give us what we want out of our pause from real life? Despite losing the opportunity to partake in activities that certain climates allow, like laying on the beach or skiing on powdery mountains, traveling during the off season has its own set of practical advantages.

Discounts & Deals
Whether you are being proactive about personal finances or handling the money for a family, traveling during the off-season can equal big savings. Eager to fill rooms and cottages while it is slow, owners and realtors will usually offer their places at a huge discount. Likewise, places in the surrounding area like restaurants and entertainment venues will often follow suit and offer deals to get customers in the door.

New Experiences In Old Surroundings
It’s amazing what you notice when things are moving slower than normal. The architecture of the area or the accent of the locals will jump out at you when you have time and space to really take them in. You’ll be surprised at just how different your surroundings can be when the climate changes — it gives you the chance to experience sights and smells you’ve never encountered before.

Maybe once you’ve cycled through the few restaurants that aren’t closed during the off-season, you will finally be forced to try that recipe you’ve wanted to attempt. Put a new spin on it by including local foods that you wouldn’t get to try otherwise. A new environment can bring about all kinds of new happenings.

Peace & Quiet
If you’re after a real tranquility vibe, off-season vacations can provide one better than most. Areas are less crowded and sometimes even vacant. Focus this time on being introspective or having a deeper level of conversation with your fellow travelers. Local activities can be so much more enjoyable when you do not have to deal with the annoyances, waiting and stress of being surrounded by large groups of tourists.

It’s amazing what you notice when things are moving slower than normal.

Being constantly busy can mean you are popular and important, that you are the vital key to many positive relationships. However, even while on vacation we can feel the need to perpetuate that busy feeling when really, it’s counterproductive to rest. Think outside the box when it comes to planning your next getaway. Soak in the peace you’ll find by renting a cottage at the beach for Thanksgiving, or by hiking snow-less peaks in June. Don’t be afraid to be alone or with just a few, and don’t be afraid to be intentional. The quiet and emotional intimacy can be scary sometimes; focusing in on ourselves or on one another is not something that we’re used to, which is exactly why we should do it more.

What are your favorite off-season vacation ideas?

Images via Marlena Pearl Photography

3 comments

  1. My husband and I recently returned from our honeymoon to New England. Early April is definitely the off-season for most of the “touristy” destinations like coastal Maine, Newport, RI, and Niagara Falls, NY. I loved being able to see the sites without the crowds, and a trip there during the off-season is very rewarding (if you’re willing to contend with sometimes unpredictable weather and some restaurants and attractions being “closed for the season.”). I’d do it all again in a heart beat. 🙂

  2. I LOVE Palm Springs in the off season- not quite so hot and the resort pools are blissfully quiet. 🙂

  3. Growing up in Colorado, one of my favorite “off-season” getaways was a weekend at the ski resort. There is something hauntingly beautiful about taking a nearly empty chairlift up to the top of a now-green mountain. Everything looks different in the summer and begs to be explored just the same.

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