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kenav Apr 20th, 2007 08:53 AM

How do you choose the time of year to go on Vacation
How do you choose what time of year you go? Work considerations? Money? Mass of people also touring? Weather?

Has your strategy, reason, worked for you? Thinking of changing it and if so, why?

jules4je7 Apr 20th, 2007 08:55 AM

I almost always go in September/October. Since I don't have kids, it's easy for me to go that time of year.

I like to travel when the weather's decent, the rates are a little lower, and everybody and their 2.2 children aren't in line ahead of me. :)


lucyp Apr 20th, 2007 08:57 AM

Hi, always Spring or Fall; moderate temperatures generally, kids are in school and less tourists overall.

Christina Apr 20th, 2007 09:06 AM

A combination of all those except for number of people also touring. I might consider that if it were the only factor, but other things far outweigh it.

I don't have major work considerations, but I do have one cycle of important deadlines in Dec-Jan every year, so I cannot take any time off between Thanksgiving and around early Feb, other than a day or two for the holidays.

I mainly choose when I most want a vacation, which is summer to me. I just want a vacation in the middle of summer. Also, I don't like the weather in July-Aug where I live (Wash DC), so it is a real advantage to go elsewhere during a time I don't like it here. For example, I love Washington in October and don't want to travel in that time because it's one of the best months here, and I don't want to miss it. I also like traveling in summer because all your clothes are lighter, so it's easier to pack, and it stays light so late in Europe, so that's nice, also.

Weather is def. important in that I won't go to Spain in July-Aug, for example, or any real hot place. I had a friend who went to Egypt, not less, at the end of June-July merely because it was a little cheaper, and seemed surprised because it was around 50 C every day (I'm not kidding, it was 125 degree F or more) and he and his companion didn't feel like doing much. Some things I like to do are obviously weather-dependent (like snow skiing). I like to go to Mexico or Caribbean at a time past hurricane season but before high rates kick in, as you can get good deals then (like November).

I don't have any reason to change my strategy much. Maybe someday if I retire, I might travel more in shoulder season to save a little money as I would have more time to travel then. Right now, saving a little money wouldn't make much difference as I don't have a lot of vacation time where I could travel more, any way. But somehow I think I'll still always want a summer vacation, I just need to get away. Even if I do the same vacation at a different time, I don't feel I'm getting as much vacation when I don't have a summer break -- like if I did one in March and then had no vacation until the next November when I take a few days at Thanksgiving, I wouldn't like that.

J_Correa Apr 20th, 2007 09:07 AM

We used to go places in spring or fall - to avoid crowds, get lower prices, and so on. I don't care for winter, so we never really go anyplace then.

Since I went back to school to get my masters degree though, we have to work around my school schedule, which basically means travelling in the summer because winter break is taken up by Christmas holiday stuff.

I have about a year left until I finish school and then we can go back to travelling whenever we want to. I'd like to go to Italy, but summer airfares are off-putting, so we have been saving it until we can go in Spring or Fall. I'd like to go to Argentina and Chile, but I don't want to go during their winter. Same with Austrailia and New Zealand.

We have great weather at home in the summer time and lots of good places to camp, so once I am finished with school, we can do more travelling in non-summer months and spend summers camping locally.

toedtoes Apr 20th, 2007 09:13 AM

I pick the best time for the location unless someone else is going and has time constraints.

Sometimes I'll go someplace at an off-time because of a special event (i.e., celebrating my birthday in England in the winter).

I don't worry about crowds because I usually don't go to places that are overrun by tourists. If I were going somplace like DisneyWorld, I'd pay more attention to that.

jdraper Apr 20th, 2007 09:16 AM

I usually travel during spring or fall for all of the reasons stated above. However, if I find a great deal on airfare I will snap it up when it becomes available and go whenever I can get it. I am in private practice and can pretty much set my own hours but I do have to plan several months in advance just to find a large gap of time available in my schedule, so I work around my calendar and the prices.

scrb Apr 20th, 2007 09:36 AM

I used to do a big Euro trip every few years and it was always in July or August.

The last couple of years, I've gone several times a year, taking one-week trips and then a 2-week in July.

It's all driven by what airline tix I can buy and get as an award for frequent flyer miles. So I buy tix cheaper in Jan, March and May and also Thanksgiving week but get the award seats for July.

I've also targeted destinations with warmest weather possible, like Spain in March (didn't work out so well this March in Madrid), Italy in May.

Couple of years ago, I went to HK in January, where it was t-shirt weather and the same in Buenos Aires in November.

But also tried Switzerland in Jan-Feb and it wasn't that bad. It actually felt colder in Madrid this past March because of the blustery winds.

chepar Apr 20th, 2007 09:39 AM

When I go on vacation is completely dictated by my daughter's school schedule. Even when she is not traveling with me, I need to consider things like how she will get to school and back, as well as her other activities.

It was great when she used to have a 2 week break in October, as that is my preferred time to travel. Right now I pretty much can only travel during the summer.

cookie5611 Apr 20th, 2007 09:40 AM

I wish I could plan my travel around crowds/weather/off-season rates. I'm a teacher, though, so my vacations are usually in July no matter the destination. (I know...poor me -- at least I have the whole month to take!)

clz Apr 20th, 2007 09:50 AM

Our oldest child just started school so up until now, we've planned vacations mostly based on financial considerations, like traveling in the off season. We've gone to the Caribbean in hurricane season and England in January, for example.

Now we'll mostly be stuck to the school schedule for the next (wow) 15-20 years.

thereyet Apr 20th, 2007 09:57 AM

My internal travel clock is set for Jul/Aug ever since I was very young and it has just not changed much throughout my life. If I want to avoid crowds I go to the wilderness. Otherwise, crowds have always been a part of the experience and have learned to enjoy aspects of popular activities IE... people watching. Also, if you travel alot during busy seasons you learn what it takes to deal with the madness. I am not so self centered to need to travel as if I were the only tourist at any given time.
Weather is also a major consideration. If I am going to spend my hard earned time and money I hope for ideal weather and take what I get. thereyet

hetismij Apr 20th, 2007 10:02 AM

It largely depends on DH's schedule, and where we want to go. Some years we don't have a holiday because he can't get away. Then another year we will have two or three, any time except July/August which are just too crowded and too expensive - we have to kennel our two dogs and those are peak months, booked up a year in advance sometimes, and at nearly twice the normal price.
Had a great holiday driving Route 66 in Februay/March one year, because OH could only get away then, We started in snow in Chicago, picknicked in Texas, saw the Grand Canyon in snow and sunbathed in Santa Monica, wonderful! For Europe and the US May or September/October are favourites. But we have also been to La Palma in late November. Last year we did Tanzania in february, Lake District in May and Boston in late August as DH had to work there (son dog sat).
This year as we have a wedding in York we wil go to that then for a week to Loch Fyne in Scotland. And that is more than I had expected to get this year!

Carolina Apr 20th, 2007 10:03 AM

School holidays! We leave in June and come back a few days before the start of school.


natc143 Apr 20th, 2007 10:08 AM

How do you choose what time of year you go? Work considerations? Money? Mass of people also touring? Weather?
---> I consider travelling TO nice climate during our winter in NY, preferably March.
---> When travelling to Europe I chose, May, June and early Sept. I dont factor in cost (because we dont have children yet) This time of year in Europe is "better" weather so we prefer it.

Has your strategy, reason, worked for you? Thinking of changing it and if so, why?
--->I think I'll travel when the climate is best for me as long as I can afford it, but in the future i wouldnt mind cutting back and altering plans to afford to BRING my future children.

We shall see when the time comes!

bettyk Apr 20th, 2007 10:37 AM

For the past few years, we have taken a trip to Europe every May. The weather has been fabulous (even in Scotland) and the crowds haven't become unbearable.

Even though we mostly travel to smaller, off-the-beaten-track places, you would still have to contend with the hordes of Europeans that travel in the summer months. Not to mention the airports are even more crowded.

This year, since my husband is retiring the end of April, we have planned a month-long trip to Germany and Austria in September-October. It will be interesting to see how the weather compares to what we are use to in May.

Jane196 Apr 20th, 2007 10:49 AM

We usually go in spring and fall. This year we went to Amsterdam in February, because of a great price. We were gone when the Northeast US had a big snow and ice storm and temperatures were in the teens. It seemed warm in Amsterdam with the temps in the 40's. How lucky was that? Travelling in the winter can be a bummer if flights get cancelled. We just missed that mess.

Reisender Apr 20th, 2007 10:55 AM

We prefer traveling to Europe in the fall and winter for three reasons: it is easier to be away from work, it is easier to cash in my FF miles for free tickets, and the crowds are reduced.

We prefer traveling to the Caribbean and Mexico in the summer for the same reasons, except that we do run the risk of hurricanes.

We prefer cruising in the fall and winter simply to get away from out nasty days at home (weather wise).

h2babe Apr 20th, 2007 11:01 AM

My work is a little bit flexible right, so the decision has been based solely on whether it's the right opportunity and climate. For example, I just found out that I'd be able to piggy back with my boyfriend's business travel to Madrid in the first week of June. I have vac days to burn, no work commitment that week, and eventhough the airfare is higher than what I would normally pay, my hotel would be free since I am staying with him and I think Madrid would be splendid in June. Additionally, since Spain isnt high on our personal destination list, I might not make it there in the next five years if I dont go now - so I decided to run with it.

But usually, I try to go off-season, to avoid the crowd and premium charges, and it has been working well for me.

Marianna Apr 20th, 2007 11:56 AM

I am restricted by my school schedule, taking vacations during the school vacation times. In the winter, always during Christmas week and sometimes again in February, we will take a trip to someplace warm - sit on the beach under a palm tree, drink tropical drinks by the sea, dinner with always a lovely view - that type of vacation. If we don't go away in February (and sometimes even if we do), we will usually go away in April (vacation week again). Sometimes, if my husband has a business trip scheduled for these weeks, I will go with him - depending on where he has to go, it could be San Francisco, Napa/Sonoma, Santa Fe, etc. This trip schedule sometimes changes (other than the Christmas vacation though when we always plan to go away) if my husband has a business trip as he did this week but I did not go with him. In additon to those times, we go away every July for at least two weeks to Europe -Italy, France, Portugal, etc. When I retire (this will be next year!), we can travel whenever we want to, within reason since we will be retired, and take advantage of better rates for hotels and airline tickets.

As you can tell, we have that same travel bug that keeps going around in Fodorville!

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