The very word “vacation” conjures up images of flip flops and swimming pools and sandy beaches warmed by a hot summer sun. Surely summertime provides the most idyllic time for a family trip.
Or does it? Why do we so rarely consider winter when it comes to planning a family vacation, or even just a weekend getaway?
Now obviously there are a few things that make winter travel a bit more of a challenge:
- The weather can put a damper on some activities. I mean, if your favorite vacation pastime is water skiing at the lake, January probably isn’t going to work for you. (Then again, if you’re into snow skiing…)
- Schools are generally in session. Of course, that’s one more reason to love homeschooling!
- It means traveling close to the holidays. Unfortunately, a lot of people have spent every extra dollar, (plus some,) on Christmas purchases and holiday travel, meaning there’s nothing left for a family trip of any kind.
But there are some amazing benefits to traveling in the winter months if the opportunity presents itself. Here are three reasons why…
Rates are cheaper
Depending on your destination, many attractions, hotels, and even restaurants will offer special winter pricing. It’s an effort by these businesses to draw people in when tourism revenue is at a low, and it can pay off BIG for families. Lodging costs can be cut by as much as 50%, and many museums, historic sites, and other attractions will offer winter discounts.
Many vacation destinations offer plenty of indoor activities to enjoy no matter the weather, but don’t be afraid to venture outdoors! Particularly if you’re from the south, you’re probably familiar with the old tourism slogan, See Rock City. Well, we did… in JANUARY!
|Told ya we saw it… 😉|
Granted, it was cold, (a toasty 19° when we arrived, which is unusually cold for southeast Tennessee,) but it was a perfectly clear and gorgeous day, we were dressed warmly, and we had so much fun! Plus we saved $20 with their special winter rate!
Check out more ways to save money on a family vacation by clicking here.
Crowds are smaller
If you hate long lines or the large summer crowds at attractions, (I always HATED crowded places when I had small children in tow!) then winter might be the perfect time for you to travel and site-see. I’ve read reviews from people who waited three hours to visit a popular attraction in June while we visited with no wait at all in January.
I have a friend who insists the off-season is the absolute best time to visit the beach, almost like having the entire beach to yourself! And I’ve found it’s nice to visit museums and aquariums and actually get to see everything we want to see because of smaller crowds.
|We took a ride on the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway and had an entire (heated) car to ourselves, so we could be as loud and obnoxious as we wanted to be! (Not that we’re really obnoxious. We’re actually very nice people. 🙂 )|
Summer doesn’t have a monopoly on family fun.
I love summer. No, I ADORE summer! But it’s ridiculous to believe that family fun has to be reserved for the warm, sunny weather of June-August!
Spending time with the family is important any time of the year, and, for some families, winter may actually be the best time to take a family trip.
Perhaps it goes against the conventional thinking, but never underestimate the joy of a winter outing with the family. If you’re like us, you’ll find that flip flops and sun-warmed beaches aren’t required ingredients for family fun!
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