Off-season? No problem.

~posted by Emily 

Click here to view the Food Lover's Guide to the World in the SPL catalogTemperatures are dropping, we’ve turned back the clocks, and it’s safe to say that summer is long behind us. But that doesn’t mean the opportunity for travel has passed us by. In fact, there are several reasons why it’s advantageous to plan travel during the off-season.

One of the biggest advantages of traveling during the off-season is because it is exactly that: OFF-SEASON. In other words, you won’t be competing with herds of other travelers. You may find cheaper airfares when less people are buying plane tickets. Most hotels and even some attractions list lower rates during the off-season, so you’ll have some extra currency for more local treats. And you never know, those museum tickets that most people reserve months in advance might just be available for attendance on a whim.

Click here to view Winter Wise in the SPL catalogIf outdoor activities are not your focus, most popular European destinations are a pleasure to visit during the off-season – especially if you prefer to experience a town center filled with locals rather than tourists. And imagine visiting a place like Disneyland when the weather is not the happiest on earth – if you don’t mind a little rain, just think of how short those lines will be…

If fine weather is a goal of your trip, don’t forget about the Southern hemisphere, where our winter is their summer. Ever wanted to visit Argentina? New Zealand? Perhaps a safari in Botswana? If you go during our summer, you might find plenty of other tourists, but not many sunny days. And if Patagonia’s been on your to-see list, you’ll want to go when their days are long enough to actually see it!

Click here to view Four Seasons of Travel in the SPL catalogIf you’re not interested in leaving the country – or even the state – you may want to take advantage of some of the more spectacular scenery of the colder months. Winter can be a great time to visit state and national parks, especially if you are a fan of winter camping or other snow-related activities. You can consult Washington State Parks’ online schedule to find out which campgrounds are open all year round, but be sure to check out these winter camping guides to make sure you’re prepared for the elements. And as for National Parks, read this article from the National Park Foundation to find out what Yellowstone, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks have to offer in winter, or watch this DVD to see what Yellowstone is like at Christmastime.

Can’t decide on a destination? National Geographic can help, with their book Four Seasons of Travel: 400 of the World’s Best Destinations in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. If you’ve got the time and means, no need to wait until summer 2016 to take your next trip!

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