Something that dawned on me is how expensive it must be for families to go on vacation. This isn’t a recent revelation in that the typical family has more plane tickets to buy, mouths to feed, etc., but I didn’t think about how all their vacations are tied to the school year. That said, it makes sense that many families are going to popular destinations at the same time thus making it difficult to get a good deal. I think some of the practices I employ might help as a solo traveller who is looking for ways to keep costs down.
Think about going on winter vacation during the summer. OK…so we might associate summer break with beaches, BBQs, and sunburns. However, that’s exactly the reason why people go to these spots. If you’re willing to go during times when there those destinations aren’t as popular, you’ll get a better deal and you won’t have to fight the crowds. A few years ago, I was able to fly to Sydney from LA for $600 RT. Yes I went during their winter so it was a little cold. But there was plenty to do and I didn’t have to fight the crowds.
Try weekday road trips. Again from personal experience, I’ve noticed that a lot of people will try to cram a vacation into a weekend. Most of us also think that by taking Friday or Monday off, we’ll be able to beat the crowds. Unfortunately, that same mindset applies to everyone else. If you really want to beat the crowds and save on the cost, try going during the week. Yes, you’ll have to spend a few more days of PTO. But, you’ll also be saving on the airfare and the hotels since most people will be going home Monday.
Possibly a staycation? Look, this might sound boring but hear me out. I bet there are tons of places within an hour of where you live that you haven’t even come close to exploring. Living in San Diego, I see tourists all day long (especially this time of year) and I’m sometimes embarrassed by how much more a tourist knows about my city than I do. There isn’t anything wrong with just getting a hotel room in a part of town you don’t know and playing tourist. You might learn something or even better, meet some people from a different part of the world who might invite you if you’re ever in their part of the world.
I guess all this is to say, maybe don’t go toward the obvious destination. It might be easier but you’ll end up paying for it.