It’s true that certain destinations can be really pricey when it comes down to it. Factor in airfare and hotel costs and you could be looking at spending a pretty penny. Traveling smart is important for saving money and enjoying where that money goes! Thankfully there are ways to offset costs for the conscientious world traveler. Choosing the right time of the year and looking out for the best bargains can help you take the vacation of your dreams and not break your wallet. Below we’ll look at four travel destinations with the best times to go for the value and great activities to add to your trip itineraries.
1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is an absolutely beautiful country. It’s a world famous destination for the annual Carnival, but you don’t need to be there during the festival to have a great time. Waiting for the “shoulder season”, the off-season for vacationing in Rio, can yield more reasonable prices and many other benefits. During the spring months Rio is much less crowded. If you hold off on your Rio vacation until September you will be able to experience pleasant weather as well. The scorching ninety degree temperatures give way to low eighties and upper seventies in the spring. There are many departure cities to choose from and for around 180 dollars per person you can get a round trip ticket for Rio if you look hard enough during the slower seasons (often from Miami). Once you’re in Rio there are so many things to see and do. Rio is filled with culture, so we suggest a guided cultural and historical tour. If you just want the walking tour of the downtown area, then for thirty dollars per person you can experience many of the great historical sights. For sports fans there even packages where you can catch a soccer game for ninety-five dollars. This is a dream come true for an avid soccer fan wanting to catch a game with the screaming masses that only a football-crazed crowd like Brazil could provide.
Morocco, like Rio, is another great place to visit in the spring. Springtime is much more bearable than summer in Morocco. Summers get very hot and some people will have trouble putting up with the heat. If you’ve been researching a trip to Morocco you know how gorgeous it is. A vibrant culture and beautiful scenery fill the landscape. We suggest a trip to Essaouira. It’s a magnificent coastal town where you can experience the tranquility of the West African coast, enjoy the gentle breezes and just relax. Great packages at affordable prices are all over the internet for Essaouira. For around 180 bucks you can get a two night accommodation at a great hotel, including a guided camel tour. The guided camel tours are often along the beach for a very unique way of riding this gentle giant.
There is so much to see and do in Ireland and the best time of year to go can be confusing. The busiest and most expensive season is summer. Summers in Ireland are deceiving weather wise and can have great warm and sunny days but also weeks of rain and clouds. The best time to go is actually the shoulder season and the weather is even better in addition to the cheaper prices! From April until early June a trip to Ireland is affordable and pleasant without being incredibly busy. The other shoulder season is Mid-September to Mid-October and the weather is best at this time out of the whole year. Warmest days and least likely chance of rain during the early fall months. The days are longer, allowing more sunlight for day time activities. For first timers, take a rail tour. Book a two day tour of Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway for about 290 dollars and enjoy the ride in comfort. Fine meals along a scenic journey filled with more green you have ever seen will make for a great first experience. From Antrim Coast Road all the way to Dunluce Castle you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take in Ireland’s beauty.
Cancun is one of those vacation hotspots that everyone knows about and most say they’d love to visit someday. It’s for good reason due to sunny weather, warm temperatures and beautiful beaches all year round. The best shoulder season in Cancun is early December. Prices are significantly cheaper but you may get a little rain. The weather isn’t as warm, but its slow and less crowded. However, the weather is still great by most standards: highs in the 80s and nights just a bit chilly in the 60s. In Cancun you’ll want to relax on the beach, but why not take in a little culture too? For only 110 dollars a tour of Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, with a bilingual tour guide, is a must. The tour guides are often excellent and filled with Mayan culture to answer any historical questions you have. Just being at Chichen Itza is a breathtaking experience. Photographers and history enthusiasts will love it.
The lesson here: Do some research on what’s called the “shoulder season” in the travel industry. Sometimes this time of year is even better than the most popular and expensive periods for a given destination. You will save money, and often have an overall better experience. Our travel clubs often travel during these times as long as the weather is still great!
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