For a long time, the term “off-season” travel seemed like a dirty word. During these current economic times though, many families will find vacationing during the fall can allow them to get a lot of value for their money.
The Caribbean is a perfect destination for families to enjoy the sun and fun together year round. Destinations such as Grand Cayman offer up close encounters with aquatic life at the Boatswain Beach Turtle Farm, or while snorkeling and enjoying glass bottom boat rides in Stingray City with hundreds of tame stingrays. You may also be tempted by many of the treats at Tortuga Duty Free Liquors and Bakery, especially their famous rum cakes! Your family can shop their way through the island of St. Thomas in Charlotte Amalie enjoying the multitude of duty-free treasures. You can choose to tour the island of Nassau in the Bahamas and discover its amazing history and search the bargains of its Straw Market for island treasures. The prices are usually better during the fall because it’s still hurricane season, so make sure to talk to a travel consultant who can get you good travel insurance!
Another fantastic warm weather destination is Hawaii. “Endless Summer” prevails in this tropical paradise, and the fall is a time where many resorts and cruise lines will offer great deals for travel to Hawaii. The whole family can surf, snorkel, whale watch, or take the famous drive to Hana on Maui which offers many opportunities to get fantastic views of the natural beauty of Maui’s lush green surroundings and coastline. There are also volcanoes and waterfalls to be discovered, or you can take a trip up to world famous observatories to see the heavens and check out some snow in Hawaii! There are always plenty of cultural events and celebrations going on in Hawaii, and you can take your family to learn about the history of the Hawaiian islands at the Polynesian Cultural Center and end the night with a traditional Hawaiian Luau.
Finally, for a destination that is close to home and fall themed, you can drive a couple of hours north to historic Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. The weather is perfectly crisp in the fall, the foliage bursts like fireworks and vacationing there around Halloween is something everyone should experience. On the weekends there are some great daytime events at Philipsburg Manor and Sunnyside, the home of Washington Irving, one of America’s most famous writers whose tales made this town famous. You’ll learn all about how people lived in the time of Washington Irving, and you can even explore the cemetery where he rests (and one where the Horseman materializes from!). Nighttime events include a re-telling of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow in the Old Dutch Church by candlelight and an amazing feat of carving artistry at the yearly Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortland Manor. They also have a really cute town parade and haunted hayride.
Any one of these destinations is a fantastic option for families, and provides great learning experiences for school age children which may help your decision to vacation during school to take advantage of some great values.
Erin Sforza is an Independent Travel Coordinator affiliated with MouseEarVacations.com® and CruisingCo.com® and lives on Long Island with her husband and daughter. Contact her by email at ErinS@CruisingCo.com or at www.facebook.com/ErinS.MEV to book your family’s next adventure!