If you are a wanderlusting, travel hungry adventurer like I am, sometimes your wallet is a bit smaller than your travel dreams. While I’d love to spend every summer on the islands in Greece, I know that most years my traveling is going to be a bit more budget friendly.
While I always encourage setting aside money for an awesome luxurious trip, I’ve also have found ways to enjoy beautiful areas of our country without breaking the bank. One of the best things I’ve learned? Enjoy new places during their off-season. Best current example? Embarking on a romantic trip to Napa Valley with the boyfriend.
We knew that going during peak season meant overpaying for a normal bed & breakfast, sharing crowded winery tours with other tourists, and being denied reservations to great restaurants because they’d been booked months in advance. If I’m overpaying, I want to feel like it.
So, while we were planning the trip we weighed our options. If we went during peak season, our costs would be higher, but we’d be able to see the grapes on the vine (obviously a big draw for that area). If we went during off season, we’d miss the grapevines but save money that could be spent in other areas. And there would still be wine.
Ultimately, we decided that off season was the way to go, and it was the best decision we’ve ever made (in regards to travel). We paid for a group winery tour, but ended up on the bus alone. Public became private. We got to go to several of the popular wineries, like Mumm, Robert Mondavi, and Domaine Chandon to name a few, and didn’t wait in a single line. To top it off, we ate at some great restaurants and had no trouble getting in. With the money we saved we can go back for a second trip, and splurge on the hotel (hello Milliken Creek Inn & Spa…you’re calling our name and we will be back to see you!), a nice dinner, and maybe a couple of extra winery stops.
We plan to use our off season travel discovery for other popular destinations in the near future. Consider it next time you are obsessing over the cost of your vacation. – Sasha Huff