Island Hopping Is Best in December: Here’s Why

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Before the winter doldrums set in, now is a good time to start planning your next great escape. Daylight Savings tends to remind us that we need more light in our lives, especially when it’s darker one hour earlier in the evenings.

Planning a winter vacation will give you an opportunity to be proactive and break up the snowy months with something fun. There are even deals to be had as well as advantages to winter travel. Here are a few places to consider and reasons why you should travel during the winter months.

Fewer Crowds

Avoiding holiday travel is a wise move. Plan a vacation during the shoulder seasons instead. Southern California is a great place to visit in February, for example, because it’s considered off season. It’s also easy to fly into L.A. from most places throughout the country. Or, map your journey by car to plot out fun, scenic stops and roadside attractions along the way.

The unpredictability of rain may deter you, but don’t let it. There are plenty of nice, sunny days with temps reaching the upper 60s. Manhattan Beach is a wonderful location with its beaches, piers, long pathways, volleyball courts, and diehard surfers. It’s a walkable area with dining, shopping, fewer crowds, and beachside hotels and rentals.

Cheaper Tickets

By November, the end of Florida’s shoulder season, there are fewer crowds and cooler weather in northern and southern Florida. Hotel rates are a lot lower (up to 50 percent) than they are during the busy season, especially if visiting mid week.

Snowbirds start to file into Florida around November. Others are looking to squeeze in a discounted vacation before the holidays come into full force. Keep in mind that hurricane season lasts through November, even though November is usually Florida’s driest month. You never know what you’re going to get weather-wise, so it’s best to be prepared by paying attention to the forecasts.

Work-Play Balance

Use vacation time – that’s what it’s there for. Numerous studies have shown that employees who come back from vacation are more productive and happier as long the vacation is well planned out and not super stressful.

“We found that if you plan ahead, create social connections on the trip, go far from your work, and feel safe, 94% of vacations have a good ROI in terms of your energy and outlook upon returning to work. Just make sure you plan the trip at least a month in advance, as one of the key predictors of vacation ROI is the amount of stress caused by not planning ahead,” according to Harvard Business Review.  

Better yet, what if bosses required mandatory vacations for their employees? Then employees wouldn’t feel guilty, as often is the case, for using their earned vacation time. However, sometimes you just have to make the time to take a vacation.

New Places to Visit

Some people don’t want to leave their comfort zone, but sometimes the unknown can be a lot of fun. Spontaneous travel can lead to places you’ve never thought about visiting. Throw a dart on the map and see where it takes you.

Cheap flights can be found using sites like Hipmunk, Invisible Hand and Google Flights. Airbnb and VRBO places are a lot cheaper than hotels and you can find a house or apartment where you can do your own cooking. You might be able to grab an all-inclusive travel bargain from a tourism agency, too. Do your research and get travel advice from the experts.

No matter where you decide to go this winter, you’ll be glad you did because you’ll stretch your dollar further than you might during the holidays, summer or spring break. Cheaper flights, fewer people, seeing a place from a local’s perspective, are just a few of the advantages of taking a winter vacation.