The Best Seasonal Vacation Spots for Pre-holiday Relaxation

It’s getting cold out. You’ve switched from ice cream to hot chocolate. Your daily routine has become work, home, dinner and bed.  You find yourself looking desperately forward to Christmas with the family. Why not shake things up a little and take a much needed pre-holiday holiday? But the economy is still weak and you can’t afford air fare to go anywhere good. So not true! Summer may be over but vacations during the off peak season are ripe for discounts. That is why we have brought you these four examples of great affordable fall vacation spots where you can re-charge your inner batteries and come back home relaxed and ready to face the day again.



With cold weather upon us and seasonal ticket prices at a low via most major U.S. carriers, the Caribbean is a great vacation spot in mid to late December. Take a refresher course on relaxation on the beach, then go out and play all night at prices you can afford.  If you book now you shouldn’t have trouble securing a round trip to a Caribbean island in the $400 range for your pre-holiday holiday on the beach.

And the discounts don’t stop with the air fare. The Barbados Tourism Authority is cutting prices on participating hotels, car rental providers and attractions all for the holiday season so your wallet won’t be empty by the time you come home.

Be sure to catch the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival.  You can dine like Hollywood royalty with meals prepared by celebrity chefs in the culinary capital of the Caribbean. And the best part is the free admission.

While the island community celebrates its independence once a year, every night of the week is a party when you dine at romantic ocean front bars and restaurants. There are also plenty of affordable midnight cruises, open air nightclubs and local music sure to make you come home refreshed and relaxed from your vacation in paradise.


Martha’s Vineyard

 Martha’s Vineyard is invaded every summer by wealthy Las Vegas divorce attorneys, upper class Bostonians and the New York elite; not a great time for a vacation. But in the fall, the island resort community just south of Cape Cod is a good alternative for peaceful affordable recreation and relaxation. Air fare to the Vineyard in November and December is negligible. For under $200 you can fly round trip from New York as opposed to the $400 – and $500 rates during the peak season.



According to, “Winter on the Vineyard is a terrific time to take advantage of a myriad of activities from the historic to the athletic, from the educational to the just plain fun.” This year seems to be no exception.



What would a stay at the Vineyard be if you did not indulge in some fine local seafood? You must visit the Atlantic Fish & Chop House on the historic Edgartown Harbor. You’ll experience stunning views, live music and succulent cuisine from classic steakhouse favorites to fresh seafood all at an affordable price.

And don’t go home without trying some of the baked goods at Back Door Donuts in Oak Bluffs. Ironically, ranks this bakery as the island’s top eatery in a region better known for its seafood.



Perhaps you would rather do something a little more European for your fall vacation. There is no place more affordable and exciting in mid-fall than Germany. We were able to find low season round trip flights to Germany at under $950 at

Naturally you will want to see all of the important historical sites such as the former Berlin Wall, erected in 1961 and torn down in 1989. You may want to see the many castles lining the beautiful countryside, or perhaps some more sobering sites from the darker times in German history – the Holocaust.

But December is also a great time to visit the “Deutschland” for cultural celebrations.  You can spend a week in Berlin for Music Days, a tribute to the finest electronic music and the best clubs in Berlin.

Or maybe Hamburg is more your thing. Since the fourteenth century DOM, one of the largest open-air fun fairs in Northern Germany, has been a big part of local culture. A family friendly event, your children can ride the giant ferries wheel and roller coaster, as well as attend concerts and huge fireworks shows in the evenings. But best of all, it is a chance for you and your kids to see a part of the world most of their friends probably haven’t experienced yet and it won’t make you break the bank.


You’re thinking about going local this year and you don’t mind the cold weather. Chicago is the place to take the family this fall and you won’t have to spend a lot of money to do so. You can definitely enjoy your trip on the cheap and have a memorable time in one of the biggest cities in the good old U.S. of A.  A coach seat from New York to Chicago can be booked for under $300 and you can find cheap lodging at locations such as the Hotel Burnham for under $285 per night on Trip


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