When you've decided you'd like to take a vacation, there are many decisions to make. You might want lots of activities like sightseeing, hiking, shopping, and scuba diving. Or you might want your trip to be romantic, fun, exotic, or exciting. Where you go can depend a lot on your finances and what you can afford. For many people, a vacation isn't really a vacation unless they travel somewhere farther away than their own state. If this is the case with you, then consider your possible destinations and their "high season", "low season", and "shoulder season" to get the most for your money. High season This is the time of year when your destination is the most popular, and therefore the time of year when the resorts are at their most expensive. If everyone wants to go to the Florida coast for spring break, then this is when the prices will be the highest. Please note the high season, or peak season, is not the same time of year for every destination. Ski resort towns have their high season in the winter, European destinations in the summer, and northeastern US in the fall. Not everyone has a choice of when they can go on vacation, but if you do, then carefully consider whether you want to visit your destination during it's high season and pay more for the privilege, or if you want to wait a month and go when it's less expensive. Low season This is the time of year when the location's price is at rock bottom. Now, there's a reason why it's less popular and less expensive during low season and you'll have to decide if the negatives will be huge setbacks for you. For example, many parts of Europe are less popular in the winter, but maybe you don't mind the cold temperatures and would rather see the sights bundled up than fight the summer crowds. Plus you think it's romantic to snuggle in front of an old-fashioned fireplace with a good book and a cuppa. Low season is better for your pocketbook, but you've got to be willing to get what you get. Shoulder season The time between high and low seasons is often called the shoulder season. Typically the conditions will be either spring or fall-like. The crowds are fewer, but they still exist, and the costs are somewhere between high and low seasons. If you're not looking to get a great tan on vacation, then a trip during autumn may be a nice option for you. Know that the weather might not always cooperate, so pack your umbrella and jacket along with your shorts and swimsuit. If you have an ideal destination in mind and you can take vacation when you want, then it's easy to consider your budget and the best season for you. If you have to take vacation at a certain time of year, then think about which destinations might be in low or shoulder season at that time and pick from those choices.
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