Unconventional Lives Here

Scuba dive in Iceland
Stay in an Igloo in Quebec
Hot springs in Oregon
Volcanoes in Java

Sound interesting? Keep reading. Sound completely uninteresting? Uh yea, you should keep reading too.

Sometimes we get stuck in the ‘everyone is doing it’ rut. Don’t be shy to admit it, I’ve been there too. Spring break in Mexico, fly south in the winter, find a beach in the summer.

The cool thing about a year being 12 months is that you can travel in all of them. Vacations don’t have to be squeezed into the ‘right months,’ and a lot of time, there are amazing deals to be had in the off seasons.

One of the major keys here can be weather. All those advertisers and vacation places try to confuse us by throwing out how the weather is only good in the high season. Perfect example, a favorite vacation destination of millions: The Caribbean.

Don’t be scammed, people! There is a 2 degree difference in the temperature on average between March and July, the only thing you might have to contend with in July is more rain, but as we know, in the Caribbean they come fast and in short spurts, rarely will a full day feature a rain out.

Let’s take a peek at the Barbados, supposed to be a cool vacation spot, plus Rhianna is from there, so that has to count for something with the hip factor. Now, according to our good friends at Hipmunk, a flight from Boston to Bridgetown from March 5-12 is $578 on JetBlue (using the #1 flight under the agony factor). Fast forward to July 9-16th and the flight is $442 on US Air.

So just right there is almost $140 that can go towards lodging, or more of those drinks served in coconuts.

The date difference translates with the package deals as well. I plugged in the same flight dates into Orbitz and sorted a few ways, first I did by best value and checked the Crane Resort and Residences, a 4 star resort with a 4.1 out of 5 review by travelers, for $1,668 per person in March. Yeouch, I see my coconut drinks disappearing as I type.

But, go in July, and the price drops to $1,114 per person. Simpler you want, alright, sort by lowest price and we find The Pirate’s Inn (yaaar), 2 stars with a 3.1 out of 5 review, for a far more reasonable $820 per person in March, check July, same place $726, get the sunblock.

Also think about travel dates, its pretty well known that cheaper flights always happen mid week, but it seems strange taking a Wednesday to Wednesday vacation right? No, it’s the same amount of time, cheaper flights, plus look at the positive, that’s two weeks of working only two days each. Not a bad way to ease in and out of vacation.

There are a ton of places in the world we can do our favorite activities that will provide a different perspective, or even just a little tweak can open up new ideas.

I’ve always wanted to learn more about skiing, but held off because of the expense of lifts and equipment, even though I love having an outdoor activity, renting a fun cabin in the woods and hanging out at the lodge. So, I tweaked: snowshoeing. Bought a starter set off eBay including poles and a bag for $80 and I’m off. Beyond being super easy to just do in your backyard, you can join the skiers in your crew, many ski resorts have trails for snowshoeing and you can still meet your friends for a hot toddy after the final run of the day.

Think of the things you love to do and realize they can be done anywhere.

Scuba diving…just add water, I passed about seven dive shops, in Bangor, Maine.

Wine tasting…don’t ship off to Napa just yet, try the Yadkin Valley Wine Trail in North Carolina, or the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country Trail in Michigan, or the East of Eden Wine Trail in Oregon.

Get out and explore, with a little creativity and a good open mind you can find so many great places to visit that you never would have thought of.

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