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Summer

As the flowers reach their full bloom, and the temperature slowly rises, it’s time to greet one of the best seasons of all! The season of suntans, water parks, and Oceanside sunsets is just around the corner. For some, that means a much-needed break from work or school, and for others it means looking forward to Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. However you celebrate the coming sun, it’s always a good idea to travel! Summer is an ideal time to visit those coastline places to keep you warm for months to come, but sometimes the summer travel can be a bit of put-off. There are crowds, high airfares, and numerous other factors to consider before planning your summertime excursion. But don’t let that deter you! Follow some simple tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your sunny day vacation!

First, and most importantly if you’re going somewhere warranting of a flight, is the preparations:

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Choosing flights

Due to the increase in demand, especially if your destination is tropical, it is likely fair to assume that the prices are going to be a bit higher than say, September. However, different points of time within the month warrant different prices. For example, early May has the cheapest flights available for early-summer flights, and there is a sharp dip in prices on or after August 20th. That’s not to say it’s impractical to fly at all within the months of May-August, however it does typically fall under a steadily increasing ratio as the days progress. Early May and June will hold the best prices available for summer travel. July is perhaps one of the most expensive times to fly, especially for the United States. Flying on or around July 4th can be especially pricey, but for flights on the international spectrum, relatively cheap. Late July and Early August have the highest prices, so it is important to plan ahead if you want to book these dates! Typically, to book early and get the best discount, it’s best to follow these rules:

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• For domestic flights: 54 days (or seven and a half weeks) ahead going all the way down to four weeks. Some companies have flash sales, and others offer lower prices the close it gets and more likely the seats are to remain vacated, but the rule of thumb is about two months.

• For international flights: Somewhere between one and three months. It’s also a good idea to research the average price, so that if you do check three months ahead, you can reason whether that price will go up or down in the future.

Regardless of the season, the best days of the week to travel are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (excluding holidays). So for vacations, try to book on say a Tuesday, and return on a Saturday, rather than the usual Monday-Sunday alternative. Also, be sure to shop around. This can mean numerous connecting flights, or even flying into a different airport and driving the rest of the way if you really want to save some serious bank.

Choosing destinations

Here is where a real opinion of preference comes into play. Summer is notable for being the busiest travel season (the week before Christmas excluded), and while some may want that, others prefer a rather quiet vacation. For those who don’t mind a bit of fellow tourists, there are some obvious options. Such as:

• Orlando, Florida. With theme parks such as Disney World, Universal Studios, and sunny beaches just a short drive away.

• The Bahamas. The epitome of: sun, surf, and sand with the added bonus of being incredibly catered to a visitor-friendly service.

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• Los Angeles, California. Just a little bit of everything. A bustling city center with enough activity to fill up weeks, never mind days of vacation. Stunning beaches, and even theme parks just a little ways away in Anaheim, California.

All of those popular destinations have warm weather, and soothing beaches in common. Which naturally, makes sense for the summer seasons where people are on the hunt to unwind in a cabana somewhere. But there are so many lesser known options to consider. Many people’s first thought to summertime is not ‘Northeast United States’ but with their pristine beaches, and warm welcomes, it should be! While there is no shortage of visitors to the likes of Maine, New Hampshire, and New Jersey, it is significantly reduced to the populations of Malibu, or Miami.

It is also important to consider some less than sunny options. During ‘summer’ the Southern Hemisphere experiences their ‘winter’. So your options are not limited to a simple beach-side stay, but also that of snowboarding down the mountains, or hitting the slopes in some winter wonderland. Places like Perisher, Australia, and Portillo, Chile, offer high end resort stays during these months with some of the most breath-taking views to offer. Flights to the cold climates are typically cheaper because there is less demand to return to the cold, but if you hear the slopes calling then grab those low prices while you can!

Essentials

Especially important for any beach-goers, or outdoor adventurers! Just because the locals aren’t packing these items doesn’t mean they aren’t useful, and essential to the journey. Invest in a good bathing suit, and some water-proof items such as a go-pro or a phone case to really capture the essence of your summertime vacation. Other, less glamorous items are the unsung heroes of any beachside stay, so be sure to include them in the packing process.

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For tropical destinations, don’t forget:

• Sunscreen! Even if you’re just walking in a theme park for the day, some of the worst sunburns come from days spent in the least likely places.

• Water bottle. Especially for those not accustomed to the heat, or in Florida’s case, the humidity.

• Sunglasses. Not life-threatening, but incredibly helpful on those cloudless days.

And as usual, don’t forget your identification cards (passport for international, driver’s license or other for domestic), and important items such as phone, wallet, keys, and plane tickets.

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