Thursday, November 12, 2015

We're fast approaching the time of year when
the word "travel" seems like it might as well have four letters.
Thanksgiving.
Hanukkah.
Kwanzaa.
Christmas.
New Year's Eve.
In
those sparkling, festive words, some of us start to hear the following:
"Traffic." "Airport." "Flight delays." "Mad stress." So
even though summer is over, leaf-peeping is on the wane, and we're all
gearing up for the big family (or solo) trips of the year, we'd like to
posit a defense of the off-season road trip.
Thanksgiving isn't yet
here.
November is still beautiful in much of this fine country.
So get out of
town, because this is one of the best and under-celebrated times to take
little road trips.
Why? Cheap hotel rooms Just because the bloom is off
the foliage in New England doesn't mean it's not still around in much of
that part of the country.
One favorite industrial-design chic boutique
hotel—the Porches Inn at Mass MOCA, adjacent to the sprawling contemporary
art museum—lowered its rates on November 1st right through the spring,
meaning you can save a full 50 to 90 bucks a night on your stay.
(Tip: Check
out the outdoor hot tub.) And that doesn't only apply solely New England:
At Philadelphia's gorgeous Morris House Hotel, the same room that goes for
$429 on New Year's Eve goes for $299 on less popular nights.
(We snagged a
room there one early November weekend for a mere $179.) Summer tourists are
gone Got places you'd never visit in the high season? Paris in July? Cape
Cod in August? New Orleans during Mardi Gras? Go now.
You don't have to
battle strangers for baguettes/ oysters/ cocktails, and there's such joy in
exploring an enormously popular museum with no one elbowing you.
Use up stray vacation days Have you counted up your vacation and
personal days correctly? Are you positive the extras roll over into next year?
Double-check.
If you've got a few left, or even one, it's time to pack up
the car, snag a cheap rental, or jump on some public transit and go somewhere
new.
There's greater availability in the off-season Thanksgiving night is
booked up—as is Christmas, as is New Year's Eve—lots of places, but
chances are that cute boutique hotel you've been wanting to check out has
availability in the off-weekends of November and December.
So call.
Same goes
with fancy restaurants, which are dying to pack tables during slower weekends.
Again, the weather In New Orleans, you're looking at mid-60s and
low-70s temperatures.
In San Francisco, it's in the mid-60s.
Atlanta's in
the high 60s and low 60s.
No matter what sort of weather you crave, you can
find it somewhere in America right now, during these beautiful transitional
months.
Better service In the same way that many restaurant lovers avoid
restaurants during "restaurant week"—when kitchens are slammed and the
food is often sub-par—the holidays can be frantic at restaurants and
bars.
But during a recent meal in Philadelphia, the service was noticeably
super-attentive, and it seemed in part because the restaurant wasn't full:
Servers had time to be solicitous.
You need a break before your "break" Let's admit it: Family time
can be stressful.
If you celebrate Thanksgiving or a winter holiday, the
likelihood of quality time with your nearest and dearest is high.
Sometimes
you need a little treat before the long stretches of small talk, gluttony, and
snowflake sweaters.
Think of the long weekend as an early holiday gift—to yourself.
Seven reasons why traveling in the late fall is the best.

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