Sitting on your hands? I suggest the FIP (F#ck It Principle). Get up and go.
Screw the “avoid peak season to save money on transportation and accomodation” advice. Munchen for Oktoberfest rocks! Southeast Asia during Chinese New Year is throw down. Save your money by being flexible and by last minute ticket booking. Try www.cheaptickets.com or www.hotwire.com
Consider Climate Trends
DO take into consideration the weather. While you may be seeking great adventures, a major hurricane can depress even the most adventurous of plans. Just pay attention to, and prepare for (if necessary) some of the predictable weather patterns. For example:
– Hurricane season in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico is from June 1 through November 30 (greatest risk in August, September, and October).
– The Pacific typhoon season has no official bounds (it sometimes runs year-round), but most tropical cyclones tend to form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean between June and December.
– Tornado season in the States lasts from April through August. Here’s a map of the hot states http://www.tornadochaser.net/tornadoalley.jpg
– Be aware that rainy seasons can cause landslides and dry seasons can spark wild fires, especially in national parks
– Power outages can be caused by major thunderstorms or snow storms
– Volcanos can spew ash and rock for 30 kilometers, the noxious fumes for 160 kilometers
– Climates can vary from extreme hot to extreme cold
– Local distasters can encourage price gouging, therefore increasing your spending and potentially breaking your budget
While there is no way to avoid all potential risks (and why would you want to?) simply paying attention, heeding warnings, and being prepared can ensure your vacation does not turn into an episode of Survivor.
Know Local and International Holidays
You may want to avoid holidays or you may want to follow them. Either way, knowing them can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises. Take into consideration that some countries follow the lunar calendar (therefore placing New Year’s sometime in February as opposed to Janunary 1).
Watch Exchange Rates
While this may be too much work for some (for me, at least) sometimes a whole country will go “on sale” compared to your native currency. It may be worth rerouting yourself to save some extra dough.