November seems synonymous with family time, right? Getting cozy with your loved ones by the fire as the weather becomes chilly and brisk. Cooking seasonal pies and treats with your family with the help of Pinterest recipes. And, let’s not forget the act of stuffing our faces around the dinner table for “pants-unbuttoning day,” also known as Thanksgiving. So, it’s a little weird that, at a time where family and togetherness is everything, I would decide to ditch all of that for a trip abroad with nothing but my husband and a suitcase.
Let me preface this by saying that I wasn’t gone just for November. Back in 2015, I was traveling for a few months (September to December) on my honeymoon to Norway, Germany, Morocco, Indonesia and Australia (a trip that took many years of planning and saving). But we specifically chose this period of time to travel for the sake of the money we would be saving.
Traveling in November, no matter where you go, or why, is a great time to explore. Taking a vacation during the offseason has major perks: the crowds aren’t as big, the weather isn’t outrageous and the prices can’t be beaten. This is especially true for those traveling throughout the Northern Hemisphere, such as Europe, Canada and the U.S., places known for being incredibly pricey during the high travel season over the summer.
In our case, we were headed to Bali for the entire month of November. And, while traveling outside of the U.S. during this time is considered offseason, this was the opposite case for Bali. Indonesia’s weather is best during October and November, so prices rise during this time. But, Bali is also famously affordable. With your average meal costing $2-3 and a night at a four-star hotel costing as low as $21 per night, it might as well be the offseason.
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And, it was the best vacation ever! All-inclusive resorts in Seminyak for less than $200, taking a ferry to an almost private island for $10 apiece, staying for a week at a famous and historical villa in Ubud for the same price as one night in New York City and feasting like kings at a buffet/nightclub in Denpasar for less than $10. It was one of the cheapest travel destinations I’ve ever been to.
All in all, we spent approximately $1,560 for 30 days in Bali (this does not include our medical shots or our first flight into Bali, since we used points). I’m not going to lie, we probably could have spent less if we were closely tracking our expenses and going for the lowest deals.
I can almost hear readers thinking to themselves, “But isn’t Bali cheap all year?”
You’re very right, it is. Though it’s also monsoon season or rainy season a good portion of the year, so our time would not have been very enjoyable. To make my point even further, search for hotel prices this time of year in Paris or London versus the summer and tell me it’s not substantially lower. Traveling in November is simply the best.
This trip made November my new favorite month to travel. Since our awesome honeymoon three years ago, I’ve traveled to three countries and a handful of states (I’m even visiting Denver, this time around) during November. That first trip, we did, in fact, miss Thanksgiving and our families were a little disappointed. But, had we traveled any other time of the year, our travel expenses would have been twice as much if not more. And, since we were back home in time for Christmas, we didn’t completely miss holiday family time.
Like anything, traveling during this time of year can be a bit of a sacrifice. Travel the world for a great price or spend time with your family during a time that is so special: It’s a tough call. However, if you do decide to miss Thanksgiving for a cheap trip somewhere amazing, just remember to bring back plenty of presents and convince your loved ones to come with you next time.
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