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The Back-to-School Secret: Destinations to Visit After Kids Hit the Books

SmarterTravel

A funny thing happens when kids head back to school and summer draws to its official close: The crowds at many popular destinations dissipate and give way to a more relaxed and affordable vacation experience. Here are a few spots where you can benefit from the back-to-school phenomenon.

Warm summer weather and school vacation mean battling big crowds in the nation’s most popular national parks. But in September and October, families clear out and nature takes center stage again in places like [[ Yosemite National Park | Yosemite ]], [[ Yellowstone National Park | Yellowstone ]], and the [[ Grand Canyon National Park | Grand Canyon ]]. Plus, you’ll have a better chance to find discounted rates on accommodations.

Visit most beach destinations after Labor Day, and you’ll have more sun and sand to yourself. Wait too long and you’ll miss the good weather that—depending on the destination—lingers through September. But time it right and you’ll pay less and get more from your [[ Beaches | beach ]] vacation.

You’ll find a similar easing of crowds and prices in Europe, though you may have to wait until early October to really start reaping the benefits. As travelers return to work and school after the summer vacation frenzy, prices settle back down and temperatures cool, creating an ideal chance to immerse yourself in art, culture, and cuisine.

Fall is also a good time to find fewer crowds and better deals at theme parks. Visit on weekdays and you’ll find shorter lines, thinner crowds, and fewer sugar-induced public tantrums at the [[ Theme Parks | parks ]] of Florida, Southern California, and elsewhere.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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