What to do after the ratings period
OK, the ratings period is finally over. You're cranky, irritable
and exhausted after working 18-hour days for the past month.
Your spouse or significant other wants more of your time.
The house needs painting. The kids are wondering about the
stranger hanging around the house barking out orders like
a drill sergeant.
There's a much-needed vacation in your future, but you're
not quite sure when to take it or where to go. Like most Americans,
you are conditioned to vacation over the summer. The kids
are out of school and the weather is warm. But is that the
best time to take a vacation?
If your goal is to avoid crowds, get a little rest and relaxation,
or you're on a tight budget the answer is a resounding NO.
You work in a profession where requesting a vacation during
sweeps is tantamount to career suicide. But that doesn't mean
you have to take your vacation during the busy summer travel
season. A little advance planning and thinking "out of the
box" could get you a great vacation, away from the crowds,
at an affordable price.
Spring and fall are the best times to travel. You'll see this
time of year listed as "shoulder season" in most brochures
and rates will be adjusted accordingly. Shoulder season is
that time of year between peak travel periods and off-season
travel, usually late May to early June, and again in late
August into September and October.
That's a great time for most journalists to travel if you
don't have kids. The planet is yours, just pick a destination
and have fun. For those of you with children planning a vacation
around shoulder season can be difficult, but all is not lost.
If you must travel over the summer there are places you can
visit here in the United States where it's actually off-season.
How about Florida? July through October is considered off-season
in Florida. The weather can be uncomfortable, but you can't
beat the airfare, hotel room rates and slightly smaller crowds.
June through October is also considered off-season in the
Caribbean. Most travel professionals would advocate avoiding
the Caribbean in August, September and October because of
If you don't mind taking the risk, there are some great bargains
on airfare, hotels, vacation packages and cruises. Cruising
can be especially inviting at this time of year. The major
cruise lines have so much capacity you can almost name your
price. In the event a hurricane does come along, your ship
will be out of harms way with a day or two notice.
Hawaii is another great location if you can get there during
the month of June.