A few years ago (before our daughter started school), we decided to escape the frigid temps of Memphis in January and went on a tropical vacation to enjoy the sun, salty air, and much warmer climate of Hawaii. It sounds luxurious (I know) and while it was lovely, it was also very affordable. We took advantage of the fact that it was the “off season,” as everyone had just returned to school from the holidays. We booked the trip just a week before we left.
We did it all via the internet, without a travel agent/middleman, so we were able to keep the prices lower while piecing together exactly what we wanted for our vacation. Because we took this trip close to the holidays, my husband and I did not really exchange gifts that year, and we got our daughter gifts that were mostly practical for our time away (read: swim suit, sunglasses, disposable water proof camera, headphones for the plane, etc.)
Words cannot express what a great decision this was for our family. Not only did we get a respite from winter and time away together after the busyness of the holidays, but we were on vacation when not a lot of other people were. The hotel where we stayed was quiet, there were only a few other families there, and they also had pre-school aged children.
I should give full-disclosure and say that we are not Disney people or beach in June people. If I am honest, I am not even a Target/Kroger person after 11:00 am. I like to beat the crowds or work around them- not because I am avoiding people, but so that I can experience things without distraction. This is obviously a preference, and I have been grocery shopping on Christmas Eve, have been to Destin on Spring Break, and have taken my 3 year old and 5 month old to Disneyland. But I’d rather not.
I strongly encourage, that everyone add a mid-January vacation to their bucket list- it really is a new experience. However, if that is not a possibility in the near future, I honestly encourage you to go to Target at 8:00 am instead. There really is nothing like it!