Most of the higher category travelers who were in the air between CONUS and OCONUS for the Christmas holidays have returned to their home locations, as US and DODDS schools began their winter quarter last week. What that means, of course, is that seats for Cat 6 travelers are more readily available!
From about now until about the beginning of April (DODDS spring break is April 8-14 this year in Europe and the Pacific) is one of the prime Cat 6 travel periods. It’s time to fly!
Remember that Active Duty families can, and do, pull their kids out of school early and return late in order to make the most of their vacations. I would plan to be finished with my overseas hops by the beginning of April, and look at after the middle of the month to resume. That still leaves about 3 months of good travel opportunities, so now is the time to go for it.
Many locations, such as Italy, Spain, Greece, and the Pacific, are much less crowded and more enjoyable in the off-season. Weather can be iffy, unless you’re visiting the tropics (now is a FABulous time to visit Singapore!), and in smaller places, many sites either operate under reduced hours or are closed. That’s not a problem in cities like Rome, Naples, Madrid, or even London and Berlin (though the further north you go, the iffier the weather will be). Off the beaten path, you may find pickings a bit slim, unless you’re visiting an area known for winter sports activities.
If you don’t already have a winter travel plan, start watching your likely terminals to see where they’re going – or where you can connect to a terminal going the direction you desire, and “wing it”. Some of our happiest experiences have occurred when we just pick up and go!