BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- Off-peak travel is the last refuge of globe-trotting introverts who want to be where the people aren't.
Off-peak travelers are the type of folks who use Yogi Berra's "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded" malapropism as their guide when choosing a vacation destination. A beachfront vacation in the summer? Who needs the traffic? A ski lodge in the winter? What, are we qualifying for the Olympics? New England foliage tours in the fall? Those withering leaves' last gasps are far less painful than the crowds at the syrup stands.
The off-peak traveler's hell is other people, and deft planning and a nose for deals are all that protects a recluse seeking rest and relaxation from the 86% of travelers TripAdvisor says are planning trips before winter. That horde is up from 74% last year and seems fixated on clogging the foliage routes (43%), packing the vineyards while draining their barrels (29%) and getting their fill of pumpkin whoopie pies and corn mazes at local fall festivals (23%).
Their most popular fall destinations are New York City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago and San Francisco, which leaves plenty of options. For those who don't want to spend the money on peak destinations or to be caught amid the cider-chugging crowds and cool-weather winos, we put together some off-peak suggestions from our friends at SmarterTravel. The foot traffic in these places is pretty light this time of year, but the payoff is big for those willing to stay once the peak crowds have dissipated: