Traveling during the high season is entirely overrated. Sure, heading down to Orlando over Spring Break is fun, but you pay for the season more than anything, which leaves you skimping and limiting the rest of your vacation. Savvy travelers know that everything is cheaper during the shoulder season, so think about changing your vacation dates to save a significant chunk of change.
Tickets Never Cost as Much
Price is one of the most persuasive reasons to travel during the shoulder season. Although most destinations have their own tourist seasons, every place has one. During those periods, airfare is sky high. Travel to your dream locale during the shoulder season, however, and you can save hundreds of dollars. In addition to snagging cheap airfare, you can often score discounts on hotel rooms. It’s not unheard of to find room rates that are as much as half off the regular cost. The same holds true for rental cars in case you need to get around during your trip.
The Crowds Are Thinner
Crowds are the bane of every vacation. Who hasn’t stood in line for a ride at an amusement park wishing that every other person there would just go home? The crowds tend to thin out during the off-season, even at your favorite destination. You have a better chance to score affordable airline tickets, plus you can pick your seat on the plane.
Hotels have fewer guests as well, so you don’t have to fight for a room, and local restaurants aren’t likely to be booked for months in advance. Of course, other savvy travelers may have the same idea, but the crowds are substantially smaller than they are during the high season.
Better Chances to Go Where You Want
Travel during the high season, and it’s a crapshoot. Will you find airfare that you can afford? Are there any vacancies left around your destination? How much are tickets to the attractions you want to see?
Shoulder season offers the opportunity to go where you want without fighting other travelers for the privilege. Use Hotel Planner to find Jacksonville hotels during the off-season, for example, and you still get to enjoy that beautiful Florida weather, but you don’t have to deal with high prices or smothering crowds. Hit up Salem, MA, in August or September instead of October. Fly to South Padre Island, TX, in summer or fall rather than spring.
A Local Experience
Although most popular spots have an abundance of activities and events that take place during tourism season, you enjoy a more down-home, local experience during the off-season. Everything calms down in the destination city, and things return to the status quo, which is frequently more entertaining than what goes on during the high season. Playhouses stage new productions. Museums launch fresh exhibits. You can head to music festivals, art fairs, and literary events.
Anytime your travel plans are open-ended, consider planning a shoulder season journey. With the money you save on airline tickets and hotel rooms, you can go all out in other areas.