Traveling is important to my mental well-being. Getting away, no matter how short, is a way for me to unwind and relax. It’s also a way for my family to reconnect with one another. There is only one downside to traveling: the price. And I’m not just talking about flying! Even if we just travel within our own state, hotels, gas prices, and attractions still cost a ton of money!
One easy way to save a lot of money when traveling is by choosing to travel off season or in shoulder seasons. Everyone wants to spend spring break on the beach, but if you’re willing to visit before or after you can walk away with a lot more cash in your pocket. Not only do you save money, but traveling off-peak not allows for a more relaxing and fun-filled vacation since the shops, restaurants, and main tourist areas tend to have fewer crowds and discount prices.
Wondering when the best seasons to travel are?
Here are some popular destinations and the best off-season times to visit:
- Hawaii – May and June; September through mid-December
- The Caribbean – April through June; September through November (be aware of hurricane patterns)
- Australia – Spring months
- Europe – Fall months
- Thailand and Southeast Asia – March through September
- Alaska – January through March
Of course, there are drawbacks to off-season traveling. One is that some hotels and museums are closed. You also may face less than perfect weather. To make the most of your vacation, be sure to check with the locations and the weather that you most want to enjoy before making travel reservations.
When you’ve decided on a destination and have a window of dates, call your travel agent, airlines, or hotels to see if they are offering any special promotions during your planned travel. It never hurts to ask and sometimes you’ll find they have unpublished deals available. Travel agents can be a great resource in this regard. If they know you have some flexibility they can keep you in mind when they come across a great deal.
Traveling off season can afford you the opportunity to visit places and experience local culture on a more personal level. You will find fewer crowds and more chances to interact with the people that live there. You’re also likely to have more attention paid to you at hotels that are less crowded. It’s really worth the time to investigate your travel destination in depth to find the best deals possible.