Shoulder season, or off-season, travel is one way to get a great deal on a typically more expensive vacation. From flights to food, you’re going to be paying a premium when you go during peak periods. Here’s some of our secrets to saving on shoulder season travel:
Being flexible with timing and specific location will definitely help you save. That’s what shoulder season vacation planning is all about. Of course, you want to have some vacation ideas in mind, but being agile when it comes to the details can be a huge saver. For example, planning your flight on a Tuesday or Wednesday instead of during the weekend can save you hundreds of dollars. Or staying a block from your favorite beach rather than on the beach can also help you save.
Last Minute Deals
It doesn’t always pay to book travel early, especially when you plan to drive to your destination. Setting up alerts for yourself to check out vacation rental deals regularly and wait for that 30% off or more can make a huge difference in what you pay.
Research the Area
To know what you’re really saving, research what the prices are peak versus off-peak in the area. To know you’re actually getting a good deal (beyond what an advertisement tells you), you should know what the standard price is during different times of the year. Check local sites to make sure you’re comparing apples with apples, note prices and book your travel with this knowledge in hand.
Pay attention to holidays + local events
Major holidays in your destination typically drive up demand for air travel and increase the average cost of a ticket. Holidays that see a significant increase in resort and airline ticket price include Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend and the weekend nearest the Fourth of July holiday. For the best time to buy a flight, prices immediately before or after such a peak holiday period may be relatively cheap. Holiday periods specific to your destination will also affect prices. For example, traveling to Palm Springs during their music festival season in spring and early summer is very expensive.
Check out local websites for the places you plan to visit. You’ll be surprised to find discounted deals online or when you call simply because you plan to come when the attraction is not as busy. It’s also a good idea to check in to make sure everything is in full-service, or if it’s not, if you still want to visit.
Are you ready to start your shoulder season planning journey? Check out some of these places to stay.