By NICOLE HOCKIN
If you’re like me then you dream of traveling the world visiting the small and obscure places, as well as large and illustrious destinations. And if you are also like me then the price tag on some of these spots can be quite prohibitive to fulfilling those dreams; unless you are flexible about when you see these wonderful locales.
Traveling in the offseason can be quite beneficial. First, there is the cost savings; from flights to hotels, car rentals and attractions – everything costs less when the peak season expires. For example, resorts in ski towns such as Aspen and Whistler (Canada) do huge business in the winter, but cut rates significantly during the summer. The second reason is that the crowds are a lot smaller, too. Imagine not waiting with your children hour after hour, shoulder to should with other exhausted families, for the chance to experience your favorite rides at Disney World. Tempting, right?
Warning: There are reasons that it is called the “off-season”. Weather can be adverse such as parts of Asia during monsoon season and certain restaurants and attractions could be closed or at the very least could have reduced hours. Non-peak months are also a time of renovation for many hotels and resorts. So if you can put up with the lobby remodel or an obstructed view, you may benefit from reduced rates and perhaps even a complimentary upgrade.
What Is a Shoulder Season?
A Shoulder Season is the period of time between the high and low seasons. For example, the Caribbean and Mexico have very nice weather in late April and May, but prices for flights and hotels go way down because Americans are in between Spring Break and summer vacations. The same is true for South America.
So when should you go where? Below is a brief rundown of popular destinations by their off/shoulder seasons.
1. Denver (April-May)
3. Hawaii (March – May)
1. Australia (their winter/early spring)
4. Las Vegas (July and August)
6. Ski towns (Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, Whistler)
2. Central America (September)
3. Hawaii (August – October)
4. Italy (late September – November)
5. New England (September until early October – before foliage season)
6. Orlando (October until mid-November)
3. New York City
4. South Africa
5. South Padre Island (TX)
6. Wine Country (Napa Valley and Sonoma, CA)
Share Your Stories?
What’s been your experience traveling in an offseason? Post a comment, e-mail me, and let me know!