The ultimate way to save money when you travel? Travel at the right time.
No matter where you go in the world, if you choose the less crowded months of the year to go, you will save money – guaranteed. Why? Because of the age-old laws of supply and demand. These secretly cheaper travel seasons are known industry-wide as ‘shoulder season’. It’s the period between the high (most popular) season and low (least popular) season. It’s the perfect time to find mild weather conditions, crowd-free destinations and lower travel prices. Especially if you plan a trip to destinations that are more affordable to start with!
Because it takes time to save for a trip, we think it’s worth looking into this option. There are more pros than cons to travelling outside of peak seasons, with the money you’ll save sitting at the top of the list! This is how shoulder season travel can save you time and money:
You can book flights that are dramatically cheaper. Because this will most likely be one of your biggest travel expenses, it makes sense that it’s a saving that can make a big difference in your overall travel expenses. Do your research well ahead of time and compare a number of airlines while researching. It might also be worth signing up for promo emails.
Travel Tip: Booking search engines and airlines will sometimes reward you for travelling during the off and shoulder season months.
When the crowds are not in town, you can pick and choose accommodation – from 1-star hostels to 5-star villas. And you’re bound to get better service, as the staff are not as occupied or tired as they would be during peak season.
Because demand drops throughout shoulder season, entry fees to travel attractions tend to be less expensive as well. Some restaurants might even adjust their menu for this season to attract travellers. Take advantage of these offers to stay within your travel budget.
Over peak season you can lose valuable travel time. Something like standing in a queue, waiting for public transport or getting into a museum takes more time when there are more people. You’ll get to spend more time in each destination enjoying, appreciating and capturing the attraction and experience – which can add more value to your journey. Also, the locals tend to be in town and are normally a lot more open to foreigners when they are not overrun by tourists.
Ponder that for a while. A trip during shoulder season can save you heaps of money that you can spend on something you would not have been able to afford if you travelled during peak season. Imagine cashing in on some souvenirs, a more expensive dinner in city centre Paris or just saving the money (to spend on your next trip perhaps?)!
For the same amount of money that you would spend on a trip in high season, you can get a richer experience and have more money left in your savings account. Shoulder season travel is definitely a win-win if you ask us!