Traveling at the Right Time of Year Costs Less

travel packing tips
The best time to travel is in the holidays, right? Not if you want to make big savings on your traveling costs it’s not. If you travel in off peak (or low season) periods, or even in the shoulder season, you’ll find traveling costs a lot less.

Where are you traveling? Do you know the peak travel times for this destination? Summer and spring, no matter where you are, are generally considered the peak seasons to travel, unless you are a winter sports enthusiast. In that case, ski resorts will be having their peak season in winter. And what hemisphere are you thinking of visiting? The seasons differ depending on whether you are north or south. For example, the North America summer months are June, July, August but in Australia the summer months are December, January and February. You will need to research your destination to find out the low season times to visit.

First of all, what type of savings can you expect to make if you travel in the off-peak season?

1. Air fares are much cheaper. There are less people wanting to fly so air carriers drop their prices to attract customers. Take advantage of these great savings. If you are traveling in the high season, see if you can book a flight mid-week. These flights are generally cheaper too.

2. Accommodation is cheaper and more readily available. In high season it can be difficult to find a place to stay in popular tourist destinations and when you do find somewhere it can be up to twice as much as when traveling in the off peak.

3. Eating in restaurants can be cheaper too. Owners will be trying to attract patrons so see what sort of deals you can find when eating out.

There are some other positives to traveling in the off peak season, other than saving money. There are fewer tourists for one, so visiting any cultural sight will be much more enjoyable. You can get more of an idea of what a destination is really like without the thousands of extra people. Experiencing the true culture is a real bonus. Did you know that opera season is in full swing in Europe in winter? Or that winter in Australia is often the best time to visit places in the north when the humidity and heat are bearable. Or how about visiting the best holiday markets in Germany in December? Do some research to find out what your chosen destination can offer in off peak, ones that you won’t experience in high season travel times.

So what are the negatives of traveling in the off peak? Well there are a few, but if you plan well you can overcome most drawbacks. Off peak usually means traveling in colder weather and that also means less daylight hours. Pack wisely and remember to dress in layers for the cold weather. Some tourist places close earlier or do not open at all in the off peak, so check up before you go so you are not disappointed. You will also find that in some areas the public transport system does not run as often as in peak tourist season. Find out what options you have to get to places and don’t be caught out missing the last bus home in the middle of winter, in the middle of nowhere! Some hotels and museums close down for the winter to re-furbish and get ready for the next high season influx of tourists. You can gamble and bargain your way to a great accommodation deal once you get to your destination, but all your bartering skills will be of no use if the hotels are all closed. It’s best to check what’s open before you go.

If traveling in the off-peak doesn’t sound attractive to you, then you might like to try the shoulder season and still get some travel price reductions. The shoulder season is considered the period leading up to and away from the high season. Usually in this time you’ll get decent weather, less crowds and lower travel costs – not the great bargains you’ll get in off peak, but lower costs nonetheless.