For the family on a budget, traveling during the off-season can be a great idea. There are many benefits to traveling during these periods, since you can often save money and enjoy a much more relaxed vacation during the slower times. Airlines, hotels, and attractions will often have a lower rate available for off-season travelers, as these establishments prefer to stay open and provide year-round employment for their staff. Consequently, they’ll offer lower rates just to cover overhead during this time.
You can often find great off-season travel deals online through discount reservation websites like Travelocity.com and Expedia.com. Many of these sites have package deals that include your flight, car rental, and hotel rooms. You can also find hotels online that offer great rates if you book in advance or during slower periods of the year. You can keep an eye on airline websites where you can book flights for special off-season deals.
Each travel destination has a different time of year that’s considered off-peak or off-season. While most of the time, the on-season and off-season periods depend on the seasons, there are ways you can enjoy the climate you’re looking for and still save money. For example, you can travel to a winter sports destination in the summer and save a great deal, while still enjoying great weather and fabulous scenery. This works in the same way for summer destinations – Mexico’s weather is still nicer than that of the Midwest, even if you aren’t traveling during peak times.
You can also find better accommodations for lower prices during the off-season. You can often get a larger hotel room, a better seat on your flight, and more amenities – such as a kitchenette or lounge area – for a much smaller price. Since there are fewer tourists, these nicer accommodations will be available for at a lower price. In addition, many travel agencies will be more willing to negotiate prices for high quality accommodations when they aren’t as in demand.
There are also opportunities to save money when shopping or buying souvenirs during the off-season. Since there will be fewer tourists to make money off of, most shops will cut prices and offer great rates to sway tourists to their shop over the competition. Most vendors are known to undercut one another on prices to attract the travelers, and this competition becomes fiercer when there are fewer tourists. This can mean the souvenir t-shirts you would pay $20 for during peak season may be as low as $5 or $10 during the off-season.
Cruise lines are also known to have better rates during their off-peak season. Rather than sail a boat that’s half-full, they’ll cut prices just to fill the ships. In most cases, the ship will have to hire a full crew whether they have a full house or just a few passengers. And since cruises have a high mark-up to begin with, they can afford to cut the fares rather than lose their profits altogether.
While booking in advance is normally a great way to travel, you can find even better deals on spur-of-the-moment off-season travel. When a destination is booked in advance for off-season, they won’t drop their rates. However, if the off-peak season has begun and the tourists aren’t arriving, the price slashing will begin.