Off season travel can mean saving money on airfare, hotels, and even dining and entertainment. Even better, rewards seats to these destinations are a lot easier to book for off-peak travel. And with fewer people around, it means shorter lines, less crowds, and easier access to your destination.
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Here are some rather sweet off-season destinations to consider.
January & February
With summer and holiday travel over, U.S. cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City can offer better rates. Summer and any holiday breaks are busy times for Orlando, but during these months you’ll find deals for the theme parks along with discounted hotels. January is also a slow time for Mexico travel.
Now is the time to visit Brazil since you’ll miss the crowds from Carnival (in February), and beat the summer crowds.
South America has a milder weather, less crowds, and better yet, cheaper rates.
Ports have calmed down from cruises, and Alaska has reduced rates on hotels and plane tickets.
Miami is great in June since snow birds and spring breakers are gone. High temperature in June and July keep travel a little lower than winter and spring months to New Orleans.
Las Vegas doesn’t have too much of an “off-season”, but with desert temperatures that could be in the triple digits plus a tendency for rain, July tends to be a bit slower, especially during the week. July, along with early August, is also a good time to check out Phoenix and cities in Texas if you can handle the heat.
Colorado’s ski destinations including Aspen, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Vail, and Winter Park are much cheaper during the snow-free months. My favorite time to visit Beaver Creek is during August with scenic hiking, golf, spas, restaurants, festivals and events, and 35 percent off lodging doesn’t hurt either.
Besides January and February, September is also a good month for Orlando since the kids are headed back to school. September means hurricane season so rates are usually cheaper for the Caribbean.
Just like in April, South America has the best rates in October with summer crowds dying down. Greece, along with other areas of the Mediterranean, still have pleasant weather (Athens average temperature in October is 73 degrees), but hotel rooms are much cheaper than in summer.
November & December
Another slower time for Las Vegas along with July tends to be between end of November and before Christmas. You’ll also find cheaper rates in San Diego and Hawaii.
South Africa (May through August) and Australia (May through September) tend to be cheaper. In Scandinavia, business travel decreases throughout summer so hotels offer lower priced rooms.
I loved traveling throughout the North East coast of the U.S. during Spring. Summer brings a lot of travelers as does Fall since seeing the leaves change is a popular destination. The same is true for Canada.
While weather may be a little unexpected and chilly, Europe is significantly cheaper during winter (November through March). You’ll find much cheaper flights to China during the same time as well as discounted admission to events. Staying in the U.S., Myrtle Beach’s hotel rooms and flights to and from are far less that spring and summer.
Fall means hurricane season so any place susceptible usually means cheaper air fare and room rates. The Florida Keys, South Texas, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and Turks & Caicos are areas included.
If you're paying cash for your airfare, compare multiple ticket sources, like Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity. Also don't forget to check those fares against the airlines themselves. Book with a rewards credit card, especially if you have a branded card for the airline you're booking with, like American Airlines and AAdvantage, to get extra miles and a free checked bag. And of course, check Brad's Deals for limited-time travel deals including hotels, airfare and vacation packages.
Weather is often a reason why a certain time of the year is considered a destination’s off season. Be prepared for what the climate is and any potential weather that could occur. Check the weather report before packing.
During the off-season, some restaurants and attractions may be closed or have limited hours so understand what’s available.
In many places, warmer weather may equal higher prices. But also consider that summer in many cities often means free festivals, concerts, and other free entertainment. Weigh the costs to decide what’s best for you.