During the summer and holiday travel seasons, flights, hotels and attractions can cost you an arm and a leg.
Instead, look for tickets during the period known in the travel industry as the “shoulder season.”
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“It’s less crowded. You tend to have milder weather. You’re not waiting in line as long. You can get reservations easier at some of the in-demand sites,” explained Leah Thrapp, who looks for low-key travel dates.
Between the second week of September and the first week of November, Thrapp said airlines, hotels and resorts are making significant price drops this fall.
“They’re just trying to motivate people to travel because once the kids go back to school, people travel less,” Thrapp explained.
For example, a summer round-trip flight from DFW International Airport to Iceland came out to $579 on Wow Air.
From Sept. 11 to Sept. 17, the price dropped by more than $300.
If you think that’s a good deal, Thrapp says to check out Hawaii. You could be looking at saving $500 to $1,000 per person if you book in the fall.
“Their tourism is especially down right now with the volcano. It’s not affecting anything on the other islands, but people are just feeling discouraged from going,” she said.
Believe it or not, Thrapp is also seeing good deals for trips to Paris.
“People think that Europe trips are super expensive, and typically for the summer you can pay $1,400-$1,500 per person for a ticket,” Thrapp said. “But you can go to Paris, Madrid, Rome — all for about $1,000 with hotel and flights this fall.”
Thrapp said the key to scoring these great prices is flexibility, especially with your dates.
It may take an extra vacation day or two, but she said traveling and returning mid week could help you save hundreds on your trip.
The main drawback to fall travel is that the best deals will occur when school is in session, which means the kiddos may have to take a couple days off school and do some homework on the plane.
But Thrapp believes it’s worth it.
“There’s a lot of valuable things you can learn in travel, too,” she said.
You should also check out cruise lines if you’re not interested in flying. Cruises leaving from Galveston tend to be much cheaper in the fall compared to the summer.
We’re told you can find many of these deals on your own online, but consider hiring a travel agent. Many do not charge extra fees so they can do the bargain hunting for you!