"Shoulder" Season? What is it, and why should I travel then?
Updated: Feb 24
Shoulder season is the time between peak and off-peak season when tourism at a destination is not at its highest. These are usually when the weather conditions may not be favorable or between festivals and worldwide holidays. The shoulder season mainly falls during spring and fall because schools and colleges are in session and do not offer days off. Tourism during this time is slow, and many people consider this the best time to jet off to check countries off their travel bucket list. Keep reading to find out why traveling during shoulder season is a good idea!
When budgeting for a vacation, one of the major expenses is the tickets. Airfares tend to take a massive chunk out of one's holiday fund. Tickets are 23% cheaper during shoulder season, which means not only does one save money on airfare, there is also more money left over to have fun during the much-needed respite. This difference in ticket prices is the most obvious during Christmas when the fares are at their highest and see a drastic decrease during the first week of January.
Getting a reservation at a top restaurant or booking a coveted resort often becomes impossible during peak seasons. Not only do the hotels and restaurants charge exorbitant sums during this time, but they are also often overrun with guests and fully booked. Traveling during shoulder seasons allows one to secure a stay at even the top resorts at affordable rates. Tourism destinations operate according to supply and demand. Since the demand falls during this time, the supply becomes more accessible. I can't think of a better time to try a Michelin Star restaurant.
No Offseason Closures
Many popular tourist spots around the United States board up during the offseason. The weather is often not favorable to provide the services when tourist influx is low. Cold regions are usually closed off due to snow and roadblocks. Slippery ice causes most trails to close, and most roads become inaccessible. Visiting just before the offseason will allow tourists to experience the beauty of every location without having to worry about natural disasters and catastrophes, with fewer tourists everywhere.
Experience The Local Events
Getting tickets to local events is virtually impossible during peak season. Not only do the locals rush to concerts and festivals, but the masses of tourists also scramble for entry. Such events can quickly become a site of tragedy if the authorities do not take proper measures to ensure the safety of people. Additionally, the tickets are expensive and rarely available. Since most location managers want year-round crowds, one can easily get access and attend fun events during shoulder season.
Eat Where You Want
Most high-end restaurants and fine dining options are booked way in advance, especially during peak season. If one decides to go last minute, tourists will have booked most of these eateries. When one travels during shoulder season, the restaurants operate at a similar capacity without a great demand. When you visit a destination during spring or fall, there is a better chance to experience the local cuisine and dine at famous cafes and bistros, which would not be an option during peak season.
Hotels and resorts offering shuttle services or buses to coveted tourism destinations are filled with tourists during peak season. Even getting a taxi to the airport can be challenging during busy times, and the fares are high. Such issues are minimized and often eliminated during shoulder season, and one can easily travel between locations and visit famous landmarks without having to battle hordes of tourists.
Give me a call and I can let you know when "Shoulder Season" is for YOUR destination!