Any season is a good time to travel. With almost 200 countries located on seven different continents there’s bound to be an ideal locale to pay a visit any time of the year. Even so, there are still places like the Caribbean and Australia that are almost always perfect year round—if that’s your cup of tea. But if you’re more of a budget conscience traveler and determine possible trips based on price then rejoice! Fall is great for travel savings.

Fall is off-season for many Destinations

As summer draws to an end, many popular tourist destinations are also prepping for off-season. This means places will likely drop prices to give travelers a reason to come visit. Keep an eye out for beach destinations that are likely to be less populated in September and October when school and work have usually just commenced. Southern Florida cities like Orlando and Miami are great destinations year round, but even better places to visit in the fall when large crowds of families and vacationers are gone. Cities that experience colder weather during fall and winter (with the exception of NYC) are often cheaper and less crowded, too. Consider Boston or Washington D.C., which both offer great activities and attractions at a reasonable if not free price tag.

Fly frugally in the Fall

Known in the travel industry as the shoulder season, fall and winter boasts savings on flights up to 50 percent. The savings typically begin in late August and carry through until early December when prices rise back up due to supply and demand. If you have specific travel dates in mind, consider booking them about 300 days beforehand to maximize your savings, as flights are usually at their cheapest when bought this early in advance.

Save on Hotels

Along with great savings on flights, hotels also experience price drops during the fall season with their unused inventory. Since crowds are less likely to occur in the fall and winter, hotels use price drops to appeal to potential travelers. Oftentimes, these savings are acquired through direct inquiry. This usually means picking up the phone and calling the hotel directly as these promotional savings won’t be advertised online or through other booking sites. Usually they’ll offer up to an extra 20 percent in savings.

Take advantage of international Travel

European destinations like Rome and London are usually packed with tourists who flock during the spring and summer months. But these destinations are exponentially cheaper and less crowded in the fall and winter. If you don’t mind the drop in temperature and the occasional chance of snow flurries, you’ll be rewarded with less crowds and shorter lines for popular attractions giving you a more rewarding experience. After all, a quiet stroll through the deserted streets of Ancient Rome with a hot coffee in hand sounds quite nice.

Regardless, if you’re a seasoned or novice traveler, fall is an ideal time to consider planning for a trip. The affordable prices will save you money and the minimal crowds will offer a richer experience. And if you haven’t started, all these savings might just convince you to finally get a head start on traveling. Because if not now, then when?

Jacksonville Business Journal