If you’re in the beginning stages of planning a trip, you might run into the conundrum of deciding what time of year to book for. Do you book for the tourist season when the weather’s nice but prices are high, or do you book for the off season when the weather is less nice but you can avoid the crowds? The optimal time can be dependent on a multitude of factors, including the climate where you’re going and major events in the calendar. But if you time it just right, you can find a middle-ground to have the optimal travel experience.
What is the Shoulder Season?
The ‘shoulder season’ is the period of time that falls between the peak season and the off season. It can often be an advantageous time to travel, because flights and accommodation are typically cheaper than they would be during the biggest travel times, and you’re less likely to run into crowds. The weather conditions tend to be moderate, and more pleasant than the off season, which tends to be the colder months of the year.
See also: What To Ask When Planning A Skiing Holiday As A Student?
There are some types of vacations where shoulder season is not the optimal time to travel. For example, if you’re aiming for a sunny beach vacation, you won’t want to schedule it for the fall. Equally, if you want to go for a ski vacation, you’re limited by temperature, and you can’t go after the snow has melted. But in general, shoulder season can be an advantageous time to travel, especially on a student budget.
How To Tell When Shoulder Season Is
Shoulder season is different depending on where you are in the world and what the main attractions are. Here is a basic guide for when to aim for booking depending on where you’re going.
If you’re planning a trip to Central Asia, shoulder season is usually July-August when it’s hottest. For Southeast Asia, aim for March to May and November. For West Asia, aim for March to May and September to November.
If you’re going to East Africa, it’s best to go in the fall, usually October-November. North Africa also tends to have its shoulder season in October-November. If you’re traveling to Southern Africa, plan for April and September-October. West Africa is May and October.
If you’re traveling in Europe, you’re likely to get the best rates from March to April and in October.
For a North American trip, aim for March-May and September-November.
If you’re headed to South America, plan for March-May or September-November.
Finally, if you fancy a trip to Australia and New Zealand, travel in February to April or September to December.
See also: Building Up To Solo Travelling Abroad