Home Travel & Leisure Culture Shoulder Season: Perfect Vacation Time

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Story by: Kelly Potts

Between Labor Day and Thanksgiving is a period that has been coined by the travel industry as “shoulder season.” It’s the time of year between high and low season, which makes for an ideal time to get away, according to travel experts. During this time of year, airfares and hotel rates are typically less expensive because travel numbers tend to be lower. According to AAA Arizona travel experts, amazing vacation specials become available during the six-to-eight week period after Labor Day but before Thanksgiving. Here are a few shoulder season travel options to consider:

  • The Caribbean: From white to black sand, the Caribbean is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Travelers from across the globe journey to the Caribbean islands for sun, snorkeling, and surf. The disclaimer: shoulder season falls during hurricane season, so be sure to buy travel insurance and make sure it covers trip plans that get interrupted by a storm – not all policies do.
  • Repositioning Cruise: When a cruise line needs to move its ship to a port of call that is on the opposite side of the world – often in a location that is experiencing a different season from the current port of call – it will create a repositioning cruise. Travelers can take advantage of prices that are less expensive than traditional cruises because more of the days are spent only at sea.
  • Southern California: One of Arizonan’s favorite destinations year round is a great place to find shoulder season deals. If you want to avoid summer crowds and peak rates at hotels and resorts, visit during shoulder season. In addition to promising fewer lines at popular theme parks and attractions, this time of year also brings beautiful fall foliage to many parts of the Golden State. It also coincides with “crush” or grape harvest time, which makes for an ideal time to visit the state’s wine regions.

If you’re a planner, shoulder season is also the best time to book and save on trips for 2016, according to travel experts. In the end, traveling during shoulder season can help you save hundreds of dollars. For more information, visit AAA.com/travel.