Many travelers plan their trips abroad during the peak or busy seasons of summer and winter. This can be fun for those much needed vacations of water skiing and snow boarding, but just because the seasons end does not mean that adventure seekers need to pack up those passports. Why? That little known period in between the great travel months, known as shoulder season, has become one of the best and most economical times of the year to travel.  

Peak season travel commonly equates to travel delays, higher priced flights, accommodations and longer waits in lines. Traveling abroad during the summer or winter holidays may cost more and ultimately cause travelers to miss out on unique getaways and less crowded destinations. 

One way to reduce these issues during travel is to opt to visit destinations during shoulder season. This is the time period between a destination’s peak tourist season and off season, which is described as a downward dip (and metaphorically, from your head to your shoulder) in travel and tourism. The season varies widely, depending on the region, and can span from weeks to months. Typically, the months most associated with shoulder season are March through April and then later in the year, September through October.

Here are four reasons why shoulder season is the best time period for travel. 

The Weather Is Better During Shoulder Season

The weather is an important factor to picking when to travel. During the shoulder season, travelers will experience cooler and pleasant temperatures.

Although the summer season is best for tropical vacations and travelers who prefer the heat over the cold, there are also perks to traveling during the shoulder season. After the month of October, some vacation destinations become a great deal cooler in temperature (destinations like Europe). Opting to travel during this time, around fall, is ideal for those who want to avoid the craziness and smoldering heat of summer. 

Shoulder Season Means Less Tourists and More Locals 

Tourists can experience less tourists in the shoulder season and more satisfaction with their experiences.

During times when crowds are high, like June through August for the United States and all over Europe, travelers will notice that heavy tourism areas are filled with — well, lots of tourists. In the shoulder season though, because it is technically an in-between point of peak and off-seasons, travelers will experience less delays and an overall less bustling environment since the volume of people is lower. With locals being the highest population, cultural hubs flourish and visitors can enjoy the destination more freely. 

More Open Availability for Activities and Reservations

Excursions and accommodations will have more availability during the shoulder season.

No more waiting in extremely long lines or dealing with months of booked up excursions. Since the shoulder season gets less attention from travelers and tourists, expect plenty of options in things to do during your visit. While having a travel agent or coach will help with this aspect of travel, being selective about when you travel is important. Travelers may even notice deals and packages for tourist activities during the shoulder season that are meant to increase volume to the area during the downward dip. 

Most Important: Shoulder Season Equals Affordable Prices 

The price is right for travel during shoulder season, when flights and accommodations have significantly lower prices.

The prices of flights and accommodations during shoulder season is a great perk. Budget conscious travelers can book trips during this time with an estimated 20 percent decrease in domestic flights and 15 percent decrease in international flights. As temperatures fall, so do prices, so fall has become the new, best season for affordable travel.