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The financial perks of off-season travel


Airfare, hotels and even some tourist attractions get pricier during travel high-season, when swarms of tourists fly in from around the world to popular destinations. On the flip side, off-season travel — though it may feature less-than-perfect weather conditions — can let you explore the world without spending a fortune. 

Here’s how:  

AIRFARE PLUMMETS IN THE OFF-SEASON  

Low airfare is just one of the many advantages of off-season travel. But you’ll need to do your research to find when your favorite destinations are in low season. South Florida and Hawaii, for example, remain premier destinations in the spring, when crowds are slightly thinner but the weather is still warm.  

But maybe you’re raring to take the kids out on an adventure over the summer when they’re on break. While summer flight prices are traditionally high, some destinations actually have lower rates during the hotter months of the year. Some typical winter destinations like ski resorts see a dip in foot traffic in the summer but still have a lot to offer visitors when the snow’s melted.  

Even destinations like the Caribbean see a dip in tourism over the summer. If you can handle scorching temperatures, you’re bound to find steep discounts on airfare. For even deeper discounts, keep your travel plans open and run what are called “flexible trip” searches with online travel sites.  

GET LOW-COST LUXURY SEATING ON EMPTY FLIGHTS  

Air New Zealand charges up to $1,500 extra for two passengers in its Economy Skycouch seating. This fee gets you a row of three seats with flip-up footrests and armrests that transforms into a comfy couch.  

While that sounds great, if you arrange for off-season travel, you might not need to pay for better seats. When a long-haul flight is half empty, create your own sky couch by nabbing an empty economy row and a few pillows. You’ll arrive at your destination rested and ready for fun.  

YOU CAN PAY LESS AND STAY LONGER  

It’s common knowledge that hotel rates drop during the low season. And along with scoring hotel rooms for rock-bottom rates, you can often purchase luxury accommodations for less.  

Miami hotels often reduce high-season rates by 50 percent during slow times, according to The New York Times. Additionally, you can snag special deals like free valet service, a fourth night free or a hefty credit toward meals at the hotel restaurant.  

If you’ve been dreaming of taking a vacation to Europe on the cheap, expect to find lower hotel rates from November through March. The cold will be biting, but popular destinations tend to be more affordable, reported USA Today. Travel from mid-June through August, though, and say goodbye to your savings.  

———  

GOBankingRates.com is a leading portal for personal finance news and features, offering visitors the latest information on everything from interest rates to strategies on saving money, managing a budget and getting out of debt.


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