Home Travel An expert reveals why traveling during the “shoulder season” will save you hundreds of dollars, but you should book your flights NOW

An expert reveals why traveling during the “shoulder season” will save you hundreds of dollars, but you should book your flights NOW

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For those looking to score a bargain on their next vacation, travel experts say the

Those looking to score a bargain holiday should act now, experts say, as one of the cheapest times of the year to travel approaches.

Jesse Neugarten, founder and CEO of the subscription site Dollar Flight ClubHe told DailyMail.com that “shoulder seasons” are the most cost-effective times to travel and generally refer to the “periods between peak and off-peak times, when destinations are less crowded and travel costs are generally lower.”

And he adds an example: “In Europe, this usually happens in late spring (April to early June) and early fall (September to October), when the weather is usually still great without the high prices and large crowds of peak season.”

To get the best deals, Neugarten recommends booking at least three months in advance, “which means if you’re looking for summer off-peak deals where you can save 30 percent, now is the time to book.”

When asked how much travelers can save, Neugarten says it can be up to 25 percent.

For those looking to score a bargain on their next vacation, travel experts say the “shoulder season” is the best time to score rock-bottom prices (file image)

The travel expert explains: ‘People can save a significant amount of money during the shoulder season.

‘At Dollar Flight Club, we’ve seen our members score deals like round-trip flights to Europe for under $400 and domestic flights within the U.S. for as low as $176.

‘On average, prices are about 15 percent cheaper when considering routes from the US to Europe during the off-peak season, but can be up to 25 percent cheaper on particular routes such as New York to London, Paris or Barcelona.’

To score the best deals for the upcoming shoulder season, read on for five of Neugarten’s top price-saving tips.

1. Plan your trip in advance

Start your search several months in advance to get early deals, Neugarten warns, and recommends booking at least three months in advance.

According to data from Dollar Flight Club, travelers who book three to four months in advance tend to find deals up to 30 percent cheaper than those who book at the last minute near shoulder season dates.

Neugarten adds: “For example, we’ve seen members get round-trip flights from the Northeast to Europe for under $400 by booking in advance during this period.”

2. Be flexible if you can


“Shoulder season” varies by destination, but generally refers to the “periods between peak and off-peak times” (stock image)

“Flexibility in travel dates and destinations significantly increases the chances of finding cheaper flights,” says the travel professional.

Continuing the theme, he says, ‘Instead of focusing on a specific destination, keep your mind open to new places you haven’t explored yet.

‘We’ve seen members who are flexible with their travel dates save an average of 20-25 percent on flights.

‘For example, one member recently saved $350 on a flight to Italy by changing her departure date just four weeks.’

3. Consider nearby airports

On the topic of flexibility, Neugarten says that sometimes flying to or from a nearby airport can be significantly cheaper.

She says on the subject: ‘Don’t be afraid to drive a little further to a different airport.

‘For example, flying from Newark instead of JFK can save you up to $100 on a domestic flight and typically allows travelers to save an average of 10 to 15 percent on their airfare.’

4. Use rate alerts

Sign up for free flight alerts from Dollar Flight Club or use tools like Hopper.com to receive information on optimal booking times and notifications of price drops.

Neugarten reveals that Dollar Flight Club alerts have “helped members find deals like a $122 roundtrip from New York to LAX and a $350 roundtrip from the Northeast to Paris during this year’s shoulder season.”

5. Book directly with the airlines

“Airlines occasionally offer exclusive deals on their websites that are not available through third-party booking sites,” Neugarten says.

In addition to going directly to airlines, she says it’s important to “keep an eye out for points and miles deals during the shoulder season, as they can offer substantial savings.”

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