September marks the start of deal season when it comes to travel, particularly for anyone who doesn’t have school age children.
"If you don't have kids or are retired or an empty nester or if your kids are under school age, right now is a good time to find deals in very popular destinations," says Andrew Young, editorial director for Travelzoo.
This is shoulder season and prices are lower than they are during summer’s peak but the weather is still pleasant and the crowds are smaller, especially at the big tourist destinations, Young says. While September offers the best combination of summer weather and fall pricing, some of the deals will continue throughout the fall until late November and mid-December.
Cruise ships for example, are not as full right now and the crowds are more adults-only than families. Sailing to the Caribbean will also save you some cash since it is hurricane season. But for the lowest cruise pricing all year, look to travel during the window between Thanksgiving and Christmas when prices can drop to less than $100 per person per day even for ocean view or balcony cabins. Popular beach destinations such as Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach cost 50 to 60 percent less for midweek stays than they would during peak summer travel.
Airfares too will be lower than normal. Fall fare sales are happening now and airlines, Young says. Carriers like Frontier and Southwest generally offer discounts on fall travel though prices vary depending on the destination.
The one exception to the fall travel rule? Hitting major cities on weekdays during convention season. For travel to cities like New York, Washington, D.C. or Chicago, plan to visit on the weekend when business travel dies down.
Here are Travelzoo’s 9 tips for an affordable fall vacation:
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