Top 6 Shoulder Season Budget Travel Destinations

Most travelers take their vacations during high season – the summer months of June, July and August are particularly popular for most destinations in the northern hemisphere. But there are great deals to be had if you choose to vacation in shoulder season – that period between low season and high – when the crowds are much smaller and the accommodation (and sometimes even local restaurants) are nicely priced. Here are a few of our top picks for Spring!

Belize

belize
Belize is a fantastic bargain for U.S. travelers, from November to April. Put San Ignacio on your itinerary – it’s a stone’s throw from the Green Iguana Conservation Project and there are a ton of resorts to relax in. The Placencia Penninsula is a must-visit if a beach hang is on your radar. From jungles to water sports and colorful culture, Belize is an amazing place to explore.
Insider Tip: Your money goes further in Belize – currently the exchange rate is very favorable to the U.S. dollar.
Hotels: The Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza has rooms for less than $100*/night.
Flights: Flights on United from New York for $504 and from Los Angeles on American for $412.**

New Orleans, Louisiana

new orleans, louisiana
New Orleans is a traveler’s dream, especially if partying on a budget is up your alley. Once Mardi Gras is over, New Orleans hotel rates go way down, and spring is a great time to visit before the summer heat rolls in. Don’t miss the world-class dining and music scene.
Insider Tip: There’s way more to New Orleans than the French Quarter, Venture outside the tourist center to get to know a few other local neighborhoods. Try the Tremé for the food and music and the Garden District for a leisurely walk amongst the old mansions and gardens. There’s a lot to see.
Hotels: The 4-star Hotel Pavillon has rooms for $150*/night.
Flights: Nonstop flights from Chicago on Spirit for just $142 and from Seattle for $206.**

China

the great wall of china
Spring is the optimal time of year to visit China. Peak season doesn’t start until June, so the value is real. We adore the lighter crowds and the perfect weather—there isn’t a better time to visit the Great Wall and sights of Shanghai.
Insider Tip: Skip Chinese Labor Day holiday week (the first week in May) when the number of Chinese tourists will rival those of foreigners at other times of the year.
Hotels: the 5* Radisson Blu in Shanghai has rooms starting at $190*/night.
Flights: Nonstop flights from San Francisco on United for $648 and connecting flights from Newark on Alaska/Hainan from $505.**

Washington, D.C.

washington, dc
Most of the sights in Washington, D.C. are 100% free and spring is hands down the best time to visit. Summer still sees the bulk of the tourist crowds, so keep it under your hats if you make the trip in springtime. The weather is perfect and the blooming cherry blossoms are a stunning bonus for visitors.
Insider Tip: Prioritize. The city is enormous and the number of things to do can be positively overwhelming. Choose your top must-see sights and then fill the others in where you can. Do not try to do everything. It’s important that you allot enough time to each visit – there’s so much to soak in.
Hotels: The Kimpton Hotel Palomar has rooms in April for $219*/night.
Flights: Miami to Baltimore (BWI) nonstop on American for $139 and from Dallas on Spirit for just $117.**

Israel

jerusalem, israel
If you’ve been fantasizing about a trip to Israel, the springtime is a better time to score reasonable hotel and flights. You can avoid the high temperatures of the summer as you visit some of the incredible sights and as a bonus, late in the season you’ll even see some beach weather come into play.
Insider Tip: Divide your time. Tel Aviv is a modern, cosmopolitan city. Take some time to explore it. We know that most people coming to visit want to spend their time in the ancient cities but we think Tel Aviv sometimes gets short shrift from visitors.
Hotels: The Diaghilev Live Art Suites Hotel has rooms for $246*/night.
Flights: Flights on Turkish Air from JFK for around $800 and from Miami on Delta for $638.**

Honolulu, Hawaii

honolulu, hawaii
If you’ve ever traveled to Hawaii, you can confirm that there is no bad time to go to Hawaii. You might also have felt the sticker shock 0 Hawaii is expensive! One time of year that has fewer tourists and better deals is the spring (winter and summer get the peak airfares and hotel room costs.
Insider Tip: If you’re on a budget, skip going “beach-front view- these rooms are always much more expensive.” Most hotels in Hawaii are a short walk from pristine beaches – unless you can really afford to splash out, save your dough for dining and activities.
Hotels: The 3-star Vive Hotel Waikiki is a kicky little budget hotel with rooms from $171*/night.
Flights: Nonstop flights from Los Angeles on Hawaiian for $417 and from Phoenix on American for just under $500.**

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**Fares include taxes and fees and are valid as of 3/27/18 on select dates between 04/01/18 and 05/31/18. Lowest fare seats are capacity controlled and may not be available on every airline, flight, or date. Fares subject to change without notice.

 

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