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Traveling This Fall Will Be Your Best Bet For Saving On Flights

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The Perfect Time To Squeeze In A Mexico Or Euro Trip

Good news is finally on the horizon for travelers after flight-finding app Hopper predicted that the price of flights is set to drop as much as 40% in the Fall. Although that figure is mainly geared towards domestic flights, international routes are seeing huge cuts too.

planes at sunset

The prices will be a sigh of relief for millions of tourists currently facing unprecedented surges in the cost of travel. The problems have been multifaceted, with staff shortages, gas prices, and the geopolitical repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine all driving rates sky-high to meet the dramatic surge in demand.

According to Hopper, the average airfare in the United States for a domestic route will run at around $238, down a whopping $142 from the same average in the summer and spring. Many individual routes are seeing prices slashed by as much as $250 to popular cities like San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles.

beach chairs on beach

International flights are expected to run about 20% cheaper, another strong saving compared to the often excessive cost of a round-trip throughout the summer. Some Caribbean routes are seeing drops as large as $460 for roundtrips to places like Grenada, Zurich, and Bali.

Of course, many of you reading this may be hesitant and maybe not even surprised. It’s the Fall; why would you travel during the Fall? And your hesitance is just one of the reasons why it’s the best time to do so.

man in a deckchair

Americans, unlike the rest of the developed world, have far fewer vacation days to use every year, and generally try to use them during the biggest holiday periods, like Christmas and Summer. The winter breaks are usually to escape the cold, while the summer trips are typically just getaways. The Fall and Spring are often neglected, much to the benefit of those who do choose to travel at that time.

Fall and Spring are where the aptly named shoulder season is found. That tiny sweet spot between the crowds departing and the weather turning. Timing vacations for the shoulder season is key for maximum enjoyment of virtually any vacation. 


Take a major destination, like Santorini for example. July and August see its beautiful streets swamped with tourists, with huge lines forming just to take a picture of the landscape. For all its beauty, many leave underwhelmed after missing out on table reservations or fighting to the front of the lines. Combined with the scorching temperatures, it can make for a terrible trip.

Picking a shoulder season date, say around mid-September, could be an amazing choice. The weather is still wonderful but avoids the more aggressive temperatures and the thousands of tourists swarming the town in the middle of summer are long gone. You’re also a little earlier than any October breakers, meaning you’re free to enjoy the town much easier and at your own pace.

santorini busy

Closer to home, Mexico is a prime spot during the shoulder season. Cancun, Tulum, Cabo, and other top destinations in Mexico are still gloriously sunny around this time, with far fewer crowds. It also means you're likely to scoop a better deal on one of the region's world-class resorts.

It's also hurricane season, which means many more people stay away than usual, but as long as you keep an eye on the weather in the weeks leading up to your trip, you'll be fine.

cancun skyline

And that advice doesn’t just stretch to the sunnier destinations. Big city trips like Paris or Barcelona are also served very well by switching to a shoulder season date. Cities are no place to visit in the summer, yet thousands still do, compounding the heat even more. Enjoy the breeze as you waltz into the Louvre without a huge line outside, and enjoy the Mona Lisa without being a sweaty mess.

Package deals are also considerably cheaper around this time. In a study by Priceline back in 2018, the company found that tourists who booked their flights, hotels, ad rental cars as a package saved an average of $240 compared to booking them separately.

paris eiffel tower

Don’t wait until the last minute, though. You may find some bargains, but the bulk of the shoulder season business is done months in advance, as more and more people realize the benefits. Don’t get too concerned about the crowds eventually following though. Remember, the only people really able to take advantage of the shoulder season are empty-nesters, retirees, or remote workers. Everyone else is bound by the school, kids, or other commitments that make it tough to get away during the regular season.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.