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Travel During Shoulder Season to Save Money

Money Tip: Travel to Europe During Shoulder Season

As we've been watching the dollar drown day by day, I've been planning a non-European honeymoon and thanking my lucky stars that the whole world doesn't use the euro. It's obviously dominating the dollar and the currency playing field shows no signs of leveling off anytime soon. So what's a Europe-hungry American to do?

Farecast is a site that generates airfare predictions and advises on whether you should buy now because fares will rise, or wait because they predict fares will drop. It's no secret that Summer is the peak season for European vacations, but if you leave just a month before the season kicks in you could save a few hundred dollars. A search for traveling from New York to Madrid between mid-May and mid-June generated the results above, showing a sharp increase once mid-June rolls around.

The Consumerist reports you'd save about $350 on airfare to Europe if you fly April-May or September-October, and explains that "this is known as shoulder season because the price graph sort of looks like a pair of shoulders, with the Summer peak forming the head."

Join The Conversation
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
I just came back from Italy, Czech, and France yesterday. The airfare wasn't an awful price and especially getting around countries in Europe is affordable with their cheaper airlines like Ryan Air and Sky Europe!
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
The bf and I are planning a trip to Europe (details are still being worked out), and we wanted to be able to save money and not go broke doing it. Thank you Savvy for this great web site.
dannysf dannysf 9 years
I went to Italy last year in the middle of May. The rate was totally affordable and the weather was perfect! I beat the crowds too. Thanks for the advice!
princessjaslew princessjaslew 9 years
its true. and you avoid all the crowds!
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
good info. thanks. my family would like to go to ireland and we were thinking next april which looks like a good time to go to save some money!
randomname12345 randomname12345 9 years
Just a tip for flying to England and other major European destinations: Fares in September are sometimes still quite high because this is when college students leave for study abroad.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
This is great!
cubadog cubadog 9 years
This is the very cool! I will definitely use it.
indielove indielove 9 years
I wanna go to England! Farecast is a good site, by the way.
nancita nancita 9 years
Great tips, and so true! I went to England in November a few years back, and everyone thought I was crazy. But it's so much cheaper, and it wasn't really any colder than SF. :) Also, European museums tend to have more discounts during the "shoulder" season.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
going to england in september to avoid all that tourism stuff!
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