EXPERT REVEALS WHY TRAVELING DURING THE 'SHOULDER SEASON' WILL SAVE YOU HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS - BUT YOU HAVE TO BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS NOW

  • Jesse Neugarten is the founder and CEO of subscription site Dollar Flight Club 
  • She says the 'shoulder season' varies depending on the destination 
  • Flights should be booked three months in advance for the best deals 

Those looking to bag a bargain break should act now, experts say, with one of the cheapest times of year to travel on the horizon.

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

Offering an example, she adds: 'In Europe, this typically happens in late spring (April to early June) and early autumn (September to October), where the weather is usually still great without the high prices and large crowds of peak season.'

In a bid to get the best deals, Neugarten recommends booking at least three months in advance, 'which means that if you are looking for end of summer shoulder season deals where you can save 30 per cent, now is the time to book.'

Quizzed on how much travelers can save, Neugarten says it can be as much as 25 per cent.

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

'At Dollar Flight Club, we've seen our members score deals, such as 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 per cent cheaper when looking at U.S. to Europe routes during the off-season but can be up to 25 per cent cheaper on particular routes such as NYC to London, Paris, or Barcelona.'

To secure the best deals for the upcoming shoulder season, read on for five of Neugarten's top price-savvy tips.

 

1. Plan your travel in advance

Begin your search several months in advance to catch early bird deals, Neugarten warns, and she recommends booking at least three months prior. 

According to Dollar Flight Club data, travelers who book three to four months in advance tend to find deals that are up to 30 per cent cheaper than those who book last minute around shoulder season dates. 

Neugarten adds: 'For instance, we've seen members secure round-trip flights from the Northeast to Europe for under $400 by booking early during this period.'

 

2. Be flexible if you can

'Flexibility with travel dates and destinations significantly increases your chances of finding cheaper flights,' the travel pro notes.

Continuing on the topic, she says: 'Instead of focusing on one specific destination, keep an open mind for new places you haven't explored yet.

'We have seen members who are flexible with their travel dates save an average of 20 per cent to 25 per cent on flights. 

'For example, a member recently saved $350 on a flight to Italy by shifting their departure date by just four weeks.'

 

3. Consider nearby airports

On the subject of flexibility, Neugarten says sometimes flying into or out of 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 out of Newark instead of JFK can save you up to $100 on a domestic flight and typically saves travelers an average of 10 per cent to 15 per cent on their airfare.' 

 

4. Use fare alerts

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

Neugarten reveals that Dollar Flight Club alerts have 'helped members find deals such as $122 round-trip from NYC to LAX and $350 round-trip from the Northeast to Paris during shoulder season this year.'

 

5. Book directly with airlines

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

Along with going directly to airlines, she says its important to 'keep an eye on points and miles deals during shoulder season, as they can offer substantial savings.'

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2024-07-08T18:58:45Z dg43tfdfdgfd