The European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET) defines traveling off-peak as "traveling outside rush-hours to avoid overcrowding in public means of transport." This sounds all too simple and as we might expect - easier said than done.
For both air and car travel, avoid the crowds by traveling during the week, especially from Tuesday through Thursday. An added bonus is that airfares for travel Tuesday through Thursday are usually cheaper.
Mid-morning and late afternoon flights tend to be less crowded, plus you can really avoid commute traffic during this time. This site also offers the load on late-night flights (also known as red-eye flights for obvious reasons): these flights can help you avoid traffic but it's only effective if you can sleep sitting up-right on a plane!
And did you know that traveling off-peak means traveling during holidays (not before or after) when airfares are lower and there's less road traffic?
Some of the most affordable travel deals of the year can be found in the fall. If you find super off-peak dates that fall between major holidays, strike while the iron is hot. Book immediately with your discount travel broker. Never hesitate!
One great example of saving money by traveling off-peak is flying to the Caribbean during the North American winter months rather than during summer. You might say what's the point in going to the Caribbean in winter when you're going there to savor the beaches? But the fact is, there is hardly such a thing as winter in the Caribbean as it stays warm most of the year. In fact, it's not a good idea to fly there during the peak season (I.e., summer months) as this is the period when the hurricanes usually come.
By traveling off-peak, not only will you get cheaper flights and accommodations. You will also gain a difference perspective on travel - especially the added advantage of enjoying your dream destinations without huddling with the masses of tourists during holidays.
It also helps to subscribe to online newsletters of discount air travel brokers such as Jestgo or WesJet. By having yourself included in these companies' mailing list, you can get your hands on off-peak travel promotions faster than those who didn't. So you see, it's not just the air miles!
Finally, book your flight early to secure the most gains from traveling off-peak. One year's planning can certainly help you reap the reward of the cheapest airfares possible! On the other hand, booking last minute can also have its rewards. If you're the kind who can leave at a moment's notice, you can save a lot from last-minute flights and accommodations. After all, airlines and hotels would rather greatly discount their seats and rooms than leave them empty!
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