The Cheapest Times to Visit Popular Summer Destinations from The Cheapest Times to Visit Popular Summer Destinations
The Cheapest Times to Visit Popular Summer Destinations
Save a bundle this summer by avoiding the peak times at your dream destinations. The high season for the sun-drenched Spanish steps in Rome or Main Street in Disneyland may be too expensive at the apex of summer for any real fun. Waiting until things cool down, both weather-wise and price-wise, could save you enough money to go all out on a great hotel, cheap airfare, and fun activities.
Whether you’re going on a road trip, flying across the country, or headed to another continent you’ll want to know the cheapest times to fly or book a hotel at those destinations.
The Active Times has compiled a list of popular summer destinations and the cheapest times to go or book hotels there. Many of these fabulous locales are cheaper in the summer and would make for the perfect solo or family getaway. Check out the cheapest times to visit popular summer destinations and figure out your late summer, fall, winter, and spring travel plans ASAP.
Try to book your Barcelona adventure for the months of May, June, and September. The weather is still warm, and, according to Eurocheapo, the tickets are at some of their cheapest. The most inexpensive months to visit are October, November, and February, but at those times it’s too cold to swim in the Mediterranean… so basically not worth it. Spend a little extra cash for that early and late summer sun!
The best time to visit Boston is in July. Surprisingly, the Fourth of July has some of the cheapest flights and hotel prices during this peak summer month. Celebrate our country by visiting some of the most historic revolutionary war sites in Bean Town.
Summer is the absolute most expensive time to visit Chicago. Airfares to and hotel prices in the Second City (that’s second to none) skyrocket during the summer months. The cheapest time to visit is actually in January, when this gorgeous lakeside city is blanketed in lush white snow. Don’t be afraid of the temps. Chicago is full of stick-to-your-ribs food that will keep your tummy warm and happy as the summer sun.
March through June is when the island has temperatures around 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Winters are a bit cooler, with temperatures around 70 degrees. You may want to avoid the rainy season, which falls between late summer and early fall, as hurricanes are a possibility. The short summer season — and best time to go — is March to June.
You can expect low hotel rates and fewer crowds in September and October. Everybody loves to visit Crete in summer, which means the months between May and August are when you’ll see the biggest crowds. Average temperatures rest in the low 70s and 80s. Temperatures in March and April are around the low 60s, but prices are down and crowds are smaller.
The best time to visit California’s Disneyland is in September when the majority of kids have gone back to school. Going at peak times — like June, July, and December — is definitely something not to do on a Disney Vacation. Hotel prices dip for the season in September, and the parks will also be a heck of a lot less crowded than they would be over summer when everyone is out for break.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
You’ll be happy you visited the Grand Canyon in January as opposed to June. Not only is summer in Arizona a total scorcher, but ticket prices during the season are high and hotels will gouge you during tourist season. January is the perfect time to visit the U.S. attraction, because you won’t have to suffer the crowds or the high prices.
Grand Cayman Islands
Avoid the peak winter period, from mid-December to mid-April if you want to save money and not encounter so many people everywhere you go. Christmastime and mid-February (especially around Presidents' Day weekend) are also very busy. The off-season on the islands is from mid-April to mid-December. This is when beaches are less crowded and you can get good deals.
Any month is a great time to visit any of the Hawaiian islands. However, if you want to avoid the crowds as much as possible, it may be wise to stay away after the second half of December through February. Crowds are very low until approximately December 20, then very high through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The same applies to February around Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day. The off-peak season, so to speak, lasts between September and November.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Key West, Florida
The ultimate summer spot is Key West, and the best time to visit is in August. It’s actually more expensive to come in November, so don’t try it as a winter getaway. Come when the weather is brutally hot and the airfare is as cool as it will ever be. Gobankingrates.com says the average flight is around $400 at this time. Chill out in the stunning blue water or check out any of the many restaurants, bars, and cafés favored by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams in the Keys.
Visit LA in January. Not only will the temps be somewhere in the 70 to 80 range, but ticket prices drop tremendously, as do hotel rates. Stroll down Rodeo Drive for some swanky shopping, knowing you only dropped around $200 on a hotel (the average nightly rate in January according to Travel + Leisure).
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
This monument receives more than 3 million visitors every year, and the prices go up from January to March. The thriftiest time to visit is the last month of the year, when hotels average $151.33 a night.
Niagara Falls, New York
It may be a bit chilly, but February is the best time to stop by Niagara Falls. According to travel websites like Kayak and Orbitz, hotels average $50 a night in February — as opposed to July, when prices skyrocket. Stay warm by checking out Clifton Hill with its themed restaurants, rides, and nightlife.
Boutique hotels and B&Bs offer super-low rates all summer to attract tourists to this colorful Mexican town. Guided tours even offer packages that take you through the city and to day trips to nearby locations with stunning landscapes, or to cooking classes, and depending on when you go — even festivals.
The period from November to February is the nicest time to be in Phuket, because of the weather —the rainy season ends just before this time. It’s also the busiest time for tourists to go on vacations on the island. December is the coolest month, and February is the driest. The hottest months are March to mid-May. Monsoon season, when prices are very low, lasts from May to October. Although it will rain, the island seldom sees several days in a row of heavy rains.
Head to Rome in September. All the locals will have returned from their August summer fêtes by then, and the throngs of tourists will be long gone. The average night at a four-star hotel in room is $131 during September, which means you’ll have extra cash to spend on pasta, pizza, and gelato.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico needs tourists more than ever after Hurricane Maria. A lot of their economy is stimulated by tourism. Currently the most cost-effective time to visit is from April to June when temperatures are in the mid-80s. This American territory has tons of familiar affordable hotel chains as well as several boutique hotels that have docked prices to entice visitors.