What to Know About
Shoulder Season Travel

The summer travel season has come to an end. This means we’re now heading into the shoulder season. If you’re not familiar with the term, for many destinations, shoulder season (in both fall and spring) is the travel period between the peak season (summer) and the off-season (winter). Keep in mind though, that it will sometimes differ between destinations. Shoulder season has its own perks for travelers, with many deals on airfares and hotels now available for some of the world’s most popular travel destinations. So let's take a look at some of those perks!

Shoulder Season Perks

Less Hassle and Fewer Crowds

If you were following the news this past summer, you know flight delays and cancellations wreaked havoc on travelers’ plans. Thankfully, the airlines have been getting things back on track, and travel demand has started to plateau, meaning lines during shoulder travel season won’t be as long as they were during the summer. With fewer people traveling there will also be fewer crowds to contend with, so you’ll have easier access to some of the world’s most famous and popular attractions.

Cheaper Flights

Flight prices skyrocketed by up to 17% in the first quarter of the year, but they’re touching down to a more moderate price point as we head into fall. Your off-season vacation just became much cheaper. Round-trip international airfares for September and October have dropped to an average of $754, down 19% (or $179) from summer prices. So you’ll have more money to spend on fun activities and souvenirs during your vacation.

The Best Shoulder Season Destinations

With the perks of shoulder season available, it’s up to you to decide where you want to enjoy them. So let’s look at a few of the world’s most popular destinations that get a chance to shine during their shoulder seasons.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Shoulder season: March through May; September through October

Iceland has become an incredibly popular destination for vacationers over the past few years, and Reykjavik is one of those reasons. Due to its northern latitude, it has extreme daylight hours during the summer and winter months, but don’t worry, shoulder season travelers, you’ll still have upto 16 hours of daylight to enjoy all of the city’s sights, like walking through the Arbaer Open Air Museum or shopping on Laugavegur.

Barcelona, Spain

Shoulder season: May through June; September

Barcelona is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, becoming incredibly crowded during the peak summer season. While vacationing in the beautiful Spanish city during the shoulder season means that swimming in the Mediterranean might be a little chillier than it would during the summer, you’re also more likely to have the beach to yourself, with the crowds long since dispersed. That also goes for some of the area’s popular attractions, like the Sagrada Familia, which tends to be incredibly crowded during the peak months.

Phuket, Thailand

Shoulder season: April through early May; November

While planning a trip to Phuket can be a little more complicated due to the monsoon season lasting from mid-May to October, it’s more than worth it to visit this tropical paradise. If you can, plan your trip to Thailand during November so that you can take advantage of the Loy Krathong festival, also known as the Thai Festival of Lights. Celebrated throughout Thailand, you’ll get to experience the spectacle of thousands of homemade and decorated small ships as they sail down the rivers and streams throughout the country.

Be Prepared for Shoulder Season

No matter where you travel internationally during the shoulder season, you’re going to need a passport, and for some destinations, a visa as well. That’s where CIBT comes in. For over 50 years we’ve been helping travelers navigate the passport and visa acquisition process, so they can get to where they need to go.

Do you have all of the immigration documents you need for your shoulder season travel? Are they all up to date? Contact us today to talk to one of our experienced immigration specialists who can start the process of getting you the new or renewed passport or visa you’ll need for your trip.

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