7 On Your Side: Tips for travel during 'shoulder season'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- If you're depressed about summer ending, don't despair. Now is a great time to plan a trip to popular places with less crowds and save money.

It's 'shoulder season', the time between a destination's low and high tourist season. The kids are back in school, crowds are smaller and prices for hotel and air to certain spots get slashed.

The upcoming shoulder season will offer gentler prices from September through October until holiday travel before Thanksgiving picks up.

"Shoulder season can mean great deals, especially this year," says travel expert Pauline Frommer of the Frommer Travel guides, partially because the dollar is so strong against other currencies.

"The Argentinian peso is tanking, the Mexican peso is low against the dollar " said Frommer.

That means you will get more bang for your buck in London. Right now the dollar is averaging $1.30 to the British pound.

"Not long ago it was $1.50, so that's a significant savings," Pauline said. You'll also find great value in Canada, where a buck is worth $1.30 Canadian.

"Which means everything in Canada is 30 percent off!" says Frommer, She said Montreal's Parisian vibe, Vancouver's Asian food scene and Banff's natural scenery are best bets during shoulder season.

Researchers with the price tracking app 'Hopper' found a significant drop to European cities. "We see travel to Europe discounted up to 36 percent in September and October," said economist Hayley Berg. "Travel to South America is discounted 10 percent."

Travel to the southwest also drops before the holidays, and getting to Hawaii just got cheaper too. "Because Southwest Airlines has now started flying to Hawaii and anytime Southwest comes into a market all the prices drop," explained Frommer.

Traditionally this is also a great time to save setting sail.

"It's never been a better time to take a cruise, cruise prices are tanking," said Pauline, adding that the abrupt cancellation of cruises to Cuba by the Trump Administration has cruise lines scrambling to fill cabins. Combined with re-routing around Hurricane Dorian and the devastation reaped on the Bahamas, prices are bottoming out to Florida and the Caribbean.

"If you are going to those areas, get insurance, or better yet book for November," said Frommer. "The hurricane season will have passed by then but you'll still have hurricane season pricing."
If you're planning travel during shoulder season here are some more tips.

-Insurance is a MUST. Read policies carefully and know what you're covered for before you buy.

-Track prices, book quickly. Sign up for alerts and if you see something you like, go for it because airfares will start creeping up about $8 every day.

-Prices peak for 'Leaf Peeping'. Hotel prices in seasonal spots to see the leaves change will peak during fall, so don't expect to save money - although that's a great fun getaway.


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