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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!