Usually, people plan their travelling according to the holidays they can get. Most of the time, it is during a vacation where schools & colleges are closed. And this is the season when everybody is heading to all kinds of destinations. Yes, I am talking about the peak season or high season.
But there is something called as shoulder season which comes twice a year in most of the destinations.
This is the period between the end of the low season and the beginning of the high season and similarly, between the end of the high season and the beginning of the low season.
It’s usually around 3 to 4 weeks.
For example, if you wish to visit Europe, the season usually starts at the beginning of May and goes up to the 2nd week of September.
What I usually do is, I always go to Europe either in April or at the end of September. Usually, it’s a one month trip. And I’ve been five times during my globetrotting journey of 47 countries so far.
So the question is why travel Shoulder Season? Why not the regular season.
There are three reasons.
1) If you go before the high season starts, the things & places, in general, are clean and polished and waiting for the arrival of the tourists. No, I don’t mean that they are dirty before that. But the tourism authority and the property owners like hotels, restaurants and bars and others are preparing to give their best to their customers. Things are polished and new. Not just the pillows, covers and bed-sheets, but I am talking about everything in general. It could be sanitation, road conditions in the remote areas, vehicle conditions, air quality, non-availability of the seasoned fruits and vegetables which affects the local cuisine and lot more.
But if you go after the season, things are used or utilised heavily, having gone through wear and tear.
The energy is low; everybody has worked hard in the high season for those 4 to 5 months are exhausted. They want to take a break go home and have their holiday.
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2) Because the season is yet to start, the prices are little on the lower side, the same if you go after the high season.
But if you go before or after the shoulder season, which is entirely off-season, then again the prices will be really low.
3) During the High season, there is always rush at worship places like temples with long queues. Places like museums, lakeside, squares, centres and view points becomes more crowded.
But if you go in the shoulder season, people are just arriving or may start coming in a couple of weeks.
All in all, the prices of everything is high in the high season, and little less on the shoulder season, that means you can again save a good amount of money.
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By the way, I once went to Europe in off Season that was London in December to enjoy the Christmas. The prices of everything was so low that I booked my air ticket from London (Gatwick Airport) to Dublin at just Rs. 600. And again from Dublin to Luxembourg (Frankfurt Hahn Airport) at just Rs. 850
I always choose a shoulder season to travel everywhere. It not only saved money but kept me away from the crowd.