Three Spots for Great Deals During Shoulder Season


Shoulder season is that magical time between peak and off-peak seasons. This is the ideal time for good deals because tourist businesses stay open, but offer lower rates to attract more customers. Each of these destinations offers ideal seasonal opportunities to take an incredible vacation for less.

Orlando — May and September 

Theme park resorts are at their busiest whenever kids get a break from school, and that means summer, spring break, fall break and holiday seasons are usually slammed. May and September are ideal times for families (and adults) to visit Orlando and its many theme parks because these shoulder months fall right before and after the summer high season. In addition to hotel and restaurant rate discounts, some major parks might even offer seasonal ticket discounts, making your whole vacation more affordable overall.

Las Vegas — May, September, and November  

Vegas tends to be at its busiest during fall and winter, with the ultra-hot summer months making up the “off season,” if you can call it that. Keep in mind that Las Vegas is one of the busiest tourist destinations on the planet, so “peak” and “off” mean different things here. Still, while shoulder season in Vegas is relative, it is a great time to find deals on hotels, especially if you avoid weekends, which tend to be the priciest time to visit Sin City. Casino resorts in Vegas tend to just want to get you in the door, so they’re not shy about cutting prices when they have empty rooms to spare. You might even be able to negotiate your way into a luxe room upgrade for a shoulder season weekday.

Myrtle Beach — April and May 

Summer and spring break are Myrtle Beach’s time to shine, but the little shoulder season in between is your golden opportunity to take a seaside vacation for less. Aim for late April to avoid the spring break crowds, or focus on the entire month of May, which tends to be sunny, warm and relatively quiet. Expect deals on hotel rooms, restaurant dining, and even ocean excursions such as boat rentals or fishing trips. Traveling to Myrtle Beach during its springtime shoulder season is smart not only for the deals, but because you’ll avoid hurricane season, a definite plus to your family vacation.

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