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Shoulder Season Brings Europe Savings

As far as the calendar is concerned, summer is over. Finito. But the upshot is that the shoulder season is now in full swing in places like Europe, and there are great deals out there for travelers.

What’s shoulder season? To put it simply, it’s the period of time between a destination’s peak season and off season—a little “shoulder” of time when the weather can still be pleasant, but the chaotic crowds have thinned. Since fewer travelers means more hotel vacancies, Europe vacation deals start to show up in droves, making overseas travel exceptionally affordable.

Shoulder season in Europe occurs once in spring (April and May) and again in the fall (September and October), but there are exceptions. Paris, for instance, hosts a number of trade shows in September, driving prices up to peak season heights. Beachside cities can have longer peak seasons as well, sometimes extending all the way through October.

Not sure where to spend your “shoulder season”? Fly in for one of Central Europe’s free fall events, browse the open-air markets in Paris, or book a cheap Amsterdam hotel and bike along the canals. Have you autumn itinerary all planned out? Share it in the comments!


Photo: “Channel Tunnel Passport Stamp” by pobrecito33.


My name: Kate Beall

How I earn my keep: Writing for Travelocity.

Best meal I've ever had: There are three: the mofongo at Jimmy'z Kitchen in South Beach, the lomito completo at Fuente Alemana in Santiago, and (for the sheer novelty factor) the cuy chactado in Arequipa, Peru.

First thing I do in a new place: Hit the shower. Anything more than an hour in transit gets me fantasizing about soap.

View that took my breath away: Seeing the endless stretch of the Sierras as I flew in to Reno/Tahoe for the first time. In the winter, it's an aching field of white all the way to the horizon, like a world wiped clean. Looking out at it gives you this unmatched feeling of eternity.

Most challenging travel moment: Sharing a pull-out couch in a cramped New York apartment. The heat wave of 2010 was in full, humid swing and the air conditioning was D.O.A. There was nothing to do but soak your clothes in the sink and hope to pass out before they dried. ...then wake up in an hour and do it all again.

Favorite way to get around: On foot. I'm still working on the motorcycle license.

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