Shoulder season travel bargains

Between peak travel months and annual periods of bad weather lies the bargain traveler's holy grail: the shoulder season. 

Timing your vacation just right is a great way to save money, avoid huge crowds and find greater access to hotel rooms, Travel and Leisure explained. For warm weather travelers, fall is a great time to set up a vacation. The throngs of tourists will be elsewhere, and the locals will be more relaxed following another exhausting travel season. 

The shoulder season is perfect for catching deals you won't see at any other point during the year. In order to learn more about seeking out these price-saving travel opportunities, read the advice below:

1. One-way car rentals
Usually one-way vehicle rentals come with an extra fee - sometimes up to $250, according to Time. While the lack of a return trip may be burdensome for rental companies most of the year, during the fall many businesses are relocating their inventory to adjust to the changing seasons. Because of this, often during autumn rental companies will waive the fee, and even offer discounts, for one-way trips. Companies shifting their inventories from summer destinations such as New England to cold-weather vacation spots like Arizona will be glad to have you transport their product for them. 

2. Cruise ships
Vehicle rental companies aren't the only travel businesses repositioning during the shoulder season. Cruise lines are also offering discounts as they move their vessels to new ports in order to adapt to the changing vacation season. These cruise trips, similar to car rentals, are usually one-way trips.

This season, most vessels are leaving cold weather travel destinations such as Boston, for warmer regions like Miami, Time noted.  The publication noted one deal offered by Norwegian Cruise Line. The company is offering 14-day trips from Copenhagen to Miami that price out to less than $30 per person, per day - before taxes and onboard expenditures. 

3. Locals only
The shoulder season is a great time to avoid tourists, Travel and Leisure explained. The huge crowds will dissipate, and the locals will be more willing to accommodate the occasional visitor. So, shoulder season is a great time to visit the more popular tourist destinations. 

Take Florida for example - when fall comes around and students head back to school, Orlando, home to many theme parks, empties out significantly, according to USA Today. This makes it a great destination. Make sure to avoid football towns in Florida, such as Tallahassee and Gainesville, if you're traveling to the Sunshine Site, since the start of the season comes with price hikes. 

4. Caribbean deals
The travel shoulder comes in conjunction with another annual happening- hurricane season. Many travelers are less willing to travel to the Caribbean during the fall because of the looming threat of hurricanes, Time noted. This means that prices drop notably when autumn approaches. Because of traveler uncertainty, travel companies offer big deals in order to draw vacationers to the Caribbean during hurricane season. 

USA Today noted that islands such as Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao tend to be less prone to hurricanes. 

Take advantage of shoulder season in order to find savings all over. According to Yahoo, in autumn travelers to Myrtle Beach typically see savings of up to 43 percent, and visitors to the Hamptons can expect to save around 30 percent. Early fall is a great time to travel to somewhere like Myrtle Beach, where the weather is still warm but the crowds have left following the end of peak travel season. Use the advice above in order to hunt down the best shoulder season deals. 

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