Ah, the blues of having returned from your Euro summer getaway and not having another trip planned until the holidays. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Fall is actually the best time to visit Europe – because it’s shoulder season!
“Shoulder season” is a term used in the travel industry to describe the periods of time between the peak and off-peak travel seasons. It’s essentially the transition period when a destination moves from being very busy and expensive (peak season) to less crowded and more affordable (off-peak season). Shoulder season typically occurs during the transitional months between high and low seasons, such as spring and fall, or April to June and September to November.
As we head into the autumn shoulder season for travel, our team at HostelPass wanted to share what shoulder season is and why it is the best time to visit Europe.
1. Fewer Crowds
One of the biggest advantages of traveling during shoulder season is that you’ll encounter fewer tourists. Shorter lines and fewer crowds at all the popular attractions – yes please! (and perfect for all your Instagram photos). You can explore cities and landmarks at your leisure, without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. For more fun (and discounts!), check out our complete list of activities and excursions you can participate in with your HostelPass.
2. Better Prices
During shoulder season, you can often find better deals on flights, accommodations, and tours compared to peak season prices. Travel providers may offer discounts and promotions to attract visitors during this time, making it a budget-friendly option for travelers. Read our article on other creative ways to save money for travel so you can make the most of your visit to Europe!
3. Mild Weather
Shoulder season typically offers more moderate and comfortable weather conditions compared to extreme temperatures during peak summer or winter months. No need to worry about finding the next indoor attraction just to escape the heat or freezing cold! Fall is the perfect in-between weather, where you can dress up and dress down. Check out our blog post on the 5 best European cities to visit this fall.
4. Access to Reservations
It is often easier to secure reservations at popular restaurants and accommodations during shoulder season. You won’t have to compete with the high demand that characterizes peak season, so you can dine at renowned restaurants and stay in award-winning hostels more easily. Hello bougie on a budget?! And if you want more discounts, browse our list of accommodations and save up to 40% off your booking using your HostelPass.
5. Support Local Economies
Traveling during shoulder season can help support local economies in tourist-dependent areas. It allows businesses to maintain a more steady stream of income throughout the year rather than relying solely on the peak season. Travel is a huge industry that is very meaningful for both us as the traveler and the local people leading and supporting our travels in our hostels and tour experiences. With your HostelPass, you book directly with the hostels and tour operators so they avoid third-party fees and you earn extra discounts. It’s a win-win for everyone!
6. Relaxed Atmosphere
With fewer tourists, destinations often take on a more relaxed and authentic atmosphere. You can truly savor the local culture, cuisine, and way of life without the hustle and bustle that comes with peak season. Get ready to enjoy your free welcome drink while staying at your HostelPass partner accommodation and have the world at your leisure.
Are you ready to visit Europe this fall?
In summary, shoulder season is a sweet spot for travelers looking to strike a balance between favorable weather, lower costs, and a more relaxed and culturally immersive travel experience. Whether you’re exploring cities, embarking on outdoor adventures, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, taking advantage of shoulder season can lead to a more enjoyable and rewarding travel experience.
Have we convinced you why shoulder season is the best time to visit Europe? If yes, you’ll definitely LOVE our webinar on how to plan a budget friendly trip to Europe. Learn about the best budget friendly destinations, how to save money before and during the trip, packing essentials, and so much more!