Savvy travelers know shoulder season is often the best time to take a journey, when space is more available, costs are lower and tourist crowds are limited to a like-minded few. Typically arriving immediately before or following a destination’s peak season, the shoulder season presents a small window of near-ideal conditions—think late-season skiing, Europe prior to the summer heat and the Caribbean on the tamer edges of hurricane season. And while no longer an insider secret, the non-traditional timing and less reliable weather still keep many travelers at bay. But if your schedule allows it, the benefits of traveling during shoulder season are well worth any weather-related gamble.
If you’re ready to plan your own shoulder season escape, look to our calendar of common shoulder season destinations and our spotlight on a special tropical getaway.
For a true tropical escape in the Caribbean, we recommend traveling in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, right after the threat of hurricanes has passed and before the holiday crowds descend. With average temperatures that are only a couple of degrees cooler than the agreeable summer highs, this is the best time to find yourself on a deserted white sand beach and explore the islands’ lush forests. For the practical-minded, you’ll discover rates can be significantly cheaper as well.
Chase the tropics’ endless summer with these additional getaway suggestions in Mozambique, Hawaii and the South Pacific:
WITH 2,000 miles OF pristine coastline bordering the Indian Ocean, Mozambique’s under-the-radar status presents travelers an enigmatic OPTION FOR a tropical getaway. The dry winter season runs roughly FROM April TO September, WITH temperatures sticking TO the mid 80S. September’s shoulder season enjoys even fewer visitors, AS well AS sightings OF humpback whales during their annual migration.
Hawaii’s weather remains fairly consistent throughout the year, but crowds and rates both drop off during the fall. September has the better weather for hiking, while October and November see the best deals and fewest crowds.
Head to these remote island paradises during the transitional months in the spring and fall. Short periods of rainfall won’t take away from the experience, but they will keep the costs of flights down and discourage many would-be visitors. Whether you’re looking for calm or adventure, you can feel as though you’ve truly detached from the world.
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