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Revealed: The Best Times to Travel

When you’re planning a holiday to a specific destination, one of the first things you think about is when you’re going to go. There are always a few factors involved, like when the weather will be best, when you’ll be able to do all the things you want to do, and how much it will cost. Often it can feel like this means choosing between ‘peak season’ when the weather is great but prices are high, or ‘off-peak season’ when you can get a cheap deal but have to risk poor weather.

However there is a third option that gives you the best of both worlds, a time we like to call ‘shoulder season’. Sandwiched neatly between peak and off-peak, shoulder season is the sweet spot of holiday travel, when you can get a good deal on the cost of your holiday without having to sacrifice the sunshine. Check out our infographic below to find out more about the best time for you to travel to your chosen destination.

Infographic on best times to travel-shoulder seasons

Tenerife, Spain

The great thing about Tenerife is that it doesn’t really have an off-peak season; the island’s consistently pleasant climate makes it a true year-round holiday destination. However it does have peak seasons; you can expect Tenerife to be busier and more expensive during summer and from December to February when it attracts the winter sun seekers. Avoid these months and you can expect to get a good bargain.

Shoulder season sweet spot: September - October, when the sea is still warm from the summer sun.

Crete, Greece

Crete’s peak season is during summer, when temperatures can exceed 30°C and the beaches are full, but the weather can cool drastically during winter. April, May, September and October are the best times to get a good deal without risking poor weather, but if you want to visit the waterparks you’ll need to make sure they’re open.

Shoulder season sweet spot: September, when the sea is still warm from summer and waterparks are open.

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun is at its absolute best between December and April, when the weather is hot without being humid and you can spend every day sunbathing on the beach! The hurricane season from September to November is best to avoid, as are US Spring Break in late March and the typically rainy month of June.

Shoulder season sweet spot: July - August, when June’s rainfall has started to clear the humidity.

Dalaman, Turkey

Like Greece, Turkey has hot summers and cool winters, with comfortable springs and autumns perfect for adventurous holidays where you want to do more than just hang out at the beach. The shoulder months of April, May, September and October are perfect for a great value holiday in Dalaman filled with activities.

Shoulder season sweet spot: September - October, when you can still benefit from late summer warmth.

Algarve, Portugal

This firm family favourite has the perfect summer climate for young children – warm enough for them to happily spend the whole day in the sea without being uncomfortably hot in the sun. December to February is cheap but can be chilly, while people visiting from April to May or September to October benefit from great weather and great prices.

Shoulder season sweet spot: September - October, when the summer heat is only just starting to cool off.

Dubai, UAE

Dubai turns all the holiday weather rules upside down, as the hottest time of the year is actually the season most people avoid! Located in the middle of the desert, Dubai can reach temperatures of over 40°C between June and August, so the most comfortable time to visit is actually during ‘winter’. The shoulder seasons, when prices will start to drop, are roughly April - May and September - October.

Shoulder season sweet spot: April - May, at the end of the cooler season.

Phuket, Thailand

Thailand maintains fairly consistent temperatures throughout the year and weather can vary between provinces, so it can be hard to work out when to go. November to March is peak season for good weather, while the number of rainy days from June to September puts a lot of visitors off. We’d choose March to May to get the best shoulder season deals, but be aware of the Songkran festival crowds from 13th-15th April!

Shoulder season sweet spot: March - April, when humidity is low and rain showers pass quickly.

Orlando, USA

Orlando doesn’t really have an off-peak season due to its year-round good weather; instead the peak and shoulder seasons are dictated by the big events at the theme parks. School summer holidays, Easter and Christmas are all times you can expect crowds and high prices, while school terms are generally quieter and cheaper.

Shoulder season sweet spot: January-February, when theme parks often have their top ‘value season’ prices.

Now you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each season, you should know when you want to travel! Next, use the search bar to start your holiday search.