What's Shoulder Season and Why Is It a Good Value?

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When it comes to choosing what time of year to visit a resort, it pays to check out the value pricing offered during the shoulder season. Shoulder season is that period in between a destination's low and high seasons.

Why Shoulder Season Is a Good Value

While the pressures of supply and demand boost resort prices during the high season and holidays, when everyone wants to visit, it deflates them during the low season, which typically falls during a destination's worst weather months.

Oftentimes the shoulder season offers the visitor a combination of desirable prices and weather.

I choose to travel during the shoulder season when I possibly can to benefit from the discounts on my hotel and flights as well as the good weather and lack of crowds. Once you try the shoulder season, you'll likely find it's the best time to travel.

When Exactly Does Shoulder Season Fall?

Many properties have shoulder seasons in the spring and fall, but the dates vary. It typically depends on the specific destination, including what activities the destination is known for (skiing or scuba diving, for example), its special events and popular holidays, and whether families flock to it during spring break.

Even during the shoulder season prices can vary from the weekdays to the weekend, depending upon whether the property is frequented by business travelers or weekend visitors.

In addition to better prices, resorts tend to offer special packages during the shoulder as well as low season to entice guests to visit.

Be sure to check out the property's website and ask the reservation manager about packages and other special offers when you call.