Starting this weekend we’ll be going on our annual trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Every year, twenty of us rent one of those enormous vacation homes for the week and spend it resting and relaxing. We’re often a block away from the beach, for those who enjoy beaches, and within walking distance to a grocery store. It’s really an ideal weeklong getaway and the best part is that we get it for a mere song because we book in the shoulder season.
Normally, the vacation home goes for at least $6,000 a week in the peak of summer. I’ve seen similar homes go for at least $7,000. It’s not unreasonable because the house can sleep over twenty people, which makes a week at $7,000 cost only $350. That’s a mere $50 a day to live in a very nice house. Our rate will be closer to $200 a person for the week, which is less than $30 a day per person.
The shoulder season for the Outer Banks starts this week and it’s no surprise, it’s the start of hurricane season. As I write this, that general area will be hit by Hurricane Earl tomorrow. It’ll hit before we get there and, hopefully, the place won’t be too damaged or flooded when we get there. It’s the risk we take for getting such a great deal.
You can use this strategy to get big discounts on your travel. For example, booking a Disney trip is much cheaper when you book on the shoulder season. The “shoulder” will vary depending on what you’re planning but it’s a term taken from the timeshare business and you can usually find out when that is simply by asking. The shoulder will be a low-demand period and you will be rewarded for booking a trip then. Cruises typically have low demand right before Christmas and right after New Years.
The next time you plan a trip, consider booking during a shoulder off-peak season to save some cash… just avoid the hurricanes!