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September Means Big Airfare Discounts


What's the difference between visiting Milan, Italy, in September instead of in August? About $291 in your pocket for roundtrip airline seats. And that's not all.


What’s the difference between visiting Milan, Italy, in September instead of in August? About $291 in your pocket for roundtrip airline seats. Plan wisely and by booking beach and European trips in September and October — shoulder season for those destinations – you can bank significant savings.

Along with cheaper airfares, travel to Europe and to beaches during shoulder season brings lower temperatures and fewer crowds. For such popular European cities as Milan, Rome, Paris, and Barcelona, September airfares plummet 11% to 26% compared with August rates, according to Hipmunk, a travel booking site. Hipmunk compared the average price that its customers paid in the last three months for flights in August versus September.

Don’t worry if you couldn’t book your dream trip to Fiji this past summer. Hipmunk calculates that the average cost of a September flight drops a whopping 29% to $1,484 compared with August’s $2,085 rate but the temperature rises only one degree, from an average of 84 F in August to 85 F in September.

September brings bargains on beach destinations but nearly the same temperature. According to Hipmunk, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, August and September temperatures average 89 F, but the airfare plunges 23%, from $496 to $380. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, maintains 87 F for both August and September but the flight costs 9% less, declining from $679 to $617. There’s only one degree difference in Nassau, Bahamas, from August’s 89 F average to September’s 88 F; however, your plane ticket slips 13% from $487 to $425.

The savings add up when you factor in fall’s less expensive hotel rates. Costs for US travelers for flights plus hotels, according to travel booking site Expedia, drop 13% on Hawaii trips, 12% on Mexico trips and 11% on Caribbean trips in September and October versus June through August.

On what beach destinations can you save the most money on airline plus hotel fees by traveling in September and October versus visiting June through August? According to Expedia, those costs tumble 39% for Grand Bahama; 34% for the US Virgin Islands; 31% for Mazatlán; 31% for Paradise Island, Bahamas; and 20% for Turks and Caicos. Expedia’s survey analyzes the differences in airline tickets and hotel daily rates from the top 10 origin markets in the US, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston for travel in September and October versus June through August.

The following are some roundtrip airfare discounts for September, along with temperature changes (see second table). For an infographic, click here.


Shoulder Season temperatures

Have you experienced big savings by altering your travel dates? What are your tips for saving big? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.

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