There’s an unrivaled ease to late-summer travel that appears when the crowds subside. The clamor of traffic and tourism gives way to the expected rhythm of changing seasons. Milder weather (even if only a slight difference), as well as off-peak rates, provide a window of time and space to savor the last of summer.
Hit the road before the leaves begin to change. Travel can take you from adventure and relaxation to nature and culture. Make the most of wherever you end up.
Tips & Tricks for Late-Summer Travel
Take advantage of the end-of-season accessibility and affordability. These practical tips will help you experience the most of what late-summer travel has to offer.
Sudden rainstorms and temperature fluctuations can change plans in an instant. The weather can be unpredictable, from sweltering days to cooler evenings and more. Stay comfortable and prepared with versatile layers and multi-functional pieces.
Pay Attention to Hurricane Season
The Atlantic Hurricane season, which is from June to November, can pose a serious threat to travel plans. Late-summer is considered off-season for many cruise lines, resorts, and tour operators. It’s a great time to score some incredible deals, but they come with a caveat: There’s a chance your trip could be disrupted by a hurricane or tropical storm.
Consider following these hurricane season travel tips to ensure extra preparedness before a trip. Monitor the weather through different sources to stay updated with the latest information.
Embrace Flexible Travel Dates
It’s worth noting that flexible travel dates can open the door to even more savings, exclusivity, and value than booking during weekends, holidays, or peak seasons. For example, Brian and I just saved over 85% in flight costs to Las Vegas simply by flying during the week. This created much more flexibility in our budget!
Flexible travel dates allow us to enjoy less crowds, more savings, and spontaneity.
Consider the Strength of the U.S. Dollar
The thought of traveling internationally can sometimes seem overwhelming. Unlike a cruise, a trip abroad has more complicated logistics to take into account: overall costs, accommodations, ground transportation, exchange rates, dining, and attractions. Unless you choose to book a package deal or all-inclusive trip, there are often many other factors to consider.
However, international travel during this late summer season is currently more affordable than in the past. Today’s strong U.S. Dollar is motivating many Americans to head off to Europe. Before booking travel, compare the strength of the U.S. Dollar to other destinations.
Take Advantage of Off-Peak Pricing
If prices were a little too hot this summer, you’re in luck! Off-peak pricing is one of the best benefits of late-summer travel. Take advantage of luxury accommodations and experiences at a fraction of summer prices.
Travel by Deal
If you enjoy a bit of spontaneity and mystery in your life, perhaps you can let the deals direct you where to go. Rather than choose and plan for a specific destination, book travel through discounted promotions or simply use Kayak’s Explore feature to find cheap flights to anywhere.
Booking last-minute is risky, but effective. Brian and I have snagged complimentary accommodations, 85% off flights, and discount tickets to top attractions. The key is to be flexible. Waiting until last minute means that plans can change; what was affordable one day, might not be available the next. Sometimes you have to pivot to find great places to stay and things to do.
Late summer can be a wonderful time to secure last-minute reservations since many accommodations and businesses offer competitive pricing to attract guests during shoulder or off-peak seasons.
Plan A, Plan B, Plan C
The best laid plans can often suffer a hiccup or two. Expect the best and prepare for the unexpected. From increased travel demands and staffing shortages to other management difficulties and insufficiencies, there will inevitably be issues that arise outside of your control. Brian and I experienced this when our connecting flight was canceled on the way to Alaska; it was a frustrating, but good lesson to learn.
Consider travel insurance for the best protection. Keep an eye on alternative travel itineraries and possibilities should you face any hiccups leading up to and during your travels.
Research End-of-Season Operating Hours
Double-check the operating hours of must-do experiences and attractions. You’ll want to be sure to review the end-of-season availability of certain activities, especially if you’re specifically traveling to experience them. Brian and I had our hearts set on specific hikes in Yellowstone National Park, only to discover that parts of the park had already closed down for the season by the time we arrived. Lesson learned!
Appreciate the Pace
The frenetic energy of families descending upon parks, beaches, and other tourist hotspots has slowed to a simmer as the school year returns. Whether you choose to travel solo or with your family, you can do so without the noise and rush of the usual summer crowds. Late-summer travel presents a unique state of opportunity and ease. Revel in the end-of-summer pace and make the most of wherever you go.