If you’ve ever tried to take a picture at the Trevi Fountain in Rome during the month of July, or tried to snag a bargain at Breckenridge in December, you are familiar with the term, “high season.”
When our kids were younger we took advantage of times when school was out – summer vacation, spring break, and the Christmas holiday were prime opportunities to travel. We spent two summers traveling to as many national parks as we could from June to August. When they could carry their own luggage and be predictably mannered in restaurants, we crisscrossed Europe by car and by train. In between, we opted for warmer escapes that offered snorkeling and beaches, or we served on mission trips. Sure, we enjoyed ourselves and the weather was generally really great, but we also discovered high season. High season is the travel code for long lines, non-competitive pricing, and limited choices.
Over the years, our family’s enforced window for travel has also meant that we’ve visited locations during the off-season. There are benefits to low season for sure. I like it when the crowds go home and the locals return to their routines. The destinations are far more authentic. I like that I don’t have to wait for a table at my favorite restaurant. But, we’ve also been subjected to some chilly rains, sweat trickling down our backs, shorter days, and rainy season mosquitoes. At times, we’ve been disappointed by limited hours or closed venues. Low season can feel like “off” season.
Now that our kids are grown and we enjoy more flexibility, we have discovered another season that offers the best of the high and low seasons. It is what travel-industry people call the “shoulder season.”
What is the Shoulder Season?
The shoulder season is that SWEET SPOT of travel time wedged between the high season and the low season. It is the metaphorical spring and fall of travel – the time of year that bridges the two extremes. It’s when the crowds have largely gone home, the weather is comfortable, the landscape and scenery are near-prime, and the venues are still welcoming business.
You may have noticed from our tour dates that, while Niteo Tours arranges travel for all times of the year, Niteo capitalizes on the shoulder seasons. If you want to take advantage of shoulder seasons on a Niteo Tour, consider these optimal months:
May, June, September, October
May, June, September
October, September, April
January, February, March, April
If you have a limited window and want to book travel into your schedule, contact us! We customize dates and we always find ways to stay off the beaten path while maximizing the very best of what every season has to offer.
Yes! I did Italy in late Sept – early Oct. Great time to go.