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The Cheapest Times to Travel in 2024, According to an Expert

Following this calendar could save you hundreds on your next trip.

If your New Year's resolutions include traveling more in 2024, you may be wondering how to score the best deals on flights and hotel stays. Madison Rolley, a cheap travel expert, says one of the best things you can do is to time your trip carefully based on seasonal price fluctuations. To that end, she's sharing her own calendar, which maps out the cheapest times to travel in 2024. Ready to book your next adventure? Don't search the travel sites until you've settled on your money-saving dates with Rolley's help.

RELATED: The 10 Best Ways to Escape Winter on a Budget.

High season is the busiest and most expensive.

Tourists with Map

How much you pay for your next trip has everything to do with when you plan to depart. "In the travel world, there are high seasons, low seasons, and shoulder seasons," Rolley explained in a recent TikTok post.

"Your high season is going to be the most expensive time to travel and going to be the most popular time to travel," she says.

According to Rolley's calendar, the high season typically spans from mid-May through the third week of August, though holiday weeks are also subject to high-season markups.

Low season is a slow season—but much cheaper.

Older couple going for a bike ride on vacation near the beach

Running from mid-October through mid-March, with the exception of major holiday weeks, the low season offers the most cost-effective time to travel.

"Low season or slow season is going to typically be the dates that people are not traveling. These are going to be the cheaper options for flights and stays across the board," says Rolley.

However, she notes that when traveling in the low season, you may find that your options for entertainment, dining, and shopping are limited due to seasonal closures. "You really have to be strategic with what you end up doing," Rolley warns.

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Shoulder season makes for a great compromise.

A woman standing in front of the Sagrada Familia cathedral
iStock / AzmanJaka

Rolley says that to get the best of both worlds, you should consider traveling during the shoulder season.

"The shoulder season is those months right before the high season or right after the high season," Rolley explains, noting that this typically runs from mid-March to mid-May and late August to mid-October.

"The rates are going to be more normal. This is also the time when the weather just tends to be better for most places," she says, adding that this of course depends on your specific destination.

The travel expert says that the shoulder season not only offers great deals but also a balanced travel experience. This season tends to be lower traffic compared with the high season, yet you'll find more open amenities compared to the low season.

Here's how to save while traveling spontaneously.

solo female traveler
A_B_C / Shutterstock

Though Rolley generally recommends choosing your dates based on season, this shouldn't stop you from traveling spontaneously. "What if I told you you could see your bucket list places and more if you make this very simple adjustment to how you plan your travel every single year?" she said in another TikTok post.

That adjustment, she says, is following the deal rather than searching for specific dates. "There are travel deals happening every single day and they're all in different places," Rolley explains. "They're a lot easier to find and more accessible than you may think."

In particular, she suggests subscribing to travel newsletters, setting flight alerts, and looking for last-minute flights for less. Then, simply sit back and wait for those great deals to coincide with dates that you're available to travel.

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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