It’s the Goldilocks season for travelers: not too busy, not too inactive, not too hot, not too cold, not too expensive but things are still open. The shoulder season, normally defined as being from April to June and September to October, is one of the most perfect times to travel. Tourism isn’t at its summer peak, but it hasn’t quite reached its winter lull. It is best to consider Thailand guided holidays in this time.

In this article, let’s discuss why you should consider traveling in the shoulder season, and then run through a few tips to make sure your off-peak trip is the best it can possibly be.

Why Travel in the Shoulder Season

Why, you might ask, would you travel in the shoulder season, when you could just wait until the summer when things are nice and toasty? To be sure, summer travel has its perks (as does winter travel), but the benefits of going in the shoulder season are undeniable. Here are the main reasons why you should consider traveling in the off-peak months:

  • There are fewer tourists. You aren’t fighting with the summer crowds to see the attractions, and you aren’t competing with throngs of other travelers for the best accommodation.
  • It’s cheaper. Flights are generally cheaper in the shoulder season than in the summer or the Christmas holiday season.
  • There’s still plenty going on. While much of the tourism industry shuts down (or at least diminishes) over the winter, in the shoulder season things are still open and operating.
  • It’s beautiful. Fall and winter are magical times of the year, with stunning natural scenery in abundance.

 With those reasons in mind, let’s discuss a few handy tips for making the most of your shoulder season travels.

Go Where the Trees Are

As mentioned, spring and fall – typically defined as the shoulder season – are beautiful, provided, that is, that you travel somewhere with trees. A concrete city like Moscow is going to remain a concrete city, regardless of the time of year. On the other hand, cities, towns and national parks with lots of trees will either be in bloom (spring) or evocatively foliated (fall).

Pack Merino Wool

The weather in the shoulder season can get weird. One day it might be perfectly balmy, and the next it can be bitingly cold. The reason this article recommends packing merino wool is that it’s the rare material that can be both insulating and breathable. A well-made pair of merino wool boxer briefs or socks can keep you feeling breezy when the weather is good and keep you warm when the temperature dips.

Double Check Hours of Operation

Not every attraction, park, restaurant, and the hotel keeps their summer operating hours throughout the shoulder season. Some open a little later and close a little earlier. Before you go, be sure to double-check the operating hours for your itinerary.

Research Shoulder Season Deals

There are shoulder season deals to be had – if you’re looking. Not every accommodation reduces its price during the shoulder season, but some do, so it pays to research ahead of time, and book in advance. Cross-reference different accommodations to make sure you’re paying the least amount possible.

If you want a vacation that’s just right, consider booking a shoulder season vacation, and use the tips above to maximize your enjoyment.