Vrbo isn’t the only booking platform highlighting those sweet shoulder-season deals. To discover the best discounts on fall accommodations, Priceline looked at hotel costs from this past summer, June through August, and compared them with rates from September through October 2019, only to discover what savvy travelers have long known: bargains abound once Labor Day is over.
According to Priceline, differences between peak-summer and shoulder-season prices are most stark in beach towns up and down America’s East Coast, with the most dramatic plunge coming courtesy of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At the height of summer, rooms there go for US$181 (£145), but they drop 41% in shoulder season for an average of US$107 (£85) per day—the best deal on the books, per the booking platform’s data. Ocean Beach, Maryland, came second, recording a 35% drop-off from summer’s costs to fall’s—and it cracked the top three in Vrbo’s analysis as well. Orange Beach, Alabama, and Virginia Beach, Virginia, were third and fourth with 34% and 29% discounts.
Dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation but dreading the cost? Fall is the window you’re looking for, especially on Maui, where accommodations in two locations run for quite a bit less: rooms in Wailea decrease 26%, from an average of US$542 (£435) in summer to US$403 (£323) in shoulder season, while Lahaina’s rates sink 17% between summer’s average of US$321 (£257) and shoulder season’s US$267 (£214). Back on the mainland, rooms in Clearwater Beach, Florida, are 20% less in fall and US$185 (£148) on average.
On the odd chance your perfect trip doesn’t involve lounging on a sandy shore, you’re still in luck, though you’ve only got two options. A whopping 55% of the Yellowstone National Park’s annual visitors descend in the summer to take in the preserve’s geysers, wildlife, and more, but fall is one of the best time to visit, especially if you want to go fly-fishing, see animals in their natural habitat, or take to the trails without brushing up against your fellow outdoors enthusiasts. Another plus? In West Yellowstone, Montana, the park’s gateway, rooms are 17% less in shoulder season, US$230 (£184) per night on average.
Though the list is 90% stateside spots, one overseas locale did make the cut. Edinburgh, Scotland, comes in at number eight, recording a 19% drop-off between the summer average daily rate of US$200 (£160) and the shoulder-season equivalent of US$163 (£130).