While doing research for my book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think, I discovered many traits and behaviors of the happiest retirees. Among these: They take more vacations than their peers.
Whether you’re looking to take a full-on vacation or just a weekend getaway, you can save money by booking the right destination at the right time of year. Consider choosing your destination based on when hotel prices are at their lowest, and then use a website like Kayak or Hopper to lock in the best-priced plane tickets for your trip. This two-step budget-friendly approach could save you hundreds of dollars.
Take a look at this list of the cheapest places to travel each month of the year, courtesy of Travel and Leisure magazine.
1. Los Angeles, California – In January, prices of hotel rooms dip 33 percent, which translates into four-star hotels going for an average of only $212 per night, the lowest of any month of the year.
2. Melbourne, Australia – January marks the end of the Christmas rush and the calm before the Australian Open, both of which draw crowds of travelers to Australia. While peak season rooms are offered at about $150, January sees room rates drop to around $112 per night.
3. Honolulu, Hawaii – Who doesn’t want to escape to the beautiful beaches of Hawaii in the winter? While Honolulu is at its most expensive on New Year’s Eve, hotel prices plummet in February by almost 40 percent, making this a go-to romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day. To maximize savings, take an early trip with your significant other the first week of the month when prices are at their lowest.
4. Hong Kong, China – February not only marks primo hotel prices in Hong Kong, with rates as low as $125 for four-star digs, but it’s also the time of peak shopping season and excellent sales. You can also ring in the Chinese New Year in style and check out the Spring Lantern Festival.
5. Flagstaff, Arizona – Cooler weather in Arizona in March makes Flagstaff a great place for sightseeing without the crowds. Considered by some as the gateway to the Grand Canyon, you can get a cozy room in Flagstaff for well under $100 a night.
6. Buenos Aires, Argentina – The weather in Buenos Aires in March is like a temperate August in the U.S., making this a great location to get out and explore in the mild weather. Four-star accommodations average a mere $55 a night during this month, making the flight time to this destination spot well worth it.
7. Chicago, Illinois – April in the Windy City marks the passing of the blustery cold and gives way to more moderate weather. Take advantage of the city’s 55% drop in hotel prices and explore the culture of the Chicago – from the city’s famed museums to the hot culinary scene.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark – Scandinavia’s small but vibrant city is ramping up for tourist season in April. The months of May through October are peak season for quaint Copenhagen. Get a jump on the crowds by visiting in April, when you can save 38% on your hotel and avoid the short days and chilly winter weather.
9. Fort Lauderdale, Florida – May in Fort Lauderdale boasts a quieter and more affordable South Florida escape than Miami, with hotel prices that fall to $162 per night in the post-Spring Break season. Take advantage of the low prices and the quiet and make this your go-to Florida vacation spot.
10. London, England – Planning a trip to London after May Day translates into more affordable hotel options than during the peak holiday season. Prices for hotels after the first week of the month drop to about $216 a night.
11. San Antonio, Texas – When you think Texas vacations, think outside the Austin box. San Antonio, Austin’s neighbor to the south, is a bustling city with an eclectic restaurant scene. The month of May marks hotel rates that are 49 percent cheaper than Austin, averaging around $164 for a four-star room.
12. Beijing, China – June marks a time in Beijing when the weather is mild and four-star hotels offer rooms for $80 a night. There aren’t any domestic holidays in June, hence the dip in local travelers and the great rates on places to stay.
13. Boston, Massachusetts – Planning a trip to Boston for the Fourth of July instead of Columbus Day can mean savings of about $120 per night on hotels, not to mention the weather is much better in July. Visit the city and check out the burgeoning restaurant scene and the historic architecture when prices are at their lowest.
14. Sydney, Australia – Winter in July in Sydney means pleasant weather in the upper 60’s. You can escape the heat of the U.S. summer and save up to 44 percent on peak season hotel rates.
15. New York City – August is the time to plan your trip to New York City, so long as you make sure your room is air-conditioned. But don’t let the summer heat scare you away from the vibrancy that the city has to offer. August marks a time of many summer festivals and events in New York – many of them free. Book your room for the last week of the month for the best deal on accommodations.
16. Berlin, Germany – While this thriving and hip city offers great deals on hotels year-round, August marks the time to save the most, with rooms averaging around $100 per night.
17. Orlando, Florida – Looking to budget a trip to Disney? Try September, when school is back in session and rates for rooms hit their lowest of the year. You can save an average of 40 percent, which makes a comfortable room about $130 per night. Shorter lines for the rides at the park make this trip worth the wait for the off-season.
18. Rome, Italy – September is the best time to visit the always-magnificent Rome. Local travelers in Europe take their vacations in August, making September a slow time for tourists but a bustling time for the city. Four-star hotels are offered at great values after peak season August, averaging only $131 a night.
19. New Orleans, Louisiana – What better place to spend Halloween than NOLA, and it just happens to be the cheapest time of the year to visit. Hotel rates drop 34 percent less than the week of Mardi Gras to $202 on average per night the last week of October.
20. Cape Town, South Africa – A trip to Cape Town in October makes for great whale-watching from Table Mountain and great rates on hotels – think no more than $80 on average per night for a comfortable room.
21. San Francisco, California – The Golden Gate City boasts the most affordable rooms of the year the week before Thanksgiving, making San Francisco a great November excursion. Prices drop more than 50 percent to about $202 per night. The timing is also right for the tail-end of crush season, so make a trip up to wine country for a day.
22. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – November in Rio means temperatures in the 80s, making lying out on the Copacabana Beach a must-do. Peak season is December, so heading to Rio a month earlier means savings of up to 37 percent on places to stay.
23. Las Vegas, Nevada – Christmas in Vegas? Stranger things have happened in Sin City. December marks the year’s lowest hotel rates, averaging $84 a night – about 60 percent off peak season prices – which you’ll find on the third week of the month. Hit it big on the slots and subsidize a trip to the city’s boutique shops.
24. Frankfurt, Germany – The beginning of December marks whimsical time to be in Frankfurt, with its beautiful Christmas markets and festive displays. This is also the cheapest time to travel to this magical city hotel-wise. Compared to peak season, you’ll find rates 56 percent lower, with four-star hotels averaging $112 per night.