When to travel to the world’s most popular destinations

Try the off season next time.
Try the off season next time.
Image: Reuters/Heino Kalis
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Want to get a great hotel deal? Pack an umbrella, and maybe—just maybe—a warm coat.

Hotel rates plunge in destinations around the world outside of peak months, rewarding travelers with not just cheap nightly rates, but a city that isn’t flooded with fellow travelers, jostling to get into the best restaurants, museums, or beaches.

A night in some of the world’s most popular destinations drop more than 40% outside of peak months for visitors, according to data released Tuesday from online travel agency and review site TripAdvisor.

For example, average hotel rates in Spain averaged $219 in the blistering heat of August, during European vacation season. Brave a few rain showers and cooler temperatures in January and you’ll pay 43% less, at just $124 a night on average. For warmer temperatures, Spanish hotels averaged $154 for March.

Of course it’s reasonable to want to avoid the July to September monsoon season in India, or Caribbean destinations during the June to November hurricane season. In that case, shoulder-season deals also offer some savings. Caribbean hotel rates were 20% cheaper at $421 a night in April than in the peak month of February. In India, hotel rates were lowest in May at $101 a night, though it’s the hottest month of the year. But travelers can always gamble on the weather by purchasing travel insurance that allows them to cancel if adverse weather can spoil the trip.

The travel site analyzed data from 2016 bookings, but at the rate hotels are being built, some deals may be even better this year.