Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


How to Find Cheap Deals During Shoulder Seasons

MARCH 2017


How to Find Cheap Deals During Shoulder Seasons

Cheapflights shares five tips to bag a bargain

As the hot, summer days fade, Kiwis across the country are dreaming of their next adventure – but where to go and when? Leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform, suggests ‘shoulder seasons’ have many advantages for travellers.

According to Nathan Graham, Regional Sales Manager of Cheapflights ANZ: “Tucked between the high prices of peak season and the often lousy weather of low season, shoulder seasons offer the added perks of less crowds and queues, and more availability at restaurants and attractions. You can also save up to 80 per cent on hotels and car hire, but knowing the right times to travel is essential, as shoulder seasons vary between destinations.”

To help in the search, Graham and the experts at have provided five top tips to find the ‘goldilocks’ moment that will make your next holiday just right.

1. Reverse your thinking

It can be advantageous living in the Southern Hemisphere, where holiday periods and shoulder seasons are different to many other parts of the world.

For example, if you’re travelling to the Mediterranean, consider mid-May and June or late September-early October – the weather is still warm and you’ve got a far better chance of getting a table at a popular café or having a beach (more or less) to yourself.

“For winter holidays, ski resorts in the Northern Hemisphere open in late November, but see little traffic until the Christmas week. In early or mid-December, you’ll find cheaper flights and accommodation and less crowded slopes, shorter lift queues and often discounted ski hire and lift passes,” said Graham.

2. Check the weather

For long-haul destinations, it’s wise to find out about the various ins and outs of low seasons – there’s generally a catch. A cheap Caribbean holiday may not be fun during the storms in June and July, but if you look for islands off the ‘hurricane belt’ you can find a great deal and still enjoy good weather.

Check the seasonal patterns in your destination and try to travel just before or just after the peak periods. Fiji’s busiest season is between June-August when fellow Kiwis flee the winter chill, but you can get bargains during the shoulder periods in March and November. Even in the wet season there are variations, so you can head to drier parts of the country in the north and west, like Tavueni Island.

3. Look for micro-shoulders

Christmas and New Year are always peak periods, regardless of your departure point and destination. Last year, more than 300,000 Kiwis were planning to depart in December, with a third searching for flights the week of Christmas. Don’t despair, as there are micro-shoulders to be found!

“Try to be flexible and consider searching specific days. For instance, a flight from Sydney to London may cost $1,095 on average in the lead up to Christmas Day, or you can nab a seat for $880 on average if you’re willing to fly on 25 December,” said Graham.

4. Investigate local celebrations

The key to shoulder season travel is to avoid school holidays and obvious busy times, and to travel as close to peak season as you can. Do your homework on local festivals, sporting events and holidays.

Prices in the US rise over Thanksgiving, India practically comes to a standstill for Diwali (the festival of lights), and remember changeable dates for events like Carnival and Easter. If you’re not going to join in the fun, it’s not worth paying a premium.

5. Plan outside the ‘box’

Graham highlighted that if you want to experience key cultural events without the hefty price tag, get smart with your plans and chosen locations.

“Over four million people are predicted to flock to Japan from late March through April1, as the nation’s iconic sakura (cherry blossoms) bloom. But in Okinawa in the south, the cherry blossoms open as early as January, or in the north at Hokkaido they bloom as late as May, making great alternatives without compromising on the experience.”

1 Japanese National Tourism Organisation

For more information or to search for your next holiday, visit



Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform dedicated to taking the complexity out of finding the best value flights through the application of innovative, intuitive technologies: Smart search. Made simple. It is now a market leader in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating over AU $4 billion (£2 billion) in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands in to numerous other territories. Over 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter received over 1.25 billion targeted emails during 2015, offering the best deals from over 120 travel businesses – for whom it has driven more than AU $80 million (£40 million) in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.

In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privatelyowned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.

Follow us on Twitter: @Cheapflights

Join us on Facebook:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland