For the childless traveller, the empty nester, or the lucky families with built-in babysitter grandparents, take advantage of the off-peak travel season to book a trip to Banff, Cancun or Cuba.

Because according to experts at Cheapflights, the shoulder month of September is a prime time for travel. The kids are back in school, families are hunkering down to resume their everyday routines, and hotels are looking to fill the empty beds left by summer holidaymakers with enticing prices.

This season, savvy travellers may want to consider destinations like Banff, The Algarve, Portugal, Cancun, Cuba and Rio de Janeiro for their off-season travel, for reasons that range from politics, currency fluctuations and unusual storm activity.

Here are some of the top 2015 shoulder destinations as picked by Cheapflights:

Banff, Alberta, Canada

It can be difficult to take in the full splendour of the Canadian Rockies when you’re elbow jockeying with fellow travellers for selfie space and the best vantage point. Come September, the crowds have thinned, and the second wave of fall foliage tourists have yet to descend. Take advantage of the quiet time to soak in the surrounding in the calm before the new storm.

The Algarve, Portugal

Algarve, Portugal.

The Algarve in Portugal is also one of the must-visit venues during the shoulder season of September. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Take advantage of the struggling euro and seasonal discounts with a trip to the southernmost tip of Portugal. During the month of September, the beaches remain sun-soaked and the mercury is still high enough for seaside lounging. Moreover, it’s easier to find seats on waterfront restaurants and terraces, now that the crowds have returned home.

Cancun, Mexico

While a particularly active El Niño season is expected to stir up trouble in the Pacific this year, it’s also keeping the Caribbean and Atlantic relatively cool and calm, with fewer than normal hurricanes forecast for the region, points out Cheapflights. That means decreased odds of having to spend your holidays washed out by gale-force winds and storms during your Mexican vacation. Take advantage of slashed prices, child-free resorts and summer weather at resort towns across Mexico.

ALSO READ: Maya escapade on the Yucatan Peninsula


This Caribbean island also fits under the”calm before the storm”, but for reasons that have nothing to do with violent weather systems. Cheapflights advises booking a trip to Cuba before it’s forever transformed by the advent of American tourism.

ALSO READ: Geting acquainted with Cuba

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

While summer is on its last legs in the Northern Hemisphere, consider heading across the equator to Brazil, where temperatures are back on the rise after their version of winter. October is classic shoulder season for Rio, points out Cheapflights, with cheaper hotel rates and airfare in advance of Carnival. – AFP Relaxnews