Here's a bargain travel tip: Plan to head to your vacation destination when most folks are heading home.
In other words, schedule your trip as close as possible to when the season changes and you'll pay a lot less than what others were paying just a few days or weeks before.
And now's the time to go. Vacation rental site Flipkey.com says travelers can save on vacation costs by scheduling trips in the fall.
"Prices begin to plummet after Labor Day and not only can you find great deals during the shoulder season, but the amount of vacationers is substantially less. You might end up having the beach all to yourself," said Eric Horndahl, FlipKey's Vice President of Marketing, in a press release.
Flipkey data shows that this year's top U.S. shoulder season destinations include Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Hamptons, New York, Charleston and Hilton Head in South Carolina and the Catskills in New York.
Warm weather destinations that charge a premium in the summer start offering deals post Labor Day, according to Travelzoo.com. The website recently posted a list of "hot waterfront deals" in Maine, Cape Cod, the Jersey shore and Lake George with savings of as much as 60 percent off in-season prices.
Kim Knox Beckius, author of "Backroads of New England" says much of September is a "sweet spot" when it comes to Northeast travel bargains including southern coastal Maine, Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and Cape Cod.
"During that time between Labor Day and foliage season, crowds thin out and rates are very affordable," she says. "If you've got the flexibility to vacation then, you'll find it's really a terrific time to travel."
>>Prices for the Discover Block Island package from Block Island Reservations, available Sept. 1 through Oct. 9, start at $359 for two, include two round-trip tickets on the traditional ferry from Point Judith, R.I.; two beverages on the ferry; lodging for two midweek nights at the Harborside Inn; a welcome gift bag; $100 in dining vouchers for Mohegan Cafe & Brewery; and two bikes, two beach chairs and an umbrella to use during your stay. Information and reservation: 1-800-825-6254 or www.blockislandreservations.com/specials.
>>The 21 Broad hotel on Nantucket is offering a Fall Into Autumn deal. Travelers who book two midweek nights, (Sunday through Thursday, through Oct. 30), get a third midweek night free. New reservations only. Mention the deal when you call to book or enter "FALL" in the "Notes" section when you book online. Information: www.21broadhotel.com.
>>Surfside Hotel & Suites in Provincetown, Mass. has a fall BOGO deal. Pay for one night and you'll get a second night free. Rates start at $178 and include free breakfast, Wifi and parking. ( Offer available through Nov. 2. Some blackout dates apply.) Information: 508-487-1726 or www.surfsideinn.cc.
>>Check www.capecodtravelguide.com for additional fall lodging deals on Cape Cod.
>>In honor of National Grandparents Day, guests older than 50 get 15 percent off their stay at participating Red Roof Inns throughout September. To take advantage of the deal, you'll need to make your reservations in advance at 800-RED-ROOF (733-7663) or book online at redroof.com and use code 607564. Information: www.redroof.com
>>Ride the rails to Boston, Philadelphia and other Northeast destinations this fall, and you can save up to 25 percent off the lowest available coach fares with Amtrak's special Northeast Region promotion. Online bookings only; advance purchase required. (Choose adult or child passenger type when booking to get the discounted fares.) More information at Amtrak.com.