Now is the perfect time to grab a last-minute, short-haul beach jaunt. Why? It's just before temperatures get chilly and we're coming to the end of the seasonal flights to popular holiday hotspots. We call this period (between peak and off-peak times) shoulder season for the Mediterranean (including Greece, Spain and Italy). Benefits include warm days, fewer crowds and lower prices. We see some of our best offers for this time of year, including lots of week-long breaks for under £300, often including meals and drinks. You may need to be flexible with dates and prepared to travel at the last minute in order to get a top deal though.
Travelzoo tip: While there are bargains to be had in October and November, avoid looking at half-term dates if at all possible. We do occasionally see deals for this time, but we see many more in the weeks either side.
We're seeing an abundance of cruise deals at the moment, from those departing next week to those setting sail in summer, 2014. The early-booking specials are particularly ripe right now -- so if you're planning a specific voyage next year, now is the time to hunt out that bargain. On the flip side, we've seen plenty of deals departing before the end of the year too, including Caribbean cruises for under £800.
Travelzoo tip: It's currently National Cruise Week, so look out for extra discounts during this time; the price will go back up on many cruises when it's over.
Autumn/Winter City Breaks
We find that low-cost carriers usually launch their flight sales a month or two in advance of the travel dates, so now is the perfect time to snap up a European city-break deal. A lot of airlines may also be lowering their prices at the moment to keep bookings rolling in after peak summer. But watch out -- they'll slowly creep back up again as we head towards Christmas. With many Christmas markets starting in late November, now's a good time to plan that break -- it's close enough to find out what events are on, but far enough in advance to get a good deal.
Travelzoo tip: If you're booking a Top 20 city-break deal, don't waste time checking to see if you can do it cheaper yourself. We check all our holiday deals (including city breaks) against other providers and the cost of packaging it together yourself. We won't publish the deal if there's a cheaper way you can get it.