09/20/2012 07:22 am ET Updated Nov 20, 2012

Shoulder Season Brings Deep Discounts

Children return to school, college is back in session and shoulder season has begun. Summer craziness ends, the pace slows down and hotels, restaurants and destinations try to bait travelers with discounts, package deals and bundled savings.

According to demand for hotels typically drops by almost a third from September through November compared with the peak summer travel season of June through August.

For consumers looking to save money starting this month Hotwire offers the following recommendations:

-Finally take that European vacation.

Fares to Europe drop substantially during the shoulder season. To save even more, Hotwire recommends visiting Eastern and Central European countries not on the euro, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

-Don't rule out the Caribbean.

Despite recent storms, Hotwire has seen Caribbean hotel bookings increase by more than a third this year, and with good reason: Travelers are seeing bigger discounts in 2007. By traveling to the southern Caribbean, vacationers will be more likely to stay out of the path of seasonal storms, enjoying beautiful weather and huge savings.

-Hit the road.

After Labor Day, car rental rates typically fall because rental companies have excess summer inventory. In fact, September rates on are as low as $15.95 a day. So instead of putting more miles on your car, rent for much less and hit the road. Think about day-trip ideas close to home and extend that experience with an overnight. Try a quaint Bed and Breakfast, or check hotel rates for reduced prices. Some national chains are giving perks like gift cards, free breakfasts, and tickets to local attractions. It pays to do research.

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