Some cities throughout the United States are so popular that every season is tourist season. However, travelers on a budget might want to optimize their travel itineraries to ensure they aren’t visiting during high-demand periods like the winter holidays or summer months.
If you’re ready to visit one of these six must-see cities, here are the most cost-effective times to plan your visit.
New York City
There are 24 intercity bus companies that provide bus service to New York City on over 400 routes, said Bryn Culbert, a travel expert at Wanderu, the leading bus and train booking platform in North America.
If you plan to travel via bus to New York, Culbert said the lowest bus ticket prices are usually available in January or February. A few popular bus routes to New York depart from Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Boston. While not quite as affordable as the bus, those who prefer train travel may choose from 16 Amtrak lines serving New York.
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Major events like Mardi Gras and the Jazz and Heritage Festival mean visits to New Orleans can get expensive and crowded quickly.
The least expensive time to take a trip to New Orleans is in August, according to Travel + Leisure. Travelers will need to keep in mind August is one of the hottest, most humid months of the year in New Orleans. Those who are able to brave the heat will be rewarded with inexpensive hotel rates and flight prices. If you’d rather visit during a cooler month and still enjoy some of the city’s festivals, consider timing your visit in September.
Travelers may fly to New Orleans or take the train from 315 other cities. However, Culbert recommends the deals found on long-distance buses to New Orleans with bus tickets from Atlanta; Austin; and Orlando, Florida, costing under $100 each ticket.
Like New York, visits to Chicago via train and bus are usually the cheapest in January or February.
As one of the Midwest’s biggest transportation hubs, Culbert said Chicago is accessible on 11 intercity bus lines and 18 Amtrak train lines.
Planning to visit Orlando? The best time to visit Orlando is between the months of March to May. These months provide travelers with affordable prices for travel and hotel stays and pleasant weather keeping visitors safe from hurricane season months, according to U.S. News Travel.
The best part of traveling to Orlando during these inexpensive months is you may be able to visit other popular Florida cities during your trip. Culbert said thanks to seven long-distance bus lines, Orlando is well connected to other Florida destinations.
“The most popular ground travel route to Orlando departs from Miami; bus tickets from Miami to Orlando are usually around $30 year-round, and train tickets are about $41 on average,” Culbert said. “I recommend purchasing train or bus tickets at least 48 hours in advance to avoid last-minute price surges.”
Culbert recommends taking an intercity bus as one of the cheapest ways to get to Las Vegas.
Affordable bus tickets from Los Angeles start at just $25. Those traveling from Los Angeles to Vegas will find the cheapest routes available in October with the bus ride only taking 4 1/2 hours.
If you want to avoid the crowds and costs, the best time to visit Los Angeles is between September and November, according to U.S. News Travel.
“Budget travelers can pick from 181 bus routes and 456 train routes to Los Angeles. For the most popular bus routes to Los Angeles, you can usually find the cheapest tickets in October or November,” Culbert said.
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