November is the cheapest month to travel - here's where to go
November is the one month when the travel industry consistently struggles to sell rooms and seats, says Nick Trend.
Travel is all about supply and demand.
If you run a hotel or an airline, you keep prices high when you know you can sell all your stock; and you cut them when you can’t.
The one month when the travel industry consistently struggles to sell rooms and seats is November. Traditionally, most people just don’t travel between now and the first couple of weeks of December.
As a result, it is the cheapest time of year to travel.
There are some exceptions. There is huge demand for hotels and B&Bs in New England at this time of year, because of its spectacular autumn colours. But for the vast majority of destinations around the world, you can get a late deal, a bargain flight or a good room in a top hotel more easily and more cheaply than at any other time of year.
Of course, there are good reasons why people don’t tend to travel now. In Europe, there is little sun, lots of rain, and no snow. And, because winter has yet to set in properly, perhaps we feel less inclined to head further afield in search of better weather.
But some places are at their best in November and, if you can get away for a week, or a short break, and you choose the right place, it can be a highly-rewarding time to travel. Here are five suggestions of where to go.
It won’t be hot, there may be some rain, and you need to time your trip to avoid the high tides which can flood St Marks at this time of year (comune.venezia.it/maree). But the autumn mist can be stunning, the sights are clear of tourists, and if it rains, you can duck into some of the greatest museums in the world.
Seville has one of the warmest and sunniest climates of any European city - the average November high is 20C with five hours of sun a day. It is also ideal for a short break - there great food and drink (tapas, Iberico ham, sherry), fabulous architecture (especially the cathedral and the Alcazar), the excellent Bellas Artes (fine arts) museum, some top-class shopping and a new direct flight from Gatwick with BA.
Read more: Game of Thrones: The Ultimate Travel Guide
Technically, there is still a risk of hurricanes in the Caribbean. But they are rare in November and especially so in Barbados, when the weather is settling down for the long, sunny winter. There will always be some rain at any time of year, but it comes in heavy showers, not from leaden skies, and on average there are eight hours a day of sunshine in November.
Read more: 48 hours in: Barbados
Half term is over, the Christmas holidays are six weeks away - this is the time to make the most of a mild climate, a huge choice of hotels and the most competitive prices of the year. Temperatures on Tenerife peak at 21C on average this month, you can expect six hours of sun a day, and the sea is still 22C.
5. Cape Town
If you’ve had enough of autumn and impending winter, the nearest and most scenic taste of spring is a ten hour flight away (from London) in South Africa. Here, November is the equivalent of May, and Cape Town for example, enjoys ten hours a day of sun, and top temperatures of 21C. The jacaranda trees are in blossom, and it’s a great time to enjoy the city for a few days before heading out to the Winelands and catching spring at its best on the Garden Route.