PeopleImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

PeopleImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Year-round travel is now an option once again in most of the world. So if your soul requires the kind of soothing that only a vacation can provide, the key is not to overspend — that will only lead to money stress, which defeats the whole point of getting away in the first place. The good news is, there’s a right time of year to visit just about every destination at home and abroad for anyone looking to balance experience with cost.

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Planning a getaway near or far? Beat the crowds and save big bucks by focusing on when you go as much as where you go.

Dreaming of Europe? Summer Is a Nightmare

Raj Mahal, founder of the travel-booking app PlanMoreTrips, has flown more than 2 million miles and visited 65 countries. His experiences confirm what conventional travel industry wisdom has long warned — visiting Europe between June and August means higher prices, less availability and crowds, crowds, crowds.

“Flights are cheapest to Europe between September and November,” Mahal said. “You can save lots of money on flights, and the accommodations are also cheaper than in summer.”

The rule in the skies applies to the rails, as well.

“If you want to take an iconic trip around Europe by train, my advice is to travel in the off-peak and shoulder seasons,” said Leona Bowman, who runs the travel site Wandermust Family. “Summer in Europe, running from June to September, is the most popular time to travel the continent by train and therefore you will see prices soar.”

However, Bowman notes that peak season can vary by location, so do your homework

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