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Why February is one of my favorite months of the year to travel

Feb. 02, 2020
5 min read
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If you've survived the craziness of Christmas and the long dark nights of dry January, you might be starting to get the travel itch and thinking about your next trip. Sure, travel during the summer period is wonderful. But it can also be expensive, hot and very crowded. This combination — for me — is really frustrating.

I am a huge fan of holidaying in off-peak and shoulder seasons, and depending on the destination you choose, February can be a fantastic time to travel. Here's why I love this month.

Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Pola Damonte/Getty Images)

1. Cheap flights

February can be one of the cheapest months of the year to fly. Schools and universities are back in session so it's a quieter month demand-wise. But Skyscanner analyzed fares across an entire year and found January, February and September to be the cheapest months of the year.

This means you can expect great sale fares to all sorts of destinations. While some destinations that are wonderful in summer (like Boston, the Costa del Sol and the Baltic states) won't be ideal, you can expect to find great fares to destinations that are great to visit in February like the Canary Islands, South East Asia, Florida, and the Middle East.

Alternatively, if you love European cities in colder months you can expect insanely cheap fares — February is when we consistently see fares like $26 return on budget airlines from the U.K. to mainland Europe, and I've taken advantage of these in the past.

You won't have to book these flights a year in advance like you might be accustomed to for Christmas and August travel -- I can see these great prices for travel in just a few weeks, as airlines discount fares to fill excess capacity during this quiet month. You can use Google Flights' Explore function to find some very affordable fares to destinations you might never have thought to have even visited.

(Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)

2. Off-peak accommodation

Like the flights, you are likely to save on accommodation traveling in February as well. That five-star hotel you saw in a glossy travel magazine could be now within reach -- you can find some great bargains for accommodation this month because of the reduced demand.

If you're using hotel points in a program that has peak off-peak dates, the entire month of February is likely to be off-peak — at least for most northern hemisphere destinations.

If you have elite hotel status you may have a better chance at scoring a room upgrade in February than during a peak period. If your status entitles you to a space-available room upgrade, it's a good idea to check if the hotel is selling higher room grades on the day you are checking in. If they are, and you are not offered a room upgrade at check-in you can point out to them that higher grade rooms are still for sale and politely ask for an upgrade in accordance with your status benefits.

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Related: 7 tips for planning a winter sun holiday to the Canary Islands on a budget

3. Fewer crowds

Once you've found a cheap flight and a discounted hotel you can expect most destinations to have fewer crowds in February versus peak periods. This means fewer lines at the breakfast buffet, perhaps an empty seat next to you on the plane and a better chance of grabbing a lounge chair without waking up at the crack of dawn.

I've found just about everything easier traveling in February versus Christmas and August. Airports feel less crowded and easier to navigate. Tourist attractions are less packed. Photo-taking is easier. I'm more relaxed.

4. Less competition for leave requests

If your workplace doesn't like everyone to be on leave at once, there's a good chance your colleagues won't be planning a vacation in February. This means it may be easier to have that leave request approved, and you can hold down the fort in August when others are rushing out of the office for their expensive, peak-period break abroad.

Related: Visit these 9 magical European places for a winter getaway

Expect year-round sunshine in the Canary Islands. (Photo of Tenerife Dennis Fischer Photography/Getty Images)

Bottom line

You need to pick your destination carefully in February. As much as I love somewhere like Amsterdam, I would avoid it in February because of the weather -- it's the coldest month of the year there.

But if you can find a location where the weather is to your liking, I think it can be one of, if not the best months to travel. Every time I have traveled during this month I've found it cheaper, easier, quieter and overall more enjoyable. I travel just about every month of the year and if you are looking for a cheap, last-minute and easy getaway, I would really recommend February.

Featured image by Getty Images

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Rewards

2 - 10X points
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Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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740-850
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023