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These Are the Cheapest Months of the Year to Visit All 50 States

Yes, there is the perfect (aka *cheapest*) time to visit each and every state.

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cut out map of the united states with u.s. money bills in negative spaceFJZEA/Getty Images

Coast to coast

We traveled throughout the United States on a budget without sacrificing anything. Our secret: we learned the least expensive times to visit each state. Sure, we made some missteps (going to Orlando during Spring Break wasn’t our wisest decision), but we learned along the way. It’s all about understanding the state’s peak season to visit—and avoiding that time. Here are the cheapest months of the year to visit all 50 states.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in january5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


It’s freezing in half the country, which will scare off many visitors. Translation: this is your time to bundle up and head to the colder states. And sure, New York City looks beautiful during the Christmas season, but you can save hundreds on your hotel and flights by heading to the Big Apple in January, when all those festive tourists have departed, according to Frommers. Families are most likely to be visiting during the summer or over the break, so they’ll be scarce, too. Travel to Boston (53 percent hotel savings), San Diego (37 percent savings) and Alabama (20 percent more affordable). This is also a good time to go to Arkansas, where you may be a little chilly in the hot springs—but you’ll be saving a bundle, according to U.S. News. If you like skiing, head to Colorado this month, when flight prices average $173 round-trip or 25 percent cheaper than the average yearly flight price, according to SkySkanner. Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Nevada, Indiana, and Kansas are also cheapest now, according to Skyscanner. Before you go, discover the best winter activity in every state.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in february5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


There are few school breaks in February, so this is the time to head to Orlando, according to U.S. News & World Report, plus, temps in Florida will be much more comfortable during this time of year. It’s also a good time to visit Hawaii, according to Hopper. That’s because most people will travel there during the holidays or over the summer. Fly over to Seattle now, as it’s Museum Month, and you’ll be able to receive half-price admission to the state’s top museums. Or head to Illinois, where hotels are 50 percent less expensive now than they are during the most expensive time of the year, and an average round-trip flight is less than $200, according to data from Kayak. February is also the cheapest time to travel to New Jersey, New Mexico, Nebraska, Missouri, and Connecticut, according to Kayak. Find out the best bucket list idea for each of the 50 states.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in march5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


In March, rates for New Hampshire hotels are three to ten times less than they are in mid-summer or in October. And sometimes, the springs are as lovely now as they are in the fall, though it can be hit or miss this time of the year. Same goes for Vermont, though the price is so good, you might as well try heading here in the spring and seeing if you get lucky with the weather.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in april5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


April isn’t brimming with travel deals, as it’s spring break around much of the country—and it’s a lovely time to travel just about anywhere. But if you’re looking for a great travel deal, you head to Virginia. The best deals for the Old Dominion arrive in April and May (though the peak time to visit Virginia is from May through September)—and the temperatures are comfortable. Fall is the second-best time to visit Virginia if you’re looking for inexpensive rates on hotels and flights to the state. Find out the best beach vacation every month of the year.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in may5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


Wyoming hits rock-bottom prices in May, when there are high levels of precipitation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Yes, the weather is unpredictable and it’s not the best time for skiing, but it is a fantastic time to see wildlife. It’s also a good time to go to Rhode Island, as it’s the end of the spring season, and there are few visitors. Bonus: Rhode Island is home to one of the 10 most romantic island destinations in the United States.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in june and july5W Infographics for Reader's Digest, rd.com5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


There are few places that are inexpensive to visit during June—school is out, the weather is nice, and it’s a popular time to travel, after all—but you can head to North Dakota where prices drop this month. (August is the most expensive). We love so many things about North Dakota (which we firmly believe is an underrated state), but one of the coolest things about it is its dinosaur museum, which is truly out of this world. Here are 12 of the world’s best dinosaur museums, including the one you should visit when you come to North Dakota.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in june and july5W Infographics for Reader's Digest, rd.com5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


If you didn’t make it to North Dakota in June, go now, where the flights are even cheaper, averaging $531. Hotels may be a little more expensive than in the spring, though, so it’s a balancing act.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in august5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


It will be hot, but if you can take the heat, go to Arizona, where it’ll be empty and inexpensive, according to U.S. News & World Report. We did it—and felt like we had the state to ourselves. Another hot spot (literally and figuratively) will be Georgia. The average round-trip airfare will be $280. Discover hidden gems in each of the 50 states.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in september5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


Pack your bags for Minnesota, as it’s the least expensive time to fly here, according to (the most expensive time is in December). Idaho is also ideal in September, where average round-trip flights are $413. And while you won’t be able to ski this time of year, you can cycle and hike in this beautiful state. Or, head to the south: it’s the cheapest time to go to Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana (December is the most expensive), according to Cheapflights.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in october5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


Maine is super affordable in the fall when there are fewer visitors than in summer’s peak. Fancy hotels like Cliff House Maine are about $230 less expensive in the fall than in the summer. Or, pack your rain gear and head to the other side of the country to Oregon, which many people will shy away from visiting this month because it’s the rainy season, Frommers says.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in november5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


Head to Delaware, where it’s low season so you can score a cheap vacay, according to Or, grab your warmest clothing ever and go to Alaska, where it’ll be freezing and quite dark, but still beautiful. Average round-trip flights here will run you $524 in November, and you’ll get to see the Northern Lights. It’s also low season in West Virginia and in Wisconsin.

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map showing state(s) to travel to in december5W Infographics for Reader's Digest,


It’s expensive to travel just about anywhere in December, as most people are off from work and school for the last half of the month to celebrate the holidays. But there is one place where you may save. Spend your holiday month in South Dakota (but try to avoid the actual holiday week, as prices will go up then), according to SmarterTravel. Next, read on to find out the one food you have to try in every state.

Danielle Braff
Danielle Braff regularly covers travel, health and lifestyle for Reader's Digest. Her articles have also been published in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Boston Globe and other publications. She has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a master's degree in musicology from Oxford University in England. Danielle is based in Chicago, where she lives with her husband and two children. See her recent articles at You can follow her on Facebook @Danielle.Karpinos, Twitter @daniellebraff, and Instagram at danikarp.