And just like that, fall is upon us once again. The lazy days of summer are gone and it’s back to the grind. As students get ready for school, their parents breathe a sense of relief as they send them off to the next grade. While summer is done, it doesn’t mean that vacation time is over as well. In fact, fall is a great time to travel and discover great destinations.
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Why travel in the fall
While the northern hemisphere embraces the changing of the seasons, there are many reasons why this is the perfect time to travel.
Let’s be honest, lining up to see anything during the summer can be exhausting. Crowds swarming everywhere, long lineups and battling people for a great spot once you finally get in. In the sea of selfie sticks, tablets and cameras it’s hard to get a good shot or really appreciate the place you just spent hours waiting to see.
In the fall, the crowds are gone. You won’t have to sweat as you’re waiting in the massive lineup. Chances are there won’t be a line up, or at least not a big one. Colosseum, Parthenon, the Louvre and other great attractions become a lot more attainable. Plus, you won’t have to share them with so many others.
Overtourism has become a rising issue for many places. This means that some countries are taking measures to battle it that might make your experience not a great one. While you might have to wait longer or get your tickets ahead of time during high season, that won’t be much of a problem off-season.
While you pay through your nose for everything from accommodations to flights during summer, travel in the fall means lower prices. It’s actually quite incredible how much prices differ once you hit fall. Airlines usually drop extensive discounts to encourage people to travel as the high season is over.
Accommodations also become more affordable and you won’t have to battle everyone else for space. Usually there is quite the difference for travelling in the fall than what you find in the summer. This is especially true for popular summer destinations.
There is definitely something beautiful about fall weather. The scorching temperatures of the summer are cooling off, making exploring so much more fun. If you’ve ever found yourself in the scorching heat of the summer, you know that it can make a trip a tad uncomfortable. It especially sucks when you’re travelled somewhere far to see that particular destination.
Well, fall is your best alternative. Temperatures become more moderate, making exploring fun and exciting. From walking the streets to hiking in the outdoors, it is definitely better in the fall. Crisp air and stunning colours make any outdoor activity way more enjoyable.
In addition, you can even find some deals as stores get rid of their inventory, making space for the next season. After all, shopping can be a great activity in the fall too. Especially if you can score some impressive deals.
Fall travel activities
While there is no shortage of things to see and do in the fall, few things make this season so special.
Watching the leaves change colours
One of my favourite things about fall is the changing landscape. We have done some epic road trips through Pennsylvania and eastern Canada during fall. It’s amazing how colourful and vibrant the world around us can be.
The rolling hills and forests of Europe also provide a spectacular pallet for even the most discerning visitors. Imagine yourself strolling the streets and parks of Paris with a scarf wrapped artfully around your neck as you marvel at the beauty all around you.
If you’re not ready to give up on summer quite yet, the good news is that the southern hemisphere is entering the spring season. Grab a deal on a flight and chase the summer on a different continent. South America, Australia or Africa are calling your name right this very moment.
The Caribbean is also a great destination for those wanting to extend the summer feel. All-inclusive packages and cruises come with great prices for those wanting to explore. While the deals can be great, your experience will be as well. Remember, this is the off-season and the crowds won’t be as bad.
For some reason, to me fall always means road tripping. There is something quite special about getting into your car and taking a drive. Imagine rolling down your windows and breathing in that crisp, fall air as you cruise down the road. Cue your favourite tunes and you’re set to go.
Few years ago, we did a seven-day road trip around Iceland in the fall. It left us breathless and in awe of the beauty around us. While the scenery was incredible so was the lack of crowds.
If the end of summer leaves you without travelling companions, fall is a great time for taking that group tour. You don’t have to go at it alone and you’re likely to make some new friends. The deals are also better and you get a chance to check out some spectacular destinations.
Things to keep in mind
Fall can be a fantastic time to travel, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
While many tourist attractions tend to have extended hours during high season, many of them reduce operations off-season. Don’t be surprised to find limited admission times and be prepared to find some of them closed for the season. If you know ahead of time where you’ll be travelling, check ahead to avoid disappointments.
Certain attractions, like gardens and parks, might not have the same appeal in the fall as they do in the summer. Don’t be surprised by the change in the scenery when you arrive. It might actually be better than you think!
Less frequent service
Just as attractions reduce hours of operation, so do the transportation companies. Certain routes for services like ferries, busses and trains shut down for the season. You might not be able to get everywhere you want to, but there are so many choices of places to go to that you won’t even notice it.
Some airlines also set flight schedules seasonally, depending on the destination and time of the year. It’s definitely worthwhile to check ahead of expected travel to ensure you actually can get a flight there and back.
Limited lodging options
Many places that operate seasonally will also cut their availability. Places in beach resort towns, cabins, summer destinations and even campsites might be closed for the season once fall comes around.
This is less common for larger hotels; however, fall is also a conference season and a very lucrative time for hotels. You might find fewer choices for places to stay once you get out of the high season. While I imagine most private operators on Airbnb and similar platforms will still have availability, there might be less of them.
Bringing it together
In the past, we have loved travelling in the fall. We got better deals, avoided the crowds and got time off from work while all the people with kids returned once September hit. It is much easier to travel in the fall if you don’t have school-aged children. For us, it was great.
As we now have more flexibility, we can travel at various times of the year. However, fall remains one of our favourite times to travel.
Are you a fall traveller or do you stick to taking your vacations in the summer? Let me know.
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