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Why You Should Travel Internationally This Fall

Grace Lower | Dec 1, 2018

This blog post was updated February 16, 2021.


Autumn may be the coziest time of year, but don’t get too comfortable. Fall also marks the start of shoulder season —  the sweet spot between peak and off-season for many international travel destinations.

Autumn travel comes witha number of benefits: lower-cost transportation, milder climates, and discounted attractions.

As you plan for the rest of the year, why not take advantage of the autumn season with a trip abroad? Here are a few reasons why fall is the best time for an international adventure.

Cheaper airfare

It’s no secret the post-summer travel lull can lead to major savings on airfare. With fewer people booking flights, many airlines slash autumn ticket costs in order to fill seats. And unlike budget winter flights, autumn flights carry fewer risks of adverse weather.

Pricing may vary based on the destination and duration of your trip, but ultimately, booking flights in autumn can free up hundreds of dollars in your travel budget.

Fall travel.

Favorable weather

In many parts of the world, autumn is accompanied by cooler temperatures and less-direct sunlight — making long afternoons of hiking, touring, and transit all the more comfortable.

What’s more, bright fall foliage can be found throughout many parts of the world. As beautiful as your destination might be, the reds and oranges of autumn are sure to make it a show-stopper.

It’s still important to research your destination’s climate and seasonal temperatures before you book. In colder countries, especially those in northern Europe, autumn is accompanied by plenty of ice and snow.

Those conditions tend to be far more manageable than the frigid temperatures that arrive during winter though. Conversely, if you’re planning for something more tropical, remember that mid-August through late October marks the height of Atlantic hurricane season.

Fortunately, there are still a number of lower-risk destinations in the Caribbean. If you plan carefully and pack accordingly, even the worst autumn weather shouldn’t get in the way of your experience.

Smaller crowds

As the summer rush dwindles, the most popular attractions will clear out — making autumn the perfect time to capture that iconic photo or simply take in an unobstructed view. What’s more, it’s easier to snag coveted hotel and dining reservations.

Smaller crowds mean less foot-traffic, too. You can savor the sights during the fall without feeling guilty about inconveniencing passersby. No matter where your adventures take you this fall, you’re bound to spend less time weaving through gaggles of guests and more time enjoying your adventure.

Fewer compromises

School is back in session, which means fewer children will be joining their families for trips. While kids can add plenty of liveliness and fun to a vacation, it can be challenging to tailor something that suits everyone’s interests and needs. Why not use autumn as a time for an adults-only getaway?

The end of the year is the perfect time to revisit your bucket list: whether you’re wine-tasting in southern France, skiing in the Swiss Alps, or motorcycling through Vietnam. As you plan your kids-free getaway, remember to do the grown-up thing by purchasing travel medical insurance — after all, your travels should be as safe as they are fun.

Extra hospitality

As the buzz of summer travel season begins to die down, staff members at restaurants, hotels, and museums can breathe a collective sigh of relief. With fewer people to vie for their attention, the staff in your destination can take greater care in ensuring that your stay is as comfortable as possible.

When traveling in the autumn off-season, you might get extra recommendations from your concierge, an overview of local cuisine from your server, or a round of post-tour drinks with your local guide (all true stories!).

Of course, no matter the season, you should keep your expectations reasonable, and tip generously when appropriate. Summer travel.

Less “tourism fatigue”

Many major cities are experiencing unprecedented rates of international visitors. This influx of guests puts a strain on communities: crowding popular attractions, filling public transit, and often leaving a wake of litter and damage.

As a result, many locals embrace peak season with both eagerness and dread. But as summer fades to autumn, your interactions with locals might seem a little warmer. With fewer tourists to accommodate, residents of your destination may be more open to sharing recommendations or chatting with you at a bar.

One last hurrah before the holidays

Let’s face it: the holiday season comes with its share of stresses. From picking the perfect gift, to hosting family, it’s easy to lose that sense of holiday magic amid the scramble. Why not incorporate some spontaneity with a pre-holiday trip abroad?

Throughout your travels, you can enjoy spending time with your loved ones, relish a change of scenery, and even get started on holiday shopping. What’s more, your autumn trip can be treated as “the big gift” for the year — ensuring that the rest of your holiday celebrations are kept simple and stress-free.

Although another year may be coming to an end, it’s not too late to cross an international destination off your bucket list. Autumn, with its knit scarves, bright foliage, and crisp breezes, can also be a season for new adventures and self-discovery.

By traveling in autumn, you’re not only saving money and maximizing your stay — you’re also ringing in the new year with a fresh perspective.


    Guest contributor: Grace Lower

About the Author

Grace Lower has a love for all things writing and travel. When she's not exploring new places, Grace enjoys teaching English as a Second Language, making terrible puns, and running incredibly long distances at incredibly slow speeds.

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