Autumn is when world transforms; trees change color, mist creeps in over the fields, and rain patters on the window more days than not. That nip in the air is just enough to get you scrambling for a warm scarf in the morning, but leaves you to stash it in your bag by the afternoon. It’s one of my favorite times of year, the last hurrah of vibrant beauty and introduction to the creature comforts of hot tea and tall boots before the dreary winter days come creeping. Almost like earth is giving you one last gift before departing to her frosty hibernation.
It’s also one of the most amazing times to travel. Late September to November is considered the shoulder season for most of the colder tourist locations and, in my opinion, it’s one of the best times to explore. Here are just a few reasons why you need to book your travel (or maybe just your weekend getaway) in the autumn months.
I’m not exactly an extrovert, though I wouldn’t place myself solidly in the introvert camp either. Fall travel affords me the luxury of being able to feel like a place is all my own to explore (or at least much more so than on a busy Saturday in July). While many in the world are back to school or work, or simply dislike the idea of adventuring in the rain, I am all for donning my boots and raincoat to get that “exclusive” look at museum, downtown street, or beautiful landscape without having to worry about parking, long lines, or being sandwiched between strangers trying to get the best picture.
Locations that rely heavily on tourism to support their economy really feel the effect that smaller crowds; as the sun wanes, so do the customers. Airlines, lodging, and even many attractions will lower their prices to entice more travelers. You might have to get creative when it comes to how you use these to their greatest potential; many venues operate at reduced hours, offer fewer flights, or are frankly a little cold or soggy if you aren’t prepared. But, when you can score those round trip tickets for just $500 and a hotel for 30% off regular rate it’s worth it to pack a few extra pairs of socks and an umbrella to stay cozy.
In many cultures, there is a time when the line between dreams and reality gets fuzzy; Autumn, sunsets, and solstices all fall into this category. Whether it is walking down a leaf covered path, watching a misty cloud cover the mountaintops, or simply sipping the perfect cappuccino in a quiet cafe while reading a book, it makes one feel a bit more spiritual and a little less grounded – in the best possible way.
There really isn’t a “best place” to visit in autumn. You could head to Vancouver or Seattle for a big city adventure, road trip to Yellowstone, or spend Thanksgiving in Europe. They’re all amazing and you’ll be sure to find a little bit of that magic if you keep your eyes open in the time between times.