Spring has flowers, summer has beach weather, and winter has snow sports but people rarely think about traveling in the fall. It’s so easy to associate fall with back to school that it’s easy to forget that it’s the perfect travel season. If you know me, you know that it is my absolute favourite season and I’m here to convince you that fall is the best time to travel.
It’s Cheaper to Travel
For nearly all of the Northern Hemisphere, fall is considered the off-season. This means you’ll pay less for your hotel, transportation, and depending on the location even your food. Tours are often cheaper in the fall (though this isn’t the case for fall specific tours like foliage tours). In some places, the price of your trip might be half of what it would be during the peak.
Fewer People Travel Then
As I said, fall is the off-season, which means there are fewer people wandering around. This is even true in places where the temperature and weather haven’t changed much. School being back in session has an impact on people traveling in the fall. So, if you want smaller crowds and fewer kids, plan your travels for the autumn season.
Fall festivals are my all-time favourite and autumn is such an amazing time for festivals all over the world. You’ve got Oktoberfest, Sapporo Autumn Fest, and of course fantastic harvest festivals all across North America just to name a few. Pumpkins galore! It’s also a lot of fun to experience Halloween in another country (though you might be a bit disappointed because no one goes as all out as the States–I say this as an uber Halloween fan who has experienced Halloween in many countries). Look for experiences like the Halloween Trail at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
While fall foliage can be found in 49 out of the 50 states (sorry Hawaii) and Canada, many people don’t consider that it’s actually something you can find all over the world. Japan is especially well known for gorgeous vibrant fall colours. But, keep in mind if you are going to Japan that the country is so long that while there may be fall colours in one part of the country it could be several weeks before it appears at the other end (not unlike the States). Central and Northern Europe also offer fantastic fall colours. Scotland, Italy, Germany, Czechia…they all offer spectacular colour to enjoy.
One of the best things about fall is the food (I’m going to claim this as a universal truth!). It’s #pumpkineverything season in North America. What you consider fall food may be something that people in other countries have never heard of or have on a regular basis (roast pumpkin is served year-round in New Zealand). Seek out wild mushroom dishes in Italy and apple dishes from…well, all over really. You’ll get the opportunity to eat foods that are usually only enjoyed by the locals. Warm cocktails (like this spiked cider) start appearing on menus and cinnamon and clove come into their own.
I hope this has you considering fall as the best time to travel! I’m definitely planning to travel more next autumn!