“Yes, absolutely,” says Hayley Berg, lead economist for travel app Hopper.
If you’re able to reschedule any form of travel, whether it’s within your country or abroad, whether it’s a unique adventure or a short weekend escape, consider planning it for September or October. During these months, you can expect to spend less compared to the peak summer season. And if you have grandiose travel plans in mind, it’s even more advantageous to postpone them until the fall season.
“I always say if you want to go on what we call ‘bucket-list trips’ – so a honeymoon, a big family vacation, any travel where you’re interested or willing to make a really big investment – now is the time to book and take that trip because you’ll get so much more for your budget,” Berg said.
Significant reductions in airfare prices
In the upcoming months, traveling within the United States by air will come at a significantly lower cost compared to the prices seen during the summer season.
According to Hopper data, the average cost of domestic airfare during the fall has decreased by 29% compared to the peak summer months of June, July, and August. This year’s autumn fares are also 9% lower than those of the previous fall and 10% less expensive than the fall prices observed before the pandemic in 2019.
Less crowds, more joy
Few things are more disappointing than a crowded beach or an overcrowded tourist attraction you’ve been eagerly anticipating. During the fall months, you can savor most attractions and sights with far fewer fellow tourists.
Advantages that extend beyond financial considerations
Some popular destinations that struggled with high temperatures in July, the hottest month on record, will now see a welcome cooling trend. In Italy, Spain and Greece, temperatures soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (about 38 degrees Celsius) during the summer. However, by early September, temperatures in places like Catania, Sicily, have dropped to the 80s (upper 20 degrees Celsius), which means a more comfortable climate for travelers.
In addition to reduced temperatures, “you can also find that rates are significantly lower as well,” added Portugal-based travel expert Ashley Les, founder of Postcards from… As the crowds from Europe and other countries return to work and school, the cost of lodging in many major summer resort destinations starts to decline.
“Typically the cheapest months of the year to take a trip are January, September and October because they happen to be the three months that most people are not traveling,” said Berg.
Alex Bentley, product manager at Audley Travel, a travel agency based in the United Kingdom, recommends places like Nepal, South Africa and Indonesia for fall vacations.
“There are not as many visitors, which can help make a client’s budget go further. Visitors can still enjoy decent weather, there are numerous incredible sights and locations to explore, and a visit helps extend the season generating much valued tourist dollars outside of the peak travel times,” Bentley said.
Destinations that experts advise visiting
Below are four suggestions for fortunate travelers able to plan an autumn getaway:
According to Bendt, San Francisco, the Carmel Valley, and Big Sur showcase their finest attributes during the months of September and October.
“The ‘June Gloom’ and foggy summer months have cleared out, and it’s the best weather of the year to enjoy the city and nature of the northern coast,” he said.
North Fork, New York
Compared to Napa or Sonoma, New York provides a less well-known US wine country experience.
According to Marilyn Clark, owner of Lighthouse Travel in Huntington Beach, California, “there are many other areas in the United States that have some great wineries, and one of them is North Fork, a 30-mile-long peninsula on the East End of Long Island in New York.”
Italy’s Piedmont Region
“This summer, the number of travelers visiting Italy broke all records. But if you really want to feel like a local, visit the Piedmont region in October and November to enjoy the wine harvest,” Bendt suggested.
Yellowstone National Park in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
Bendt suggests that September stands out as the optimal time to explore Yellowstone National Park, a destination that hosted over 3 million visitors in the previous year. Among the most popular national parks in the United States, the bustling summer activity starts to calm down as autumn arrives.