When you think of fall, you probably imagine cosy sweaters, pumpkin-spiced goodies, gorgeous foliage and crunchy leaves. But did you know it’s also the perfect season for travelling? From fewer crowds and lower prices, to incredible festivals and the best seasonal food, here are 7 reasons why you should be thinking about booking a fall vacay in 2021.
1. Travel is cheaper
Known as the ‘shoulder season’ or the ‘off-season’, fall travel offers up discounts that you just won’t get during summer. It’s one of the cheapest times of year to travel, with lower prices on airfares, hotels, train tickets, activities and even food and drink specials.
Since your cash goes much further in fall, you’ll be able to travel for longer, fit in extra excursions, and maybe even upgrade your flight. More freedom of choice means a happier traveller.
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2. There are fewer crowds
As the summer holiday hype begins to fade and the crowds go back to work and school, the savvy traveller is just getting started! One of the best perks to travelling in fall is that you won’t have to wait in long queues, make reservations at every restaurant, or compete with hordes of tourists to snap a pic.
With less crowded cafes, beaches, museums, parks and attractions, you can take full advantage of the peaceful atmosphere and really indulge in your destination.
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3. The scenery is stunning
Fall is a beautiful time to travel, with changing leaves illuminating the landscapes in all shades of red, orange and yellow. Whether you’re an avid photographer or you simply love enjoying natural wonders, the fall scenery is sure to take your breath away. Go for a walk through the forest, or a drive along a tree-lined road, and marvel at Mother Nature’s masterpieces.
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4. The weather is wonderful
Forget the sweltering heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter. Fall dishes up the perfect temperatures for travel. It’s not too hot and not too cold. Instead, imagine soft golden light mixed with fresh temperatures and clear days. Add in crunchy leaves underfoot and you’ve got the perfect recipe for walking and cycling around comfortably all day.
5. There are so many fantastic festivals
Fall brings amazing festivals all over the world. Some of our favourite fall celebrations include Oktoberfest (late September to early October), the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (October) Dia de los Muertos (31 October to 2 November), and Diwali (October or November).
We also love Guy Fawkes Night on 5 November, with a huge fireworks display to remember the 1605 Gunpowder Plot. And you can’t forget Halloween, celebrated across the world from the United States to Ireland (where they celebrate Samhain).
There’s also plenty of harvest and wine festivals, with delicious bounties of produce and barrels of grapes pressed for wine. Be sure to head to England’s Harvest Home Festival to see blindfolded participants compete to take down the last corn stalk, or get your buzz on at Budapest’s International Wine Festival in September.
France and Italy also lead the way with wine festivals. Our top picks are the Festa dell’Uva in Cinigiano in October and Hospices de Beaune Wine Festival in Burgundy in November.
For something truly magical, Europe’s enchanting Christmas markets begin in late November all across the continent. If you visit these iconic markets when they first open, they’ll be much less crowded than in December.
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6. You’ll indulge in delicious seasonal food
Fall food is in a whole league of its own. Think ripe fruits and vegetables like apples, pears and pumpkin, and some of the best wine you’ve ever had. Get hands-on and go fruit picking, wander around a farmer’s market, or sit down to a farm-to-table restaurant and indulge in delicious seasonal dishes.
You could even head to a food festival, like the Kookeet Food Festival in Bruges and the Portuguese Festival Nacional de Gastronomia in Santarém. If you want to celebrate some of the most beloved fall fare, head to Silakkamarkkinat in Helsinki to celebrate Baltic herring or La Fête de la Crevette in Honfleur for all things shrimp.
There’s also the Csaba Sausage Festival in Békéscsaba and the White Truffle Fair in San Miniato. During the fall, it’s all about letting your stomach guide your travels.
7. You’ll get an authentic travel experience
The fall season is often a favourite with locals, too. The busy crowds of summer have given way to more relaxing days and store owners can offer their best service at a peaceful pace. Without the crowds turning tables quickly, you’ll be able to sit down to leisurely meals. You might even find time for a chat with local business owners and artisans.
When you travel in fall, you’ll also be doing your part to avoid contributing to overtourism – the overcrowding from too many tourists that has become incredibly damaging to the environment and communities. So next time you’re planning a holiday, think about jetting off in fall – the perfect season for travelling.
Do you like to travel in fall? Where was your best fall vacation? Let us know in the comments below!