For those who can get away at any time, fall is the new summer and a perfect time to escape, thanks to thinner crowds at many popular destinations, less traffic, and more comfortable weather. Follow these five travel tips to plan your perfect fall vacation — the sooner, the better.
1. Choose Your Timing Right
If you’re looking forward to a fall foliage trip, learn the peak times for the specific vacation destination you’re visiting ahead of time, and make plans accordingly. If you’re traveling to high-traffic areas such as Orlando and you want to avoid crowds, visit when most children are back in school but before fall breaks begin, usually between late September and early November. Fall may automatically be shoulder season in many areas, but it’s still a good idea to do a little research on the best timing for the type of trip you want.
2. Plan Plenty Of Outdoor Activities
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy fresh-air fun because the temperature in most places is not as hot or as cold as it gets at other times of the year, but rather somewhere in the middle. Whether you’re hiking a trail, taking a stroll through your favorite city, zip lining across the treetops, or enjoying a picnic at a waterside park, there’s no shortage of things to do that are much more enjoyable in the fall than perhaps any other season. There’s even the bonus of seasonal activities like corn mazes, apple picking, hayrides, and fall festivals to keep you outdoors even longer.
3. Pack Outfits With Layers
Even in warm-weather destinations such as Florida and the Caribbean, temperatures tend to drop in the mornings and evenings during the fall, so it’s a good idea to pack layers that you can easily add or remove, depending on the weather and time of day. (Bonus if it folds easily and fits in your travel bag, so it’s always handy.) Generally speaking, consider fall sweater weather — not warm enough to go without one, but not cold enough to need much more than that.
4. Don’t Forget Dining Reservations
Fall is your last chance to enjoy outdoor dining in many destinations before the weather really turns chilly, and it’s also the perfect time to score reservations at some of the most popular restaurants, thanks to thinner crowds at top tourist destinations. There’s no better time to plan that foodie adventure your palate’s been waiting for all summer.
5. Look Up Local Blogs For Great Tips
Since you’re not as likely to spend time waiting for rides, tables, or many other activities in the fall shoulder season, take advantage of the extra time on your hands and check out local favorites, including mom-and-pop watering holes and unique guided experiences. Travel blogs and city guides written by locals are treasure troves of off-the-beaten path activities. You can also check out the RCI Featured Destinations page to see if there’s a destination guide packed with suggestions for things to do on your next vacation.
Traveling on a budget? Learn more about how to take a cheap vacation during the fall shoulder season.