It seems like everyone is on vacation now. But if you don't like the crowds and high prices associated with summer travel, you're better off booking a fall getaway. You can find great deals on hotels and flights to many U.S. cities and overseas destinations in September, October and November because it's a slow period for the travel industry.
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Here are several places where the prices drop during the fall:
At many beach destinations in the U.S., the water still is warm in early fall but accommodations can be up to 50% cheaper than in the summer, says Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com.
Nantucket. Banas says you can get a great deal on rooms at high-end properties on this island off the coast of Massachusetts once the peak summer tourism season is over. In particular, Nantucket Island Resorts starts discounting rooms at its luxury properties in September, but the deals are especially good in October. For example, rates at the White Elephant drop to $225 in October -- down from $595 in August. You can get a room at the Jared Coffin in October for $155 versus $295 in August.
Outer Banks. Banas says that prices drop in the fall on vacation homes on this string of barrier islands along the North Carolina coast. For example, many of the four-bedroom oceanfront properties listed with Twiddy Outer Bank rentals drop in price from $6,000 a week in the summer to $1,000 in October. Property owners also tend to be more flexible -- allowing renters to stay a few days rather than a full week, Banas says.
Florida. Hotel rates drop in Florida after Labor Day through November. For example, the average hotel rate in Orlando is $56 a night or stays between September 15 and November 15, according to Hotwire.com You also can find deals on airline tickets to many Florida destinations during this time.
Colorado. Banas says that fall is a good time to travel to Colorado because you can view the changing of the leaves for less than you would in New England. Ski resorts offer deals because the summer crowds are gone and the skiers have yet to arrive. For example, Manor Vail Lodge in Vail, Colo., is offering 30% off its already low fall rates on stays of three nights or more through November 16.
Caribbean. Prices are low in many Caribbean destinations in the fall because it's still hurricane season. But if you want to take your chances, you can find good deals. For example, Cruise.com is advertising a seven-day Caribbean cruise in November for $439, which is at the end of hurricane season. To lower your risk of a storm disrupting your travel, Banas recommends visiting islands closer to South America, such as Aruba and Barbados because they're less likely to be in the path of a hurricane.
Europe. Rates on flights to many European cities drop in the fall, Banas says. For example, Air France is having a late-summer sale on flights departing from the U.S. from August 25 to October 24. Deals include a round-trip flight from New York to Paris for $978, Washington to Istanbul for $707, and Miami to Madrid for $950. Banas says that European vacation packages including airfare and accommodations also drop in price in the fall. She recommends Go-today.com, which shows month-by-month pricing of its vacation packages so you'll know when to book to get the best deal.
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