Shoulder season holds all kinds of secrets to cheaper and better travel, and October in many destinations is the shoulder travel season. Not yet freezing but pleasantly cool in many places, and downright warm in others, travelers can get the best of a city devoid of tourist hordes all while saving quite a bit on flights, hotels, and attractions.
Many beaches are still good for swimming or even just enjoying a stroll if the water is too cold, and you won't have to fight for a spot on the sand either. Restaurant prices often go down, hotels and resorts offer great deals, and many attractions have discounted if not free tickets. Not only is October a great time to travel and enjoy a destination in an authentic way, but it's also a great time to travel on a budget. Don't worry about figuring out just where you can save big this month, though; we've gathered a list of wallet-friendly places to travel in October.
Alaska is the perfect destination for adventure lovers, and as long as you don't mind wearing a jacket, October is a great time to go. Explore the state's vast wilderness and gorgeous landscapes by hiking, biking, and even kayaking among other outdoor activities.
One of the most underrated tourist spots in the world, Amman is the perfect base from which to explore the many sites of Jordan, such as Petra, Wadi Rum, and taking on the Jordan Trail. The city is full of great food and people, as well as reasonable hotel prices. Not only is October affordable, but the heat is less brutal than it is in the summer.
Athens is a definite bucket list destination, being one of the oldest cities in the world and the heart of Ancient Greece. With famous sites such as the Acropolis, Parthenon, Ancient Agora, and Temple of Olympian Zeus, it tends to be a hot spot in the summer, but by October, the big crowds are gone. The weather is still pleasant, and good deals can be found too, so take advantage of the beautiful resorts before it gets too cold.
Bali is one of the best island vacations in the world, which is why you'd do well to go outside of the summer and holiday high season. You may have to watch out for some showers as it transitions into the rainy season, but it's a small price to pay for great bargains at the island's beautiful resorts.
Barcelona is full of iconic attractions such as the Barcelona Pavilion and the still-unfinished La Sagrada Familia, as well as some of the best beaches in Europe. October is one of the cheapest months to see this summer hot spot. There's still pretty good weather for the beach in October, but tickets are a lot more affordable. Food and drink are affordable here all year, and many top tourist attractions are cheap, if not free.
Blowing Rock, North Carolina
A largely undiscovered American gem, Blowing Rock is a small town destination on the crest of western North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. With a quaint and colorful main street, it has plenty of charming shops selling novelties such as specialty handmade candles, spices, fudge, and more. Stay in a cabin for great rates, and go on nature trails such as the Glen Burney Trail just a mile away or find a breathtaking view at Blowing Rock, the vantage point after which the village is named.
Travelers to Colombia are usually very satisfied, and that satisfaction is guaranteed if you visit the capital city of Bogotá. Already super affordable, flights and hotels are much cheaper once the summer high season has died down, and you won't even have to wait in line at the city's many amazing museums, galleries, and amusement parks. Hike the Sabana de Bogotá, go biking in the hills, or take on the wonderful nightlife of the city.
The beautiful mountain town of Boulder is popular with the younger crowd, as it's a prime wintersports destination as well as a gorgeous getaway in the summer. Since most young people are in school in the fall, tourism goes down and so do flights and hotel prices. The famous great outdoors of Colorado are especially beautiful with fall foliage, and the weather is pleasantly crisp.
A fantastic city for solo travelers, Budapest hold the best of Eastern European culture with its architecture and many museums, churches, and restaurants. Already quite affordable, fall brings lower hotel rates and flight prices, and it isn't too chilly yet either, with highs typically at around the low 60s.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is the perfect place to visit now that the tourist crowds have left. Known for its love of dance and design, as well as its many art galleries, it's a destination that's always full of fantastic South American culture, and hotel rates are pretty cheap too.
Egypt is definitely currently a top destination, and Cairo is possibly the best place to visit, as it's home to the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, and the Grand Egyptian Museum among other sites. October is the perfect time make a trip, because the extremely hot summer weather has passed, but the temperature is still very pleasant. Hotel rates don't go up here until the Christmas holiday season, and you'll be able to find all kinds of great food at more than reasonable prices.
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One of the most popular spring break destinations, Cancún is actually a great place to go in October. Hotel prices are more affordable, and the Mexican heat isn't as intense, so you can enjoy the gorgeous beaches even more. You don't have to be a beach person to enjoy Cancún, however; the city is also home to an interactive aquarium, as well as Chichen Itza, the ruins of an ancient Mayan city.
Cape Cod, Maryland
A popular vacation spot for the famous and wealthy, Cape Cod is far more affordable in the fall than it is in the summer. You may not be able to soak up the sun on the beach all day, but the peninsula has plenty of cute little villages, ports, restaurants, and restaurants with delicious seafood for you to check out. The weather is often still in the 60s, so you can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and horseback riding.
Charleston, South Carolina
If you haven't already considered a trip to Charleston, you need to add it to your bucket list immediately. A great place for food, history, and golfing, there are plenty of packages and deals available this time of year in Charleston. Check out where the Civil War began and walk down cobblestone streets lined with houses dating back to the 18th century.
Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Chincoteague Island is seven miles long, and yet manages to be one of the best beach towns in the country. Virginia's only resort island, it's home to the majestic Chincoteague Wild Ponies and has a serene shoreline as well as super cheap lodging during the fall.
Costa Brava, Spain
The Catalonian costal region of Costa Brava is a great reason to travel to Spain, with its pristine, private beaches and top-notch regional wine. Hotels right on the beach are surprisingly cheap, and the sun is still shining pretty bright in October.
October is a great time to check Crete off your island bucket list. A breathtaking island full of beaches, mountains, valleys, and caves, it's very popular in the summer so crowds and hotel rates both decline in the fall. The temperature stays in the 70s and 80s, so you won't have to miss out on the gorgeous weather either.
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Ireland is a truly magical place, and its capital is a must-see destination. October is a great time to experience the traditional pub life and have a nice pint. Check out the historic squares and get a deeper look at Irish history in its many museums, and save immensely on round trip flight tickets as well as accommodations.
Its capital of Quito is full of beautiful colonial and Latin American Architecture, as well as great food. From there, you can explore the amazing scenery of the country, from forests to snow-capped volanoes to the famous Galapagos Islands. Already quite affordable in terms of flights and accommodations, it's even more affordable in the off season.
Flights to Scotland around this time of year are amazingly affordable, and Americans have a great exchange rate in the United Kingdom, so your wallet, too, will be pretty happy once you're there. You won't have to deal with too many other tourists as you explore Edinburgh Castle and take on one of the best cities for urban hiking.
Located in the Great Smoky Mountains where the fall foliage is truly magical, the small town of Gatlinburg is particularly charming in the fall. Go hiking, biking, or even try your hand at zip lining or mountain golf.
As cheap as Gettysburg is during the fall, it's that much richer in history year-round. Visit the site of the Battle of Gettysburg and Pennsylvania's best museum, and take a ghost tour for some thrills. Gettysburg also has apple orchards and farmers markets that are quite enjoyable in the fall.
Grand Tetons, Wyoming
The summer crowds have left Grand Teton, and November means many roads close for the winter, so October is your last chance to enjoy this magnificent national park. Make sure you bring your camera so that you can capture sky-high mountains, amazing wildlife such as bears and buffaloes (from a safe distance), and beautiful sunrises.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Gulf Shores is one of the best beaches for families, with vacation rental homes making up the majority of accommodations. Most of those homes are shockingly cheap in the fall if you hunt down a great deal, and the Southern weather is still pretty warm in October as well.
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Extremely popular in the winter and still thriving in the summer, Lake Tahoe gets a bit forgotten by travelers in the fall. This spectacular lake is amazing year-round, however, and its beauty is only heightened by fall foliage and affordable rates. Fall time means gorgeous hikes, as well as a great time to ride a hot air balloon.
Leavenworth is a charming small town you should definitely visit in the fall, and October is particularly affordable. Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, the scenery here is even more beautiful as the trees change color. A city with heavy Bavarian influence, its Oktoberfest is among the most famous, with top-notch German cuisine, brews, and music.
One of the fastest-growing tourist spots in the world, Lisbon has one of the longest summers in Europe, which means that the weather is still beautiful here in October. Hotel rates are a bargain, and hostels here are some of the best in the world. Lisbon also has a rich culture and history showcased at its many monuments and museums filled with art and artifacts that chronicle Portugal's long and fascinating history.
Los Cabos, Mexico
Los Cabos is one of the most glamorous vacation spots in Mexico, which means it can get pretty pricey in the winter high season. Summer gets rainy here, so October is perfect both in terms of weather and affordability. Resorts aren't filled up or exorbitant in their rates, so both you and your wallet can enjoy the Mexican sun.
The beautiful lake town of Mesa is a great place to experience the Sonora Desert, go biking and hiking, and learn about the world around you at the Museum of Natural History. Fall is a great time to be in Mesa, as the city hosts multiple arts, culinary, and music festivals.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Hurricane season is coming to a close in October, so you want to be on guard with any Caribbean vacation, but Montego Bay's location in the northeast of Jamaica means its less likely to get hit by storms. Resorts and hotels lower their prices significantly in October, and all-inclusive packages tend to be great bargains as well. With so many beautiful beaches and scenery, it's a great place for an affordable last-minute getaway.
Montreal is definitely a great bucket list trip on a budget, and October is the best time to get cheap hotel rates after the summer rush has died down. The French-Canadian city has interesting museums and stores, wonderful parks, and beautiful streets for you to explore, as long as you bring along a jacket in case the weather gets a bit chilly.
Not only is the resort town of Essaouira - known for its beaches perfect for windsurfing and kitesurfing, as well as its colorful medina - one of this year's top value destinations, but the rest of Morocco is pretty affordable in October too. With cheaper hotels and flights, visit Marrakech, full of palaces and street markets, or Fez, an extremely well-preserved city full of history.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is super family-friendly, which means it's also super peaceful in October when school has already started. You'll find shorter lines at attractions and the city's many mini-golf courses, as well as cheaper accommodations and beach rentals. The weather in Myrtle Beach stays pretty warm this time of year, often going into the 70s, so you can still enjoy the beach to its fullest.
New Orleans, Louisiana
A popular destination in the summer or, of course, for Mardi Gras, New Orleans is a fantastic destination any time of year, which is why you should consider coming in October when both flights and hotel rates have taken a dip. There's plenty to do here, as the city is known for its food and nightlife which never goes out of season, but in addition to Bourbon Street, you'd do well to visit other spots such as the Garden District and the historic French Quarter.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport's dramatic shoreline is just as breathtaking in the fall as it is in the summer, but cooler weather and the end of the summer high season helps bring down costs for flights and accommodation. Enjoy the city's famously beautiful mansions and fall festivals with great seafood and wine.
There's more to Peru than just Machu Picchu, and more and more travelers are discovering the rest of the country, full of adobe complexes, ancient ruins, and gorgeous hikes perfect. October is right before the rainy season in Peru, and it's even more affordable with cheaper flights and discounts on attractions. Peru also has a delicious cuisine, especially in its capital, Lima, that's as cheap as it is delicious.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Similar to Montego Bay, Puerto Plata's location makes it a more acceptable October destination, as its on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, a great place for sunshine. Hotels and resorts drop greatly in prices, so definitely look into booking an all-inclusive.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most exciting destinations in the world, which is why prices tend to be sky high in the winter, when Christmas and Carnaval take over the party-loving city. A trip in October, however, means fantastic hotel prices and pretty good deals on flights too. The weather is still quite nice, although there may be scattered rains here and there as the wet season starts to arrive.
San Diego, California
If you're craving some extra sun, San Diego is an easy and warm getaway perfect for fall. Its gorgeous beaches are less crowded, and the city is full of famous attractions such as San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and Balboa Park with its museums. Even better, plenty of San Diego's top notch attractions and restaurants take part in Kids Free San Diego, a promo in which kids don't get charged.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is actually quite the romantic city, full of amazing sightseeing opportunities such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and its famous Chinatown. As the number of tourists in the city goes down, so do flight prices and hotel rates. It's still pretty warm here, although evening can get a bit chillier.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The coolest city in New Mexico cools down a bit in the fall, so make sure you bring your jacket if you're coming here in October. A popular Southwestern destination in the summer, fall means fewer tourists as well as more affordable accommodations. You'll find great Southwestern cuisine, plenty of outdoor opportunities, and a great art scene.
The absolutely breathtaking island of Santorini is one of the most popular summer destinations, which means exorbitant prices and tourists ruining your photos of the island's blue domes and gorgeous sunsets. Go in October and you'll find less people, as well as far more reasonable prices, especially for flight tickets.
One of America's most haunted cities is also hauntingly beautiful, and October in Savannah brings with it milder temperatures and fewer crowds. Domestic flights to Savannah are amazingly cheap around this time, and you'll find all kinds of affordable lodging as well so that you can spend your money on delicious Southern cuisine and beautiful historic sights.
Seattle is one of the best fall weekend trips you can take on the West Coast, and in October, the city's not too cold to enjoy its many outdoor endeavors such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and more. A popular summer destination, Seattle sees lower flight prices and hotel rates in October, so you can enjoy popular spots like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market without worrying about your wallet and with fewer crowds.
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
Sharm el-Sheikh is home to some of the best all-inclusive resorts in the world, where you'll find unbelievable luxury and top-notch relaxation. You'll find affordable package deals and cheaper tickets this time of year, and with warm and dry weather guaranteed, it's the perfect resort destination.
Dubrovnik is overrun with tourists even this time of year, so an even better alternative is Split, a must-visit off-the-radar city that's sure to give you a more authentic Croatian experience. Located on the Dalmatian coast, Split is the second largest city in the country, a destination full of modernity as well as ancient Roman ruins for visitors to explore. Nice weather and a lack of tourists will help you appreciate the city's beauty and history even more, and it's far more affordable than Croatia's other big cities.
St. Augustine, Florida
With over 400 years of history and beautiful cobblestoned streets, St. Augustine is a quaint small town that seems like something out of a history book. With summer season over, the beach-loving crowd is gone and you're free to enjoy the beaches yourself or head over to St. George Street and its many stores and restaurants.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
The largest of the Spanish Canary Islands located off the coast of Morocco, Tenerife is a fantastic beach destination for October. Book a cheap flight and enjoy the gorgeous beaches to their fullest, as you won't be running into many other tourists either.
Vancouver is another one of the best cities in the world for millennials, especially in October when the great shopping here means discounts and sales on top of the fact that the U.S. dollar is stronger. October is also Craft Beer Month here, and Vancouver celebrates by bringing in craft beer from all over British Columbia, known for its brewing. Hotels are extremely cheap this time of year, too, so you can spend all the rest of your money on shops and drinks.
Budget-friendly Vietnam is home to two of the world's top 20 fastest-growing tourist spots in the world, and if you go after the summer high season, you'll find that flights and hotels are even cheaper than before. Ho Chi Minh City, in particular, is very affordable and full of amazing food, as well as history and culture for you to enjoy at its many shows, museums, and monuments. Vietnam's capital Hanoi is also a great place to check out delicious street food, beautiful parks, and awe-inspiring temple; it's not hard to see why it's one of the best countries for living a long, happy life.