The end of summer heralds back-to-school buzz and cooler temperatures. It’s also a great time to get away because travel prices tend to drop around the same time the leaves do. There are also usually fewer crowds to contend with than during the busier summer months, making it the perfect time to travel. With help from Wyndham Vacation Rentals, we sourced some of the best budget-friendly options for fall travel.
Whether you want to lay out on the beach or ski down the slopes, check out these budget-friendly destinations.
Park City, Utah
Park City has everything adventure travelers could want during all four seasons, from biking, rafting and water sports to snowmobiling and tubing. But in the cheaper autumn months, it becomes the ultimate fall destination. You can enjoy world-class restaurants and cultural events without a huge credit card bill when you get home.
Airfare: Round-trip airfare starts at $304 per person from JFK to Salt Lake City International Airport.
Lodging: Stay at the Hidden Creek town homes from $139 per night.
Must-see: Park City Mountain Resort is becoming the largest ski resort in North America, and it might even join the list of world-class ski resorts soon.
But there’s plenty of warm-weather fun to be had, too. For example, test your nerves by speeding across the 2,111 feet of the Lookout Zip Line or visit the Olympic Park.
Of course, the Disney theme parks bring in plenty of visitors every year, but Orlando has so much more to offer tourists than just mouse ears. From golf, spas and shopping to an arts and culture scene, Orlando is an affordable getaway once the kids are back at school. Just keep an eye on local events, which could cause a rate hike during certain weeks.
Airfare: Round-trip airfare starts at $179 per person from JFK to Orlando International Airport.
Lodging: Stay at the Bahama Bay Resort, with villas from $89 per night.
Must see: Check out the Florida Mall, which has over 250 shops and restaurants to satisfy even the most devout shopaholic.
Vail is a first-class winter sports destination and incredibly popular with tourists, so it can never really be described as a cheap vacation. However, traveling in the fall helps you keep prices in check while still enjoying all the mountain has to offer.
Airfare: Round-trip airfare starts at $472 per person from Newark Liberty Airport to Eagle County Regional Airport.
Lodging: Stay at Lion Square Lodge from $189 per night.
Must see: The quaint town of Vail has a movie theater, a sweet shop, a bowling alley and a range of restaurants to explore. Consider a day trip over to Glenwood Springs, which is renowned for its mineral hot springs.
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
During the summer, Myrtle Beach is packed with sun worshipers. Some popular destinations are seriously overrated, but Myrtle Beach deserves the hype. Once the summer throngs return to normal life, prices start to fall. The beach becomes a more cost-conscious option, and there’s still so much to enjoy in this Southern resort town.
Airfare: Round-trip airfare starts at $380 per person from JFK to Myrtle Beach International Airport.
Lodging: Stay at the Carolinian Beach Resort from $85.57 per night.
Must see: Take a ride on the famed Skywheel, a Ferris wheel with glass-enclosed, air-conditioned gondolas.
Whistler, B.C., Canada
This Canadian resort offers over 50 kilometers of wilderness to explore across two mountains. Many travelers choose to visit during winter to ski on world-class peaks, but off-season travel can represent real savings. In the fall, you can enjoy mountain biking, climbing, alpine hiking and more.
Airfare: Round-trip airfare starts at $345 per person from JFK to Vancouver International Airport.
Lodging: Stay at Glacier Lodge and Suites from $97.30 per night.
Must see: Enjoy a unique experience with mountaintop dining at an altitude of over 6,000 feet.
Gulf Shores, Ala.
Gulf Shores and nearby Orange Beach have over 32 miles of soft sand. But once the summer sun recedes, visitors can still enjoy hiking trails, fishing and cruises. Around town, there are also plenty of local shops, perfect for browsing and getting a taste of the area’s coastal culture.
Airfare: Round-trip airfare starts at $304 per person from JFK to Mobile Regional Airport.
Lodging: Stay at a Crystal Tower condominium from $118 per night.
Must see: Explore the back country trails in a unique way with Coastal Segway Adventures, which offers Segway tours for $75 per person.
Palm Springs, Calif.
Palm Springs is a luxury desert resort with world-renowned spas and wellness retreats. In the summer, temperatures peak at over 100 degrees, winter is peak tourist time and spring brings in droves of festival goers. The fall represents an affordable option.
Airfare: Round-trip airfare starts at $352 per person from JFK to Palm Springs International Airport.
Lodging: Stay at the Ocotillo Lodge from $87.61 per night.
Must see: Hike to Tahquitz Falls on the Tahquitz Canyon Trail, a 2-mile loop that reaches an elevation of 350 feet.
Bethany Beach, Del.
This family-friendly beach resort returns to small-town living as the summer visitors head back home. Fall is the perfect time to make a visit without breaking the bank. Visit now before it becomes too expensive as word gets out that Delaware is the perfect affordable fall vacation.
Airfare: Round-trip airfare starts at $278 per person from LaGuardia Airport to Salisbury Regional Airport.
Lodging costs: Stay at the Bethany Beach Inn for about $71 a night.
Must see: Take in the history of the 87-foot tower of Fenwick Island Lighthouse.
Named the Sun Valley for good reason, this outdoor enthusiasts’ paradise basks in 250 days of sunshine. Although it doesn’t represent a super-cheap travel option, the fall does offer less-expensive rates than the rest of the year. And, some destinations are worth the higher cost.
Airfare: Round-trip airfare starts at $512 per person from JFK to Magic Valley Regional Airport.
Lodging: Stay at the Greyhawk Condominiums from $219 per night.
Must see: Don’t end your visit before taking a trip to the Craters of the Moon National Monument. It’s an enormous atmospheric lava field, cooperatively managed by the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management.
All prices are based on vacation dates of Oct. 3 to 10, 2017. Accommodations were sourced from Wyndham Vacation Rentals and airfare from Skyscanner.