Many cheap fall vacations are due to the travel industry's shoulder season, when the crowds and prices of the high summer season start to wane, but the weather has not yet plunged into the dreariness of the low winter season. Starting in October, prices on hotels, resorts and sites can fall as much as forty percent, making it a great time for fall vacations. Shoulder season is a great time to travel to those popular locations that may be too expensive during the high season. Many luxury resorts, which still boast warm beachfront sunsets during the fall, can be considered affordable during the shoulder season. Airfare and cruise prices also plunge during the fall season. A combination of lower fall price tags and frequent holiday sales can translate to cheap family vacations in the fall. Additionally, the period between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday rushes is easily one of the best opportunities for cheap fall vacations, as crowds are thin and prices are great.
For daring souls willing to brave the chance of a hurricane, the Caribbean is one of the best cheap fall vacations. Many travelers choose to play it safe and avoid the hurricane zone during the fall. For that reason, travelers willing to take a chance on Mother Nature can take advantage of great prices on Caribbean resorts and cruises. In addition, the southern Caribbean islands of Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire have only about a 2 percent chance of being struck by hurricanes, even during the peak season, which makes these places great to visit.
Theme parks also slash their prices in autumn, making them great options for cheap family vacations in the fall. Six Flags and Disney parks often have great fall vacation packages to tempt thrifty families. Shoulder season prices in Washington DC makes the Smithsonian one of the most educational cheap family vacations in the fall. For those who want to see fall foliage affordably, national parks can be a great alternative to the more expensive New England fall vacation. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, is known for having beautiful foliage and is a great budget destination to boot.
In particular, cheap Thanksgiving travel can be tricky, but not impossible. Simple tactics can save you hundreds of dollars in the end. For example, book your ticket in advance. Avoid the peak days of Thanksgiving travel, usually the Wednesday beforehand and the following Sunday. Instead, choose off-peak travel dates, considering even Thanksgiving Day itself for your flights or trains. Check alternatives such as nearby airports and train stations for lower fares. Sometimes an airport in a different part of the city can make a major difference in fares. Another option is to choose an international destination that doesn't consider Thanksgiving Day a holiday. The third Thursday of November isn't considered a peak travel time in any other country than the United States. Considering these tips when you are planning can help you achieve cheap Thanksgiving travel.
If you would rather skip the turkey dinner and take advantage of cheap Thanksgiving travel to go sightseeing, consider the shoulder season prices of New York City or Washington DC. Both cities have impressive Thanksgiving Day parades, including the beloved Macy's Parade in New York. In Washington DC, don't miss the annual presidential turkey pardon. The Friday after Thanksgiving, traditionally called Black Friday, offers once a year bargains for retail shopping enthusiasts. In addition to Thanksgiving celebrations, take advantage of the beginning of the winter holiday season in these cities, as well, with tree lighting ceremonies and romantic outdoor ice skating rinks.