For many people, autumn is the time of year when the nights get colder, the days get shorter, the leaves change color and the year heads rapidly toward the cold winter months.
The fall of the year is the time when the kids are heading back to school and anxious travelers are no longer dreaming of beach resort towns.
For the smart budget traveler, however, the autumn season offers some tremendous opportunities for lower prices, smaller crowds and an overall better vacation value.
The very items cited above make fall a great time for budget minded travelers to head to some of the best known resorts and enjoy lower prices on airfares, rental cars, food and hotel rooms.
Every vacation destination has its own high and low season, but the autumn of the year has the advantage of being the off season for both summer and winter destinations.
For instance, while winter is the high season for ski resort towns and other winter destinations, the mountain locations of these resorts often mean that skiing and other activities are available in late autumn, while prices for lodging, meals and rental cars are still much lower.
Likewise, resorts and travel destinations that enjoy great popularity in the summer months are still quite pleasurable, and often more so, in the fall of the year. For instance, autumn offers such benefits as cooler temperatures and fewer crowds in addition to lower prices.
The same restaurant at which reservations were impossible to come by in the busy summer months may suddenly be available in the fall, and that pricey summer hotel room may be quite affordable once summer has ended.
When looking for the best possible deal on fall travel, it is important to thoroughly research your particular destination. While fall is the off season for most locations, this is not true for every destination.
Be sure that there really are better values in the autumn season before booking your trip.
It is also important to check the weather, including average temperatures and average rainfall levels, for your fall travel destination. After all, lower autumn prices will do you no good if rain or uncomfortable temperatures ruin your long anticipated vacation.
If the average temperature and precipitation levels are to your liking, it is time to start searching for the perfect fall travel deals. The obvious first place to start for many people is the internet.
There are a number of very good web sites and newsgroups devoted to the best in budget travel, and they are a great place to start.
It is also important to start planning early for your fall vacation. While the heat of summer is still around, be sure to start shopping for the best fall deals.
Airlines often start promoting their lower fall airfares while summer is still in full swing, and it is important to act fast to get the lowest fares. The same goes for rental cars and hotel rooms, and those fall specials are often snapped up very quickly by other budget minded travelers.