Avoid the Summer Travel Rush; Plan a Fall Getaway

Prices will be lower, you’ll encounter fewer crowds, and pandemic restrictions are likely to ease even more.

A woman and her dog are hiking in Switzerland.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The world is reopening. With vaccination rates for Americans and Europeans steadily rising, so is confidence among travelers. Plus, travel is easier to navigate as restrictions ease. This summer, those factors led tourists back to the road and the skies in droves. But summer travel can be stressful, with flight delays, surge pricing and higher fuel costs. If you have flexibility in your schedule, booking a trip this fall is a better option. You’ll encounter fewer crowds, and pandemic restrictions are likely to loosen up even more.

Even better, prices are usually cheaper in shoulder season. Airfares are expected to drop, and hotel rates are generally lower at summer’s end and into the fall. If you can be flexible with your dates, such as traveling on weekdays or extending your stay, you can often find even lower prices. And with a rental-car shortage, you’ll have a better shot of booking a vehicle at a cheaper rate (or finding one at all) if you go this fall.

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Emma Patch
Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Emma Patch joined Kiplinger in 2020. She previously interned for Kiplinger's Retirement Report and before that, for a boutique investment firm in New York City. She served as editor-at-large and features editor for Middlebury College's student newspaper, The Campus. She specializes in travel, student debt and a number of other personal finance topics. Born in London, Emma grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Washington, D.C.