Fall is a great time to take a vacation.
Think of it: a vacation minus crowds. Families have gone home because the kids are back to school. Owners of summer-vacation destinations are more willing to lower rates because their season is fast coming to an end.
After Labor Day might well be your best time this year to take a vacation or, even better, a series of long weekend breaks until Thanksgiving.
Ideas to consider:
•Leaf peeping: Book a weekend at a bed-and-breakfast off the beaten path in the heart of fall-foliage country, and you won’t even have to travel to see the colors once you get there. Local bed-and-breakfasts will be winding down for the year (unless they’re in ski locations) and may offer reduced rates with free days if you book for a certain number of days.
Call the chamber of commerce in small towns in the area you’d like to visit.
• Amusement parks: If you’re an adult who likes theme parks, but not the crowds and standing in lines in the hot sun, book a vacation in an area loaded with amusement parks and have the place mostly to yourself. Expect serious discounts on local hotels and park-entrance fees.
• Cruises: Cruise lines want to fill every cabin possible, and they will lower their rates to make sure that happens. Look for either long- or short-distance getaways. Sample a one- or two-day cruise to see if you like it, or inquire about “repositioning” cruises, where ships are being transferred from one location to another and rates are reduced.
• Beach rentals: Inquire about late-season rentals at the seashore. Owners may agree to keep a place open one additional week past the typical season. Take a stack of books and enjoy the sounds of the surf. Use your local travel agent. He or she will know the ins and outs of special deals you might not be able to find on your own, especially for last-minute travel. If your time is flexible, you can get great deals by being able to leave on short notice.
Uffington does not personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column when possible. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.