Summer’s over and kids are back in school, but many people are making plans for at least one more getaway this fall, before the arrival of another busy holiday season. According to a new survey from AAA, more than one in four Americans (28 percent) expects to take a vacation this year between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
“We have seen strong demand for travel throughout the course of the year, and Americans are discovering that traveling during the fall season is a best kept secret,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, travel and publishing. “Travelers increasingly prioritize immersive travel experiences and autumn offers more opportunities for them to explore a destination’s local culture, thanks to fewer crowds and mild weather.”
In fact, Americans say the top benefits of taking a fall trip include:
- Fewer crowds and children (68 percent);
- Weather that is more favorable (63 percent); and,
- The opportunity to find better value for the cost of their trip (55 percent).
“Savvy travelers can often find lower prices on everything from airfare and hotels to cruises and vacation packages, as travel companies offer incentives to fill their vacancies during the fall,” said Sutherland.
Road trips are the preferred activity for fall travelers, with 62 percent of those planning a vacation intending to pack up their cars and hit the road. Thanks to milder weather, outdoor events such as fall festivals and visits to national and state parks are particularly popular with travelers this time of year. Twenty-six percent of those who are planning a fall vacation will take a trip to view fall foliage, a favorite pastime from the northeast and New England, to the mountains of North Carolina and Colorado.
The majority of fall travelers will stay within the United States, with Orlando, southern California, Hawaii and New York the most popular domestic travel destinations, based on AAA Travel bookings. Approximately one-third of fall travelers are planning an international vacation, with European destinations including Rome and London especially popular this time of year. This year’s top fall destinations based on AAA Travel bookings include:
- Orlando, Florida
- Rome, Italy
- Anaheim, California
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- New York City
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- London, England
- Dublin, Ireland
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Cancun, Mexico
AAA’s report presents the findings of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,011 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted August 3-6, 2017. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.