The travel world is gearing up for autumn adventure as summer fades. According to Tripadvisor, 74% of American travelers are set to embark on exciting journeys this fall, up from 61% last year. It’s a clear sign that travel remains popular even as the leaves begin to fall.
This fall, travel is reaching new heights. Over half of the surveyed travelers (52%) have said they will increase their journeying compared to last autumn, while only 3% are opting to travel less.
Where are these travelers heading? They’re not limiting themselves to home turf. Some 27% plan to explore domestic and foreign destinations. For 8%, international travel has taken the top spot.
The appetite for international travel has made a comeback, rising past pre-pandemic levels — a trend building momentum over the last two years. If you’re searching for adventure destinations and the trip of a lifetime, these destinations are worth a look.
Florida, United States
Florida is buzzing as the seasons elsewhere change. The 10th Pensacola Foo Foo Festival offers art and music exploration from Nov. 2 to 13. For sports lovers, the Florida Senior Games in Pensacola from Dec. 1 to 10 bring athletes aged 50+ together for various competitions, including pickleball and swimming. EPCOT’s new attraction Journey of Water at Walt Disney World is inspired by Moana, and invites interactive water experiences later this year.
Central Florida’s evergreen palm trees may not change color here but the area offers various autumn activities. Explore Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando until Nov. 1. For thrill-seekers, Universal Studios Orlando hosts Halloween Horror Nights from through Oct. 31, with haunted houses, scare zones, and live shows. Venture into Kissimmee for more fun.
As you move from Central Florida to Greater Miami, the adventure is even hotter with perpetual sunshine and great events. Start with the URGE Miami Thanksgiving Festival, one of the world’s biggest LGBTQ+ celebrations. Don’t miss Art Basel Miami Beach, the continent’s top contemporary art fair, including the groundbreaking Art of Black initiative. Miami invites travelers to soak up the sun, revel in art, and enjoy non-stop festivities.
Embrace international travel this fall in Vienna, a city steeped in history. The Wien Museum is reopening after a four-year renovation. Travelers can visit in December to witness the “floating” floor, a picturesque terrace, and a charming café.
As the season embraces the holidays, Vienna’s annual Christmas markets captivate with their homemade punch, delectable sweets, and a mesmerizing sea of lights.
Vienna truly shines with New Year’s celebrations. Tune in to the globally broadcast Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert or waltz through one of the highly anticipated Viennese balls. For the full winter wonderland experience, go ice skating at one of Vienna’s many rinks, including the dazzling Vienna Ice World at City Hall Square, where skaters of all ages gather. Vienna beckons with a blend of tradition and innovation, making it an unforgettable fall and winter destination.
The city of Churchill, nestled in the pristine wilderness of Manitoba, Canada, is a haven for fall travelers. It’s home to the world’s most accessible polar bear population and offers nearly 300 nights of northern lights. About 1,000 polar bears gather on Hudson Bay’s coastline each autumn, awaiting the sea ice formation.
For an extraordinary experience, Frontiers North Adventures offers eco-friendly electric Tundra Buggy tours, accompanied by academic wildlife researchers who explain polar bear culture and conservation efforts. Staying at their Tundra Buggy Lodge immerses visitors in the subarctic, allowing them to witness wild polar bears right outside their windows on the tundra. It’s a bucket-list experience that brings you close to these majestic creatures in their native wilderness.
Frontiers North Adventures is a Certified B Corporation, an international certification recognizing the extra steps they take to positively impact travelers, employees, and communities. The company introduced the Electric Vehicle Tundra Buggies in 2021 and plans to convert the entire fleet by 2030, even in extreme conditions like the northern lights season where temperatures go as low as -50°C. They also donate 2% of profits to Polar Bears International.
Switzerland, a hiker’s paradise, becomes a tapestry of autumn colors, offering a blend of mountains, alpine lakes, and valleys for travelers at all levels.
Swiss Deluxe Hotels, a luxury collection of 39 properties across Switzerland, opens the gateway to fall hiking. These journeys treat hikers to sunrise and sunset vistas, alpine panoramas, and the opportunity to witness the beauty of autumn while exploring the Swiss wilderness.
The Tschuggen Grand Hotel invites guests to immerse themselves in Arosa’s natural beauty from over 5,000 feet above sea level. In the fall, the Arosa-Lenzerheide hiking area provides over 140 scenic trails and several mountain huts, serving delicious Grisons specialties. These landscapes are even more accessible via the property’s private Tschuggen Express mountain railway.
November and December are quieter in South America, making these months a great time to visit Peru. With fewer crowds, you can explore its archaeological wonders, savor local cuisine, and enjoy museums without the usual hustle. The end of the dry season welcomes refreshing rain, turning the Andes into a lush paradise while keeping dust away, making Peru a safe destination for the fall months.
Mery Calderón, the founder and CEO of Kuoda Travel, says, “November and December are great months to visit because of the holidays and festivals that you can experience, from the t’anta wawa (baby bread), eaten as a symbol of life to celebrate All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day in November to the Santurantikuy, or Saints’ Market in Cusco on Dec. 24, where you can buy everything to get ready for Christmas including artisan gifts, tasty treats, and even anything to set up your Nativity Scene!”
Calderón adds, “If you’re looking for a bit of adventure during your trip, one of the best adventure activities during this time would be a hike along the Inca Trail — either the short one-day Inca Trail or the longer Classic Inca Trail, which is a 4- or 5-day trek along the only intact Inca trail in the area. This option is better because this trail is still intact and safer in the case that it does rain.”
Where Are You Going This Fall?
This fall offers many enticing destinations, from the events in Florida to Vienna’s cultural charm, Churchill’s wilderness, and the Swiss hiking paradise, to the tranquil charm of Peru. It’s a season teeming with possibilities for unforgettable adventures.
This post originally appeared on Media Decision and is republished with permission.
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.