If you waited until this fall to travel, give yourself a pat on the back. Gone are the summer crowds, the outrageous prices and that insane experience of being on vacation with everyone else. There may be no better time to get away.
This fall will be no exception.
But there are a few red flags (there are always red flags). A surprise State Department warning about travel to Mexico is giving some travelers second thoughts about their plans to vacation south of the border. Other dangers lurk in Europe, which has experienced terrorist activity during the summer.
Not surprisingly, the most popular destinations are domestic. You’ll want to take note of them, because while they’ll probably be a little less crazed than they were this summer, you shouldn’t expect to have them all to yourself. But there’s good news, too — travel prices are falling like the leaves.
How dangerous is it out there? Maybe a little more than in past falls, experts say. In late summer, the State Department warned U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico tourism hotspots such as Cancún, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen of an increase in homicide rates compared to last year. “Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed have occurred,” it cautioned.
“Western Europe will likely continue to see terrorist activity through the fall into the holiday season,” says Joseph Mroszczyk, who manages intelligence products and services for Global Rescue, a company that provides security service. “In East Asia, recent provocations from North Korea could elevate the threat level in popular tourist destinations including Japan, South Korea and Guam if tensions increase further.”
So where are fall travelers headed? They’re playing it a little safer. Six of the top 10 fall destinations are domestic (see below). Orlando, Rome, Anaheim, Calif., and Honolulu top the list compiled by AAA. More than 1 in 4 Americans said they would vacation between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, citing fewer crowds, reasonably good weather and lower prices.
“Traveling during the fall season is a best-kept secret,” says Bill Sutherland, a senior vice president…