Summer has just come to an end, September has passed, and fall weather is on its way as we enter October. The leaves are starting to turn, the air is getting crisp and cool, and the days are growing chillier as we inch our way towards winter. Overall, October is a great month to travel, especially if you're trying to avoid crowds. The peak summer season has ended, school is back in session, and many people are saving up their remaining vacation days to visit friends and family over the upcoming vacations. Whether you want to embrace the fall weather on a hiking trip through colorful trails or escape the incoming cold with a beach vacation, we've got plenty of choices for an ideal October trip.
At TravelPirates, we're always on the move and we love nothing more than exploring new destinations. We sat down with one of our editors, David Greer, to find out where he's traveling this October. Read on for his top tips on how to make the most of your trip, travel hacks, and where he's headed this fall.
I’m Chief Editor of TravelPirates, which means that I search the internet for the best travel deals, write them up for you, and keep our site looking great.
I spent a few years working as a professional musician at night and in a coffee shop during the day, spent a few years teaching Spanish and English, and traveled whenever I could. I was born in Atlanta, raised in the Washington, D.C. area, lived for three years in New York City, two years in Richmond, Virginia, one year in Madrid, and another six months or so between Buenos Aires and Lima. In 2017, I decided to make the permanent move to Berlin and have never felt more at home.
How many countries have you visited?
More than 50.
What is your favorite place you’ve traveled so far and why?
Truthfully I’ve had life-changing experiences in more than one place while traveling, but the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires might be the single place that brought me the fondest memories to look back on. I also really loved Cabo Polonio in Uruguay for its rugged individualism. Guess it’s a tie.
Where are you traveling in October?
I try to go somewhere every month and October is no exception! I usually travel with my partner, and we’ll be headed to Leipzig and then Prague—we leave on a Friday evening and come back to Berlin the following Tuesday. My plans for the trip started when I was at work and came across a $1 night stay at a 4-star hotel in Prague. We rarely bother with luxury travel, but for $1 who could say no!? I’m most excited for a nice walk around Prague, visiting some family friends in Leipzig, a nice frothy mug of unpasteurized Czech beer, and the famous breakfast at the Leipzig zoo. I’m also looking forward to taking the train back from Prague to Berlin, as I haven’t taken that route yet.
What are 3 tips you have for someone looking to plan a vacation on a budget?
1. Do your research and have patience — if you want to save money, you’ll usually need to put more time into planning. Though practice makes perfect, and once you get hang of the main methods and hacks, it won’t time so much time.
2. Be flexible in some way. If your job is flexible with vacation time, then go for the cheapest dates you can find. If not, perhaps settle for cheaper flights with a long layover and go out and explore the city. I like to approach planning with a lot of different options that might work and then narrow down from there.
3. Stop checking baggage, get status, or rely on travel credit cards — just don’t ever pay baggage fees (unless the American Express airline credit is covering them). Even when it’s possible to check baggage without a fee, unless you’re bringing a musical instrument or sports equipment, you probably don’t need to be weighed down by more than a large backpack/smaller suitcase for a trip of less than a month. Wear your heavy jacket onto the plane and stuff the pockets full if you’re going low-cost carrier.
What’s the most underrated travel destination?
With North American travelers in mind, I’d probably say the Canary Islands, specifically Tenerife. It can be super cheap to get to, and once there it’s also super cheap and really has something for everyone.
What song/album/artist gets you in the mood to travel?
As a musician and music lover, I don’t have a single answer to this question. I associate different music with different places, ideas, or experiences. I heard John Coltrane’s album “My Favorite Things” this morning and instantly found myself in the mood to get on one of the cheap American flights to New York City to go hang out in Upper Manhattan. Luckily the moment ended, and I was able to finish up the deal I was working on!
Some people like to plan everything down to the tiniest detail when they travel, and some prefer to be completely spontaneous. Where do you fall on the spectrum?
I love the feeling of spontaneity, but as a borderline control freak, I tend towards more detailed planning. A part of me always hopes that something doesn’t go quite as planned, though — it’s just more interesting that way!
You’ve been gifted an all-expenses-paid trip anywhere in the world–where do you go?
That depends a lot on the time frame, but I’d settle for a few weeks somewhere coastal towards the Southern part of Argentine Patagonia in November or December. Or, if allowed, I’d do an around-the-world trip with a stop in Patagonia!
What was your most memorable/unique travel experience?
Again, it’s hard to choose just one, but the 36-hour train ride that I took from Buenos Aires to Córdoba is memorable to me and definitely unique in the sense that most visitors to Argentina don’t even know the train exists. Somewhere between the haziness that comes with exhaustion, the constant mosquito ambushes from the open train windows, and the philosophical conversations that I found myself in with fellow train riders, I felt a sense of freedom that I hadn’t felt before.
What kind of trip/destination would you recommend for someone who has never traveled outside the US?
For the destination, it depends on that person’s interests, but I would recommend a place that the traveler already has a connection to — things like interest or ability in a language, historical knowledge of the place, friends with connections to the place, interest in the local cuisine, or anything like that — being a nation comprised almost entirely of immigrants, it’s not hard to find a connection via your own roots. As for the kind of trip, I would highly recommend staying away from only staying at all-inclusive resorts or taking full tours, not that I’m against that kind of thing. It’s just that, to me, the investment in planning and exploring gives you the chance to develop yourself and really enjoy life in a way that more luxury travel simply could never provide. This is especially true for someone traveling out of the US for the first time! If you go back home talking about the food at the resort, it’d be a good idea to try again.
Fill in the blank: When I travel to a new city, the first thing I like to do is ___________________
Take a (long) walk and stop somewhere for a coffee, a beer, or a meal.
Fill in the blank: When I discovered ________________ it made travel so much better
Completely sealable coffee mugs.
Fill in the blank: I know a lot of people love ______________ when traveling, but I hate it.
Getting to the airport early, regardless of how many dope lounges I have access to.
What was your longest trip?
Outside of living long-term in countries other than the US, I spent about six months slowly traveling from Uruguay to Peru.
What was your shortest trip?
I’ve taken lots of day trips, so ruling those and stopovers out, my shortest trip must have been a little under 24 hours in Dublin.
Tell us about a time when you felt like a pirate on your travels
Well, I always feel like a pirate while booking transportation for my trips. While traveling in Morocco, I’d say I felt pretty pirate-like. I traveled around using the train system and found rooftops to stay on when I got to each new city — it barely cost me anything at all, and I saw a lot!
Looking for the best places to go leaf peeping? Dreaming of scenic mountains and wooded trails in bright hues of orange, red, and yellow? Late September and early October are your best chances of seeing this spectacle. Below we've compiled our top recommendations on places to see the leaves change.
Want a splash of color this October? The Northeast region of the US is particularly breathtaking in early fall when temperatures have yet to plummet and trees are just starting to turn their different shades of red, orange, and yellow. Take a drive between small New England towns and coastal communities (where you’re sure to get cheaper, off-season prices), or stick to big cities like Boston and Providence for a more urban leaf-peeping experience.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly trip that kids will love, this region has a number of Halloween-themed festivities in the month of October. Drive to the sleepy town of Salem, MA (home to the famous witch trials) to take part in their month-long celebration, Go apple picking at local orchards scattered across Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire, or marvel at the many-hued pumpkins at the various pumpkin festivals, like the one in Keene that take place in New Hampshire during this month.
Pirate tip: Some of the best fall foliage we've spotted was in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire. Drive through the scenic Kancamangus Highway or visit one of the five notches in the state.
Think Nor. Cal, Oregon, Washington, and upwards to British Columbia. This region of the US is known for its incredible hiking trails and for being the epitome of quintessential cozy fall. Visit the Redwood Forests and Sequoia National Park in California, or venture over to Olympia National Park in Washington State. Climb through the Pacific Northwest trails where you'll be greeted with stunning cascading waterfalls and mossy earth. Soak in natural geothermal pools in British Columbia and explore the Rockies.
Tourists may flock to France in summer, but fall is one of the best times of year to visit Paris. The weather is temperate, with a mix of cooler days and warm, sunny ones. Walk along the Seine, taking in the changing colors of the leaves and browsing the books for sale from street vendors. Once you’ve had your fill of the river, Paris’ well-cultivated parks and gardens are perfect for a stroll, especially on a sunny day—we recommend the Jardin des Tuileries, where the iconic columns of trees become a kaleidoscope of color come October.
Many ghosts haunt Prague's historic streets and alleys. With a bit of "luck", you will meet the headless Knights Templar in Prague's Old Town, encounter the Golem of Prague or hear the screams of demons from Houska Castle - Czech Republic's own "Gateways to Hell".
One of the spookiest places in Singapore is also a beautiful beach. The old Changi Hospital on the seafront held and tortured around 50,000 Allied prisoners during World War II. Supposedly you can still hear echoes of the screams on the beach.
Sighisoara is a dream destination for Halloween, especially for vampire fans. After all, this is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. The cruel prince of the Principality of Wallachia was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's world-renowned novel Dracula.
London is teeming with scary stories. Two of the most popular tourist attractions are haunted by countless ghosts. Both Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London are world famous for being haunted. But there are atrocities happening across the city that will send shivers down your spine. And of course, don't forget Jack the Ripper who plagued the streets of the White Chapel neighborhood.