According to the Fall Travel Forecast released today by Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo, the surge in travel demand seen over the summer is projected to continue into the cooler months, with the travel brands showing year-over-year search increases for fall getaways. According to Expedia, flight searches for fall are up 15%, and hotel searches increased 20% compared to fall 2022.1 As temperatures drop, so do prices, providing plenty of opportunities for budget-savvy travelers to score a getaway for less.
“Forget pumpkin spice everything season, fall is now travel everywhere season. For people not beholden to school schedules, people without kids and deal-hunters, the so-called shoulder season between summer and the holidays is prime time for a getaway,” says Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group brands public relations. “It’s the time of year when average prices drop and availability opens up, ideal for taking that final beach trip or heading to less crowded cities overseas. That secret is out, and searches are up across Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo.”
Sweater Season Savings From Expedia
As non-peak season, fall is consistently one of the best times of the year to get away for less, with average ticket prices (ATPs) for domestic flights 10% lower than they were during the peak summer months, and international ATPs around 5% cheaper.
For the biggest flight savings, Expedia recommends taking off the week of October 24, when domestic ATPs are nearly 20% cheaper than the summer average, and international ATPs are roughly 15% cheaper.2
Now is the perfect time to lock in a fall escape; on average, the sweet spot for booking domestic flights is around 30 days in advance, while international travel should be booked as early as possible. These are just a few of the destinations where ATPs are currently 20% cheaper or more compared to summer:
- Domestic: Juneau (35% cheaper); Denver (20% cheaper); Chicago (20% cheaper)
- International: Oslo, Norway (40% cheaper); Tokyo, Japan (20% cheaper); Florence, Italy (20% cheaper)
Save 25% During Vrbo Shoulder Season
After Labor Day, prices for Vrbo private vacation rentals in top beach destinations fall even though the weather stays warm through much of September and October. Travelers can typically save an average of 25% or more in the Vrbo app during the early fall shoulder season in these popular destinations:3
- Outer Banks, North Carolina; South Padre Island, Texas; Gulf Shores, Alabama; Miramar & Rosemary Beach, Florida; Hilton Head, South Carolina
Travelers ready for a change of pace after spending all summer at the beach are also in luck. Prices for Vrbo vacation homes in trending urban destinations, including Seattle and San Diego, also dip — this Seattle Vrbo home that sleeps eight, runs normally $550/night in the summer but falls to just over $400/night in September and October.
Hotels.com Declares Fall “DINK” Season
When kids go back to school, DINKs — aka couples with double incomes and no kids — are packing their bags. According to Hotels.com, 70% of DINK travelers say they prefer to vacation in the fall when they can fully enjoy hotel amenities and entertainment.4 This conveniently coincides with a 90% drop in searches for family-friendly stays during September in the Hotels.com app.5
- New York City, Paris, London, Las Vegas and San Diego are among the most searched destinations for couples traveling this fall on the Hotels.com app.
- DINK travelers are going big and planning weeklong fall trips this year, on average seven days.
- 70% of DINKs say they don’t have kids because they like having more disposable income for things they enjoy. For almost half (44%), this extra cash goes toward travel, luxurious hotel stays, and eating out.
- Nearly three-in-four couples (73%) believe they go on nicer vacations than their friends with kids.
For more information from the Fall Travel Forecast and the latest news from Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo, visit the Expedia Brands Newsroom.
Notes to the editor:
- 1 Compares Expedia flight and lodging searches made between Jan. 1 and July 30 for travel between Sept. 6 and Nov. 15 for 2022 and 2023.
- 2 Price comparisons based on Expedia flight demand for travel between Sept. 6 to Nov. 15, 2023, vs. May 31 to Sept. 5, 2023, as of July 30, 2023.
- 3 Based on traveler demand and average nightly rates for Vrbo vacation homes for September to October 2022 vs. June to August 2022.
- 4 Data based on survey commissioned by Hotels.com and conducted online by OnePoll between August 7 to 10, 2023, among 1,000 adults in U.S. households with dual income and no children.
- 5 Data based on Hotels.com monthly U.S. searches, as of August 4, 2023.
Expedia Trending Fall Destinations: Based on Expedia flight searches, the fastest-growing destinations for fall 2023 run the gamut from Asia to the Caribbean, while domestic travelers are largely eyeing midsize cities:
- INTL: Hong Kong (+1500%), Frankfurt (+280%), Taipei (+260%), Osaka (+210%), Curacao (+175%)
- Domestic: Savannah (+155%), Seattle (+75%), Yellowstone National Park (+50%), Salt Lake City (+50%), Boston (+45%)
Expedia Fall Travel Deals: Expedia handpicked a list of destinations where ATPs are down 20% or more compared to summer:
- Domestic: Juneau (down more than 35%), Seattle (down nearly 25%), San Luis Obispo (down more than 20%), Denver (down 20%), Sun Valley (ATPs down 20%), Los Angeles (ATPs down 20%), Chicago (ATPs down nearly 20%)
- INTL: Oslo, Norway (ATPs down nearly 40%); Stockholm, Sweden (ATPs down nearly 35%); Ibiza, Spain (ATPs down nearly 35%); Tallinn, Estonia (ATPs down more than 30%); Copenhagen, Denmark (ATPs down more than 30%); Glasgow, Scotland (ATPs down more than 30%); Tenerife, Spain (ATPs down 30%); Tokyo (ATPs down more than 20%), Paris (ATPs down more than 20%), Florence (ATPs down more than 20%)
Vrbo Beach Destinations With Shoulder Season Savings of 25% or More:
- Destinations: Outer Banks, North Carolina; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; South Padre Island, Texas; Gulf Shores, Alabama; Santa Rosa Beach, Florida; Miramar & Rosemary Beach, Florida; Pensacola, Florida; Hilton Head, South Carolina
- Top Vacation Homes:
- Lotus Villa, South Padre Island, Texas – this gorgeous home can cost as much as $1,200/night during the summer but the price falls to about $500/night in the fall.
- Just One More Beach House, Gulf Shores, Alabama – this beachfront stunner goes for $1,000/night in August but drops down to less than $500/night in September.
- Merganser Court, Hilton Head, South Carolina – this exceptional private vacation home only minutes from the beach is typically over $800/night over the summer but drops to only $600/night in September and even lower in October.
Vrbo Trending Fall Destinations: Travelers excited for the cooler weather and changing colors opting for leaf-peeping trips should check out top destinations on Vrbo for fall foliage, including:
- Destinations: Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Asheville, North Carolina; Bar Harbor, Maine; Cape May, New Jersey; Hamptons, NY; Blue Ridge, Georgia; Fort Collins, Colorado; White Mountains, New Hampshire; Poconos, Pennsylvania
- Top Vacation Homes:
- Luxury Cabin, Gatlinburg, Tennessee – right outside of the Smoky Mountains, this cabin near Gatlinburg has panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and foliage.
- Pet-Friendly Log Cabin, Newry, Maine – this pet-friendly home right has never-ending views of the changing leaves.
- Riverfront Cabin, White Mountains, New Hampshire – this cabin has amazing views of both the river and the surrounding fall foliage.
- Bearpen Lodge, Catskills, New York – this lodge is perched on the hillside, perfect for leaf-peeping from the wraparound deck.
- Mountain Home, Sevierville, Tennessee – this modern cabin in Tennessee offers unfettered mountain views and an indoor pool for year-round use.
- Modern Chic Cabin, Warren, Vermont – this incredibly scenic home sits on 36 acres with spectacular views of the landscape.
Hotels.com Top DINK-approved hotels with VIP Access perks: Hotels.com analyzed guest reviews in its app to identify top DINK-approved VIP Access hotels. With One Key, Hotels.com customers can unlock special in-stay perks, like free room upgrades, early check-in, food and beverage credit or free parking.
- The Standard in London, U.K. – “The hotel is so much fun and we loved the variety and quality of the different spaces. Special mention to the crazy lift on the outside of the building.”
- Les Bains Paris in Paris, France – “We enjoyed great cocktails at the restaurant bar and the spa/pool area was a nice place to relax.”
- Arlo Midtown in New York City, New York – “Great couple getaway spot! The hotel is beautifully decorated, modern but cozy at the same time. Great room for weekend trip.”
- Wynn in Las Vegas, Nevada – “We had an excellent view of Las Vegas’ newest attraction, the MSG Sphere, from a high floor … Ordered in-room dining twice. Great service!”
- Pendry in San Diego, California – “We had a great experience with room service — timely and professional service! Both the spa (excellent steam room) and hot tub/pool area were also very nice.”