Did you know fall is one of the best times of year to travel? Between now and Christmas you’ll find lower fares, less crowds and the weather is still nice enough you can spend a good chunk of your time outdoors. And who doesn’t like to get a leg up on their Christmas shopping in another city? (Perhaps I’m projecting a bit here…) Here’s a look at (what I think are) the best family travel spots this fall.
Visiting Maui, Hawaii in fall
Canadians love Hawaii and while the islands typically don’t have an off-season, avoiding the school holidays is a smart way to save money. Renting a condo ensures everyone gets a good night sleep and you’ll save major bucks not dining out. There’s direct flights to Maui from Calgary and many other Canadian (and west coast US) cities.
Destination Resorts Hawaii has full condos and a fall package with 30% off regular room rates. Did I mention villa rates start at $159 and the special includes a rental car, spa credits and dining certificates? Giddy-up!
Two years ago we had one of our best holidays ever staying at Fairmont Kea Lani. Right now they’re offering 40% off travel stays until December 19, 2014. Fairmont usually doesn’t discount this much and let me tell you from my personal experience, a stay at this all-suite hotel is well worth it. Book online at Fairmont Kea Lani.
Another great deal going down in Maui this fall is at the Wailea Golf Club. One adult and one child under 18-years can golf any time of day on the Gold or Emerald course for $199 until December 19, 2014.
When is the best time to visit Jasper, Canada?
Because Banff is so close to Calgary, we often don’t make it up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. That’s a shame because the town is totally quaint and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is so awesomely tricked out for families.
But Jasper in autumn is especially rad because it’s considered one of the best places in the world for star gazing. The region is one of the world’s few designated dark sky preserves. Imagine how cool would it be star gazing with Col. Chris Hadfield? Well, you can during the Dark Sky Festival that runs every October.
New York City in fall
Smack dab between the summer tourists and holiday crowds, the air is crisp, the subway no longer resembles a smouldering furnace and New Yorkers are in a surprisingly good mood. For quintessential Christmasy experiences check out Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes which opens in early November. You can also catch the famed Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, before gearing up to brave the shops on Black Friday. Want to see what I got up to on my nookie run to New York?
Las Vegas for families
If you think Vegas is an adult-only playground, think again. Our family spent a happy five days exploring Sin City last November. With plenty of kid-friendly restaurants, animal habitats and pools galore, it’s a wonder more families don’t take to the strip. Thrill seekers should head straight to the AdventureDome, America’s largest indoor theme park or get a day pass to the pool at the Golden Nugget and you too can swim alongside the sharks or at least take a Shark Tank tour.
I recommend bedding down at Tahiti Village. They have condo-type rooms, a zero-entry pool, lazy river and fun craft classes for kids. For eats, here are the best restaurants in Vegas. We had a fantastic Italian meal Buddy V’s (that’s Cake Boss’ resto) inside the Venetian and breakfast at Cabo Wabo Cantina is under $5.
When is the best time to visit Disneyland?
Little known fact: the week after US Thanksgiving is typically the quietest at the major theme parks. This is the time to do Disney, especially since Halloween and Christmas collide in the Magic Kingdom with the transformation of The Haunted Mansion into a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. There is something for everyone here. Hockey fans can catch the Anaheim Ducks in action, shoppers can tackle South Coast Plaza mall (they have a Pottery Barn Kids) and Huntington Beach is about a 30-minute drive from Anaheim.
One extra spot that I’ve never visited in fall, but am dying to is Greece. These are the best places to see in Greece in October.
Have you ever taken a trip with your family in fall? Where did you go?