Figure on a Fall Vacation

Special Feature

Now that Labor Day is past, vacation crowds are thinning and many hotels and motels are lowering prices as summer vacationers head home. With gasoline prices dipping as well, you can save some serious money on a Fall vacation if you pick a place that's close to home. In fact, if you draw a circle with a radius of 100 miles around your home town, you might be surprised at the number of interesting places in that area.

Now that Labor Day is past, vacation crowds are thinning and many hotels and motels are lowering prices as summer vacationers head home. With gasoline prices dipping as well, you can save some serious money on a Fall vacation if you pick a place that’s close to home. In fact, if you draw a circle with a radius of 100 miles around your home town, you might be surprised at the number of interesting places in that area.

If you find a likely spot, you can turn it into a pleasant Fall vacation. If you’re brave, you can wing it and find lodging when you get there, but a little research at web sites like www.bedandbreakfast.com or www.citysearch.com will let you scout out lodging and reserve a room in advance. You can also go online to uncover your destination’s points of interest, restaurants, and activities.

If you choose to travel farther, there are still some bargains to be found. In Florida, for example, prices in September can be as much as 40% less than in October, when the first of the snowbirds arrive. On the flip side, you should be aware that prices go up when Fall foliage hits its peak in areas that cater to “leaf peepers.” Unfortunately, there is no single online source for tracking the peak times for Fall foliage, although many individual states, especially those in New England, maintain their own Fall foliage Web sites.