Don’t think you can afford a picture-perfect fall getaway? Take a look at these options—perfect for a wallet-friendly weekend (or even weeklong) escape. Bye, bye budget woes. Hello gorgeous New England fall foliage.
Budget Breaks For New England Foliage
At this time of year, we’re surrounded by tempting images of iconic New England foliage ablaze with red, orange, gold, and yellow. But you don’t need to empty your bank account to get those views in person. The following locations make fantastic fall weekend getaways for travelers on tighter budgets.
How are they so affordable? Well, once you’ve picked your prime New England fall foliage trip, pair it with a comfortable FlipKey rental. Vacation rentals can bring your costs down dramatically, giving you a better deal on your accommodation, not to mention more space and the freedom to choose a home that suits your personal style. Having a full kitchen saves money on meals out, and the laundry means you can pack less. Here are 10 affordable New England vacation spots where you can see breathtaking fall foliage without overspending.
Prices reflect the median cost for a weeklong stay in a two-bedroom rental in that destination, between the months of September, October, and November.
Image from TripAdvisor.com courtesy of RideAway Kayak in Sandiwch, MA.
Cape Cod Bay location, historic center, village-esque charm: that’s already three bonus points for Sandwich as a top New England foliage getaway. Enjoy uninterrupted autumnal views from the Sandwich Boardwalk, watch traditional glassblowers in action, or cycle the Cape Cod Canal Bike Path.
This cozy town offers a spectacular array of oranges, reds, golds, and lingering evergreens in the fall. Pack up a lunch in your private rental kitchen and head off for a day of walking, picnics, and moose-spotting, served with majestic views of Rangeley Lake encircled in a riot of leafy color.
“Great condo. Right behind the Tin Lizzy Trail with easy access to everything. Perfect for families.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Dover is located in the Mount Snow Valley, and is well known for its summertime and snowbound appeal. But it’s just as spectacular in the fall. Try a scenic ride on a chairlift for soaring leafy views from Mount Snow, or see the changing foliage on a drive culminating in a hearty meal at the West Dover Inn.
Bartlett offers up classic New England fall foliage views in several exhilarating ways. At the Attitash Mountain Resort you can choose from chairlift rides, speedy ziplines, and the Alpine Slide, where two chutes zoom you down the mountainside. Alternatively, take in the colors at a slower pace aboard a vintage train on the Conway Scenic Railroad.
There are plenty of leafy trails to explore in Camden Hills State Park, where you can look down from Mount Battie onto the harbor and bay below. You can see some more New England foliage by driving the Mount Battie Auto Road, camera at the ready.
Here’s a good New England fall getaway for those who prefer the quiet life. Walk the Warren Path through the hardwood forest for sublime views of the area and don’t miss pretty Warren Falls, with its pools, waterfalls, and natural rock formations.
“There is so much to do in the Lincoln area that keeping a large group entertained was not a problem. Strenuous hikes on the Appalachian Trail for some; sitting poolside in lounge chairs for others. This unit was especially nice for family gatherings, with the open kitchen connected to a family room and deck, with a small sitting room in a loft above.” — FlipKey Reviewer
This understated little town of clapboard frontages is blessed with soaring natural mountain views all around it. Now’s a beautiful time of year to hike the Flume Gorge, let a gondola lift you up the mountainside, walk along the Pemigewasset River, or join a Pemi Valley Moose Tour.
Bar Harbor’s town is charming and has fantastic water views, but autumn’s leaves will no doubt tempt you up for a hike through neighboring Acadia National Park. The colors are apparently at their finest in mid-October, so what are you waiting for?
This seaside village is just lovely in the autumn. Set out to discover Halibut Point State Park, with its granite quarries and tide pools, crunch along the stones on Pebble Beach, or take a picnic to Millbrook Meadow.
This magically scenic area boasts a handful of terrific towns that make for a great New England foliage getaway. Get back to nature in Beartown State Forest or October Mountain State Forest, then sit down to a farm-to-table meal and enjoy the fruits of this glorious rural setting.
Harvest festivals, cider tasting, and crunchy forest trails. We’re loving the cool fall evenings and rediscovering our local parks in their new finery—with the top Midwest vacations for some autumn splendor and fun fall activities.
Best Midwest Vacations In The Fall
This roundup includes small towns with lively hearts and big, bold cities where anything goes. In the fall, these places offer up colorful landscapes (whether they’re urban or rural) plus a range of festivals and events themed for the autumn season.
Whether you favor compact cabins, stylish condos, or multi-story townhouses, book yourself a rental home on FlipKey to come back to after a day of autumnal adventures. Rentals make sense in terms of cost, space, and independence, meaning you end up with a great Midwest vacation trip that’s tailor made for you.
Here’s our 10 top towns and cities in the Midwest where you can pick a pumpkin, try a tasting, and see some fantastic seasonal scenery.
“Everything was there. The kitchen was fully stocked with pots, pans, cups, glasses, plates, etc. Bedrooms/bathroom clean as can be. It was like coming into your own home.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Book yourself a cabin and set out to enjoy fall in Hocking Hills. Kick off at Old Man’s Cave, named after a local hermit who made this spot his home, and take advantage of the area’s excellent hiking terrain. Swing by the Circleville Pumpkin Show, with its parades, contests, and stalls selling all the pumpkin-based foods you can think of, and then some.
Kansas City offer several fall festivals and events. If you’ve got the family in tow, check out the Great Pumpkin Fest at the Worlds of Fun amusement park, where there’s a hay bale maze and kids’ pumpkin patch. You could also try Kansas City Zoo for beer and wine tasting, Halloween-themed events, and of course, plenty of animal fun.
Stay in this quiet mountain town and you’ll have the fall foliage of the Black Hills National Forest right on the doorstep. Climbing, hikers, motor-bikers—they all come here to enjoy Custer’s historic center and the views from the roads and trails around it. Make sure you seek out the passageways and caverns of the Jewel Cave National Monument and the iconic profiles of Mount Rushmore.
Start at Geisler Farms, with s’mores over a fire pit, then pick your way through the corn maze, and choose your own pumpkin to take home. Des Moines has more than 800 miles of trails to explore on foot or by bike, leading you around the city’s fall foliage and further out into the glorious Iowa countryside.
Start your tour of Galena boating down the mighty Mississippi River, watching leaves on the turn, or fishing for bass and catfish. You might prefer the aerial view from a hot air balloon with Galena on the Fly, or the arts and crafts at Galena Country Fair, amid the gorgeous autumnal setting of Grant Park. In the evening, try Matthew’s Haunted Pub Crawl for a ghostly local tour washed down with a few drinks.
“Our condo worked out perfectly for us for the vacation. We loved having the water park on site! Everything was very clean and any request we made was addressed very quickly. Would highly recommend!” — FlipKey Reviewer
The Waterpark Capital of the World is understandably popular year-round, but there are plenty of other things to do here. In the fall, board Dells Boat Tours to appreciate the beauty of the Wisconsin River and the Dells rock formations. The views are arguably even better on the sunset cruise, which comes with dinner provided. This is also a good time of year to zipline through the treetops and see those changing colors up close.
This lively college town has plenty in store in the autumn. Begin with a self-guided tour of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, bursting with shrubs and trees, and truly breathtaking at this time of year. Nearby Dexter hosts the Apple Daze festival, with hayrides, a pie-eating competition, and plenty of cider to toast the new season. Lest we not forget the main draw in Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan football team. Experiencing a game at the Wolverine’s stadium—the largest in America with a capacity of 111,000 (!) people—is a memorable experience.
“This property has everything you could need, including anything you might have forgotten. The atmosphere is lovely… We rented bikes from the owner, picnicked in the backyard under the sunshade, walked to groceries, restaurants, and coffee, biked to the beach.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Don’t miss the lovely Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, with its seasonal scarecrows, Sensory Garden, and Pumpkin House. If you’re already getting into the Halloween spirit, you might want to bag a ticket for October’s Zombie Pub Crawl, where you’ll be able to taste the best of the excellent Minneapolis craft beer scene (in full zombie garb).
Warm days, cool nights, and leaves crunching underfoot. This is a great time to book a rental in Traverse City, where you’ll find entertainment in the museums and casinos, and plenty of fall color around the inland lakes and on the sweeping drives from winery to winery. Taste farm-to-fork flavours at a local restaurant, catch your own meal from a fishing boat, or take off on a biking excursion among gorgeous autumn scenery.
“We loved everything about this place. It was in a perfect spot—not far from town, but out of the craziness. The owner was great to deal with, the place was very clean, and it felt like a home away from home! Beautiful setting and backyard, and everything we could possibly need was provided.” — FlipKey Reviewer
By day, admire the colorful landscapes of Brown County, catching the changing leaves of Yellowwood State Forest and Brown Country State Park. In the evening, you can see a bluegrass show, grab a first-rate Nashville dinner, and round the night off in a hot tub.
Having children doesn’t have to slow you down on vacation! Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, road trip-lover, or relaxation seeker, you can do it all—even with kids in tow.
Expert Tips For Family Travel
We asked top mom bloggers from around the world to share their tips and tricks for traveling with kids—along with their favorite family vacation destinations—to help inspire your next trip. From where to go and when to start planning to what you absolutely can’t forget to pack, these moms are experts when it comes to family travel. Heed their advice, and make this the year you finally plan a vacation that pleases everyone.
While you might not be able to control the number of meltdowns or bathroom breaks needed while you’re away, you can control where your family stays each night. Opt for a vacation rental and ensure that your family has the perfect place to stay during your trip. Enjoy amenities that come with renting an entire home, like extra room, outside space for energetic little ones, enough proper beds for everyone, a fully-stocked kitchen, and in-home laundry. All you need to do is set your budget, choose your rental, and go!
Favorite family vacation destination: Living in Florida, our favorite family vacation destination is Walt Disney World. It’s an easy drive and no matter how many times we go, we have a different experience each time.
Top tip: Planning ahead is so important! I try to find the least popular times to visit destinations and, if possible, that’s when we go. I also search the internet for deals before we leave. There are sites online with discounted tickets to popular events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. If it’s a beach vacation, I look for places where kids eat free or two-for-one deals on attractions like mini-golf.
Don’t forget to pack: I’d be completely lost if I forgot my camera. After all, part of the fun of a great family vacation is reminiscing over the photos when you get back home.
Favorite family vacation destination: The Western Cape has come to be one of my favorite places. Last year we stayed in Botrivier and it was such a stunning spot! Kid-friendly, close to the beach, and the weather was perfect. The beach is a great destination because it is “free” fun for the kids.
Top tip: Space! Your accommodation needs to have space for the kids to run. And preferably a restaurant/shop nearby.
Don’t forget to pack: WETWIPES! And water for everyone.
Favorite family vacation destination: Our first family-fun trip was to Disney World in Florida with our eldest child when she was just four years old. I would love to take my younger one there too, as Disney World is truly magical. Not only did our daughter love it, but my husband and I did too. More recently, our favorite family destination is Goa, India. Goa is famous for its beautiful beaches, yummy seafood, flea markets, and water sports. It was a memorable trip and we are looking forward to going back soon.
Top tip: Traveling with kids means a lot of pre-planning and a lot of things to be carried along on a trip. The most important tip for other moms traveling with kids is to book everything in advance. It’s always better to book the accommodation, cabs, or anything else you will need a reservation for before your arrival. It saves time, and you don’t want any kind of hassle when you are traveling with kids.
Don’t forget to pack: There are many things that I make sure to pack on a family trip, but the three that top the list are: books (very helpful on long drives with kids), food (cookies, cakes, fruits, or anything that the kids can easily eat while traveling), and medicines (better to be prepared than running around on a vacation).
One more thing you can’t forget to pack: a camera. Traveling with family is all about creating memories to be treasured.
Favorite family vacation destination: We recently returned from Spain and had the most wonderful time. Between the hustle and bustle of Madrid, the beauty and design of San Sebastiàn and then the relaxing beachfront escape that El Vendrell provided, the trip offered the best of all worlds! I have to say, as someone who has been to dozens of countries all around the world, Spain was my favorite yet!
Top tip: I think it’s important to remember that there needs to be a third of your day that is scheduled specifically for downtime. Your children can only do so much. Keep your accommodation centrally located for sightseeing and dining and easily accessible for afternoon naps.
Don’t forget to pack: Some people may not appreciate this one, but chargers! My family needs our electronics. While in Spain, we took two 6-hour train rides and they were both managed all thanks to game apps and downloaded movies. Thank goodness for battery packs and plugs!
Favorite family vacation destination: We’re big Disney fanatics in our house. I went to Walt Disney World with my parents and grandparents for the first time when I was 6 years old. Those memories have lasted my whole life, and we’ve been helping to create lasting memories with our family since our kids were little, too. WDW is our favorite family vacation destination because of that. Our kids love the magic of the Mouse.
Top tip: We love traveling in the shoulder season—fewer people, often better rates. We look for dates that work for us, and it’s always a more pleasant trip. Our kids help with the planning so it’s a team effort and everyone helps to make some of the planning decisions.
Don’t forget to pack: Water bottles and sunscreen—two musts for a hot, sunny day at a theme park!
Favorite family vacation destination: We love exploring the Oregon Coast when traveling with kids because we can keep going back and always see something new! Our favorite Oregon destinations are the seaside boardwalks that are perfect for family hikes, Newport Aquarium, and visiting old landmark lighthouses.
Top tip: We have three small children, and it’s important for us to plan flexible activities for each day. We generally research an area using a service such as TripAdvisor and we choose several destination options. I love when a travel resource also includes reviews of each attraction in an area! We also enjoy staying at a vacation rental rather than a hotel because vacation rental houses often include multiple rooms and more amenities (such as a kitchen or hot tub right outside the door) for a young family of five. Our experience at a vacation rental is often unique each time, allowing us to build fun memories with our kids on our family vacation.
Don’t forget to pack: We can’t forget to pack the double stroller! A reliable compact stroller is a must-have for traveling with kids through a new city. But make sure it easily folds up to fit in the trunk of any rental car.
Favorite family vacation destination: Ask my family and hands down we will all say South Dakota. It was a family vacation that made us curious, allowed us relaxation, and kept us going out for more. We toured Mount Rushmore and Bear Country and everything in between. It is wide open land with scenic views and a pace that allows for relaxation.
Top tip: We’re always looking for someplace new. Our first question is “where have we never been?” and then we start searching for things to do and places to stay in that location. We’ve planned destinations based on books we’ve read, movies seen (Oak Island for Nicholas Sparks fans), and also places we’ve read about on the internet or in books. We keep a running list, and as our life takes us down different roads, we check in with our list.
Don’t forget to pack: Our one thing is a day pack. We each have one loaded with high protein snacks, extra water, a walkie talkie (in case we get separated), and bandannas. It makes spontaneous travel easy…sometimes we just pull off to the side of the road, grab the day pack and see where the trail takes us. Other times, we follow a tour guide. We’re always ready with our day pack. As soon as we come in at night, we restock any items used.
Favorite family vacation destination: Our favorite family destination is Maui. The island offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and begs to be discovered and explored. As a family, we have the option of simply relaxing by the beach or making the trek up the mountain to see the sunrise at Haleakala. Whether you crave adventure or want to unplug, the island offers a myriad of activities, water sports, and more.
Top tip: My best tip for selecting a destination is to plan ahead with sufficient time. Not only will this ensure the best prices, you have the most options when it comes to selecting accommodations and activities you desire, particularly during high season.
Don’t forget to pack: The one thing we can’t forget to pack is a camera to document all of our incredible memories together as a family.
Favorite family vacation destination: My all-time favorite family destination is Treasure Beach, Jamaica. We fell in love with it when we visited for the first time six years ago and discovered the adventurous way to travel with your family through community tourism. Over the course of one week, we went out with our boat captain Dennis Abrahams (who happens to earn a #1 rating as the most popular activity tour to take in Treasure Beach). Captain Dennis took us to Pelican Bar (a bar in the middle of the ocean), cooked us a jerk lobster beach lunch on a private island, and navigated our way through Black River where we observed wildlife and crocodiles and swung off tree vines to cool off on a hot summer day. On another trip, we even stopped to meet a farmer who gave us watermelons before ending our journey at the beach with a lobster dinner under the stars. I could go on and on, but if you have older kids and are in for adventure, fun and great food, then Treasure Beach is the place for you!
Top tip: Absolutely check out reviews that real people have written about the places you’re visiting. I have to say, even though we have been to Treasure Beach a few times, when we wanted to try new places to eat or visit, I definitely checked out TripAdvisor to see what places people raved about and which restaurants or cafes they loved. And of course, I loved the fact that Captain Dennis has the #1 tour in Treasure Beach—I know firsthand he’s earned the recognition!
Don’t forget to pack: One thing I have found to be a huge resource now is to make sure we get International data and calling when we are out of the country. That helps when searching for things to do or navigating your way to a destination if you’re on your own. In terms of packing, sunscreen and bug spray are always high on our list!
Favorite family vacation destination:Hawaii is a great family vacation because of the vast amount of kids activities in one of the most gorgeous places in the world. We love the various fresh foods and the different family trips you can take there. I highly recommend Kauai and Maui for great family fun. Don’t forget to try the pineapple and shaved ice!
Top tip: You have to make sure everyone in your family can enjoy the trip. We have kids at various ages and if one kid is not occupied, it can get boring quickly and end up being a bad vacation. We also try to make sure there are family-friendly activities at the various places we visit.
Favorite family vacation destination: Our family loves to take road trips where we spend a few days at accommodations with some fun local sites nearby. We like to stay in places that have nearby activities and preferably a pool, so we can choose how active we want to be and just enjoy each other’s company. We also might take one or two days to see local sights. Especially with young kids, we like to have a plan, but not be over-planned.
Top tip: I’d put together a list of must-dos and nice-to-dos. Include any time restrictions, like if a museum you want to see is closed on certain days. Fill in the must-dos on your schedule. Then keep your list of nice-to-dos with you so if you feel like you need another activity, you have a whole list already compiled.
Don’t forget to pack: Since we love road trips, we can’t forget car activities. No one wants hours of driving with a cranky toddler.
Favorite family vacation destination: Our favorite family vacation destination has to be Colorado! We love the mountains and all of the outdoor adventures that await us there. We’re huge outdoor people so we love to hike, fish, swim, and everything that goes along with a Colorado adventure vacation!
Top tip: I think about what it is we want to do—is it hiking, riding rides at a theme park, lying on the beach? Then I narrow it down from there. I try to pick a location that we’ve never been to before, because we like to see new things and discover new places. Consider the busy times of year too, and avoid those when you’re planning.
Don’t forget to pack: My camera!!!! Photos are so important to me, I want to be able to look back at them and remember that amazing time my family had!
It can be sad to say goodbye to summer. But dry your eyes, because we know you’re secretly excited about what the next season has in store. A kaleidoscope of natural color. Cool, crisp air that marks a fresh beginning. And all the plaid and wool you’ve been dying to fish out of the closet. Admit it. Fall’s fantastic.
Best Fall Vacations For Small-Town Color
Rugged peaks, glistening lakes, tumbling falls, and woodland hideaways that make the daily grind seem a million miles away. That’s what we look for in the ultimate fall vacation. Tiny mountain towns don’t generally provide a lot of hotel accommodation, so a rental is often the best option. And what avid leaf peeper wouldn’t want to stay in a cozy log cabin in the woods, anyway?
We’ve rounded up some of the best fall vacations this season in America’s most charming small towns, each offering a range of vacation rentals to book from FlipKey. Choose a spacious home for friends and family, or an intimate retreat for a couples getaway. You’ll enjoy a fully stocked kitchen and peaceful surroundings that’ll have you destressed and refreshed in no time—not to mention an incredible display of fall foliage right out your window.
Now layer up, grab a hot drink, and read about these 15 best fall vacations in Small Town, USA.
“The cabin was immaculate, with plenty of space for the whole family. The view from the balcony is truly breathtaking—we got some awesome pictures of the moon between the trees! ” — FlipKey Reviewer
Sugar Hill is one of the best fall vacations in New England: a teeny tiny town with front-row views of the White Mountain National Forest. It’s small, it’s off the beaten path, and its fall foliage really is a sight to be seen. Quaint Sugar Hill offers one of the most picture-perfect backdrops for ushering in the new season.
Dawsonville is situated right by the magnificent Amicalola Falls State Park, a terrific leaf peeping spot known for its thundering 729-foot waterfall. This is also great birdwatching territory and you’ve got the Etowa and Amicalola Rivers to paddle about in. While you’re here, you might as well try a tour and a tasting at the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery, too.
“This cabin was absolutely charming and everything we were hoping for in a mountain retreat. The location was spectacular, yet easy to get into town or up to the park.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Estes Park is a great place for a cabin vacation, and one of the best fall vacations out West. It’s a traveler-preferred starting point for exploring the stunning Rocky Mountain National Park. Tackle early-morning hikes to get breathtaking sunsets over rocky peaks as your reward. Breathe in the crisp mountain air, watching bighorn sheep and elks roam free, and see the golden leaves do their thing as far as the eyes can see.
Blowing Rock is known as the ‘Crown of the Blue Ridge’, and attracts hikers, skiers, spelunkers, and spa fans alike. It has cozy cabins galore with views to die for. If you’re planning a fall vacation to this area, there’s also nearby Banner Elk, where the splendid reds and golds are vivid enough to render spectators speechless.
This is a small, friendly community in the eastern Sierra Nevada region, where you can enjoy the peace of sparkling June Lake and its smaller neighbor, Gull Lake. People come here for the excellent watersports facilities, the hiking trails, the inspiring mountain views—and, of course, the spectacular fall colors. June Lake might be the best fall vacation you don’t know about.
You can see why New Yorkers love having Hunter within easy reach. This charming mountain resort in the Northern Catskills has plenty of small-town appeal, and draws cyclists and zip-lining fans to enjoy the scenery in its autumnal glory. A tour on the Scenic Skyride Chairlift provides thrills and unforgettable views of the fall foliage.
East Stroudsburg has some historic buildings and a thriving arts and crafts scene, providing plenty of mementoes to take home. It’s also a handy base for viewing the forested peaks of the Pocono Mountains, walking the rugged hiking trails of Worthington State Forest, and watching the rushing waters of Bushkill Falls, also known as the “Niagara of Pennsylvania.” To see the beautiful colors from above, opt for a thrilling skydive…if you dare.
“Breathtaking sights, beautiful cabin, relaxation to the fullest. Our first time to stay in the mountains. Amazing views! The cabin was awesome with everything you needed to set up house!” — FlipKey Reviewer
Strap on your hiking boots and don your woolen hat. You’re going leaf-crunching in the Great Smoky Mountains. Driving tours are particularly recommended here and there are some excellent routes for taking in the seasonal colors and the odd glimpse of the local wildlife. Hmm, but what else makes Pigeon Forge one of the best fall vacations? Dollywood, of course! It just wouldn’t be right to come here without visiting the theme park masterminded by the country-singing icon who grew up in a tiny cabin in nearby Locust Ridge.
Luray sits in the Shenandoah Valley between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Massanutten Mountains. The best way to appreciate the fall foliage here is to take the Skyline Drive, a 105-mile stretch of road through this scenic area. You can also tour the famous Luray Caverns, which shelter a jaw-dropping array of huge rock formations.
“So quiet and secluded, which is what we love. Made s’mores out in the fire pit, barbecued on the grill, and ate outside on the deck, felt like we were in a tree house.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Hospitable Hendersonville is another picturesque mountain town where people can leave the rest of the world behind. It’s not far from here to Dupont State Recreational Forest, where you can follow scenic trails and see tumbling waterfalls. This stunning natural landscape is so beautiful and vast it was chosen as a backdrop for The Last of the Mohicans and the 2012 Hunger Games movie.
The Lake Almanor reservoir in Plumas County is a peaceful spot, perfect for those who want to be by the water to fish, hike, and sail. Enjoy serene forest walks or explore the welcoming little towns dotted around the lake’s shore, where there’s always something fun going on.
The mountain town of Blue Ridge is rich in cozy hideaways offering gorgeous vistas. You’ll love the relaxed pace of this gentle town, where you can ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, try a bit of trout fishing, or shop for antiques and artworks to take home.
“Perfect retreat for a cozy getaway… This cabin was the perfect getaway where we could turn down the noise of the city and listen to the peaceful sounds of country life. The cabin is beautifully and thoughtfully built with every amenity.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Maybe not your first guess of the best fall vacations in America, but Cleveland is a great base for some truly breathtaking fall scenery. Follow the steep road to the top of Caesars Head State Park for the best views of the changing colors and the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. There are some excellent hiking trails around here too, some of them pretty challenging, so do your research before you set off.
Who likes their leaf peeping with a side of adrenaline? If you’re in Stowe, sign up for a Ziptour Adventure and see the local fall foliage from above, whizzing high above all the reds, browns, and golds. If you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, try the hiking trails and take in that mountain scenery in a more sedate fashion. While Stowe is renowned for its winter skiing, this Green Mountain State gem is also one of the best fall vacations you can take.
Some say Connecticut looks its most beautiful in the fall. There’s no better place to find out for yourself than this little destination on the banks of the Mystic River. Explore the town with Mystic Bike Rentals, take to the trees (in a safety harness) at the Fields of Fire Adventure Park, go walking at Haley Farm State Park, and see all colors of fall at Pequot Woods.
Want to plan one last summer getaway this Labor Day Weekend without breaking the bank? FlipKey has taken the work out of planning your trip, rounding up 15 destinations where the cost of a two-bedroom rental can be as low as $25 per person per night for Labor Day Weekend (based on a two-bedroom rental with four person occupancy).
Whether you’re heading to a beach house in Hawaii or a mountain cabin in Salt Lake City, your getaway will be no work and all play thanks to these Labor Day Weekend deals.
Median nightly rate, two bedroom properties for Labor Day Weekend
Cost per person per night. Based on a two-bedroom rental with four-person occupancy.
Methodology: Median nightly rates are for all two-bedroom properties in each destination and are based on the median nightly rates from Friday, September 3 – Tuesday, September 5, according to TripAdvisor Rentals data. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company. Per person, per night cost is based on a two-bedroom rental with four-person occupancy.
Labor Day Weekend Vacation Rentals
Booking an affordable rental is a great way to kick off a budget friendly trip—but don’t forget that rentals help travelers save beyond the nightly rates by offering a broad range of amenities.
“Even on peak weekends like Labor Day, luxury homes can be affordable when you fill up the bedrooms share the cost across the group,” said Laurel Greatrix, spokesperson for TripAdvisor Rentals, the parent company of FlipKey. “If you’re trying to keep costs down, staying in a rental is the way to go—you’ll have the freedom to cook at home, and oftentimes you’ll get great perks like free parking, and amenities like bikes, barbecues, and beach accessories, at no additional cost. Check the listing to see what’s included and you might be surprised!”
Properties are available on FlipKey, where travelers can search, compare, and book hundreds of thousands of properties worldwide, including cabins, beach houses, desert hideaways, and more! Feel confident in your decision with our Payment Protection.
Planning a trip to the iHeartRadio Music Festival this year? We’ve got you covered!
For two nights only this autumn, the iHeartRadio Music Festival will take over the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. The result: a spectacular event chock-full of hip-swaying performances of rock, pop, hip hop, and more from music’s hottest artists.
While the festival kicks off on September 22, we suggest extending your stay to truly experience all that the Entertainment Capital of the World has to offer. From the excitement of the casino-lined Las Vegas Strip to the tranquility of the surrounding desert, there’s so much to see and do in Las Vegas! Use our recommendations of top restaurants and bars in the city so you can stay fueled for days (and nights!) of non-stop fun.
No matter how you decide to fill your downtime during the iHeartRadio Music Festival, rent a Las Vegas condo or apartment from FlipKey for ultimate convenience and comfort. With a vacation rental, you’ll have your own bed to recover in, a full kitchen to store your snacks, and some extra spending money in your pocket.
About the iHeartRadio Music Festival
Every year during the iHeartRadio Music Festival, over 16,000 frenzied fans pack the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas for showstopping performances from their favorite artists. The star-studded lineup has ranged in the past from award-winning singers like Sam Smith and Elton John to popular bands like U2 and Coldplay. Tickets to the event cost upwards of $50, but many radio stations offer them for free to lucky listeners. Tune in to popular stations, and listen for the cue to call to win a pair of tickets to the festival.
Attendees can expect to hear round-the-clock hits all weekend long—indoors andoutdoors. The open-air Daytime Village takes place nearby at the MGM Resorts Village and showcases new, up-and-coming artists each year. Flash your wristband and come and go from this massive outdoor party featuring a revolving stage, dedicated fan zones, and countless interactive experiences for music-lovers.
Whether you plan to spend your nights playing in the glow of the glamorous Strip or resting up for an early morning at the iHeartRadio Daytime Village, make sure you have a comfortable Las Vegas rental to return home to each day. From high-rise condos and luxury penthouses to opulent mansions and spacious vacation homes, FlipKey has more than 700 Las Vegas rentals to choose from for the perfect stay.
While Las Vegas is a great spot for a last-minute trip, if you’re planning to attend the iHeartRadio Music Festival, your best bet is to reserve your accommodations in advance. Search for a rental near the MGM Grand Arena to be close to all of the action, or book a home with a private pool and unwind without the hoopla. Whether you’re looking to save money for the slot machines, or want a place to watch the sunset over the desert, we’ve got you covered!
Eat and Drink Here During the iHeartRadio Music Festival
We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. These are our top restaurants to hit while you’re in Vegas.
Only in Las Vegas will you find an award-winning Mexican restaurant overlooking a Venice-inspired canal (gondola rides and everything!) or a neon-lit lounge with a flaming reflection pool. Sin City bursts with one-of-a-kind bars and restaurants where you can overindulge at all-you-can-eat buffets, knock back bottomless Bloody Marys, or sample exquisite international cuisine.
We can’t guarantee you’ll win big in Las Vegas, but we can guarantee you’ll get hungry—and our top picks are sure to satisfy even the most unexpected cravings! Reserve a table, stop in for happy hour, or grab a late-night pizza at the following spots while you’re in town for the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
You might think that organizing a trip to Europe is just like any other vacation: book your flights, rent a vacation home, do a little research, and you’re good to go. While that approach might work most of the time, it’s always wise to be well-prepared.
To that end, we’ve put together some top tips for first-time travelers to Europe. From what to expect while you’re there to the best ways to get around, here’s some helpful advice for before and after booking your European rental on FlipKey!
1. Apply for a passport. You’re going to need one to travel throughout Europe. Avoid fees to expedite the process by applying as soon as you can—it often takes up to eight weeks to get yours in hand. Once you have it, make a copy of your information page and keep it handy while you’re abroad.
2. Avoid peak season. There are lots of advantages to timing your trip to Europe. The price of flights and vacation rentals tends to drop during the off-season (November-March) and shoulder season (April-June), which means big savings for you. Besides the benefit of spending less, avoiding peak season will give you the opportunity to experience a more authentic Europe with fewer tourists and shorter lines at popular attractions.
4. Carry a pocket dictionary. While it’s smart to practice a few common phrases before you arrive (please and thank you can go a long way!), having a dictionary in your pocket or purse won’t hurt. But, with so many different languages spoken in Europe, it’ll be impossible to learn them all before you go. You’ll want your pocket dictionary handy when you’re desperately trying to recall how to ask for directions or where the bathroom is!
5. Think before tipping too much at restaurants. While tipping is appreciated almost everywhere (except maybe Japan), it’s not as common as it is in the US. The final bill at most European restaurants typically includes service, but it’s recommended to reward good service with a modest tip of 5 to 10 percent. Whenever possible, tip in cash to ensure that your server gets it!
6. Expect to eat late and linger over meals. Many Europeans start dinner at a later time, eat at a slower pace than Americans, and view mealtime as an opportunity to socialize. Expect to sit down for a leisurely meal each night. If you tend to be an early-eater, we recommend waiting to eat lunch until mid-afternoon and keeping snacks handy at your vacation rental. Try to embrace not being in a hurry!
7. Make the most of public transportation. Europe is known for its transit system, and you can get almost anywhere via its vast rail network. Purchase a rail pass to travel from country to country, or explore each city using the local metro system.
8. Be friendly. It might seem obvious, but this is one of our top tips for first-time travelers to Europe. Chances are you’ll need directions or help tackling a language barrier at some point, so put on a smile and offer a warm greeting—it will be much appreciated. You’ll find most Europeans eager to help you out. Who knows? You might even get a great dinner recommendation or even make a new friend during your travels!
With wedding season officially underway and about one-fifth of couples opting to tie the knot somewhere exotic, it’s likely you’ll soon be invited to a wedding abroad. We’ve interviewed some or our favorite, seasoned bloggers to get the best advice on attending a destination wedding.
We asked them:
What is your favorite destination wedding location, and why?
What is your top tip for attending a destination wedding?
What is the one thing you can’t forget to pack?
Their answers are equal parts helpful and inspiring – so read on to make sure you’re completely prepared.
Favorite destination wedding location: We’ve been fortunate enough to work with clients all over the world, but we are partial to the Caribbean as a destination location — especially Barbados! The island of Barbados (see 2600+ Barbados rentals) is nestled in the lower Antilles of the Caribbean and boasts everything you’d want. It has a variety of accommodations from intimate B&B’s to luxury 5 diamond properties to start, which makes guest stays easy. Barbados also has many unique locations for your wedding; from historic rum factories to exquisite restaurants and villas — Barbados has something for everyone. Versatility in a wedding destination is important.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: Be realistic with the couple on whether you can afford to attend. If you’re on a budget, seek out ways to creatively save on travel, accommodations and other items surrounding the wedding. If circumstances might change for you and you can’t go, be sure to tell the couple as soon as you’ve made your decision!
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: If you’re in the tropics — don’t forget sunscreen! Seriously, though, so often guests forget to pick this up and by the time they remember — it’s too late. The sun is much stronger the closer to you get to the equator and it only takes a few minutes of rays to leave a nasty sunburn. Also, we recommend wedding guests pack simply for the weekend; you might feel compelled to throw everything in the suitcase, but you’re better off outfit planning and reusing pieces. Pack light and come for the party!
Favorite destination wedding location: I’ve recently fallen in love with Rhode Island (see 200+ Rhode Island rentals). There is so much history in both Newport and Providence, it is a dream destination for lovers of vintage glam right here in the US. The Newport Mansions will take your guests back in time to a place of elaborate elegance and beauty that cannot be matched anywhere else in the country!
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: My tip for attending a destination wedding is to make the most of it! Be sure to get a thorough timeline of all the wedding-related activities and then use the rest of your time to explore the destination and really get the most out of the trip. Chances are there are other friends and family going, so team up on extra days at the vacation rental and fun excursions to extend celebrating a loved one’s big day with a trip of a lifetime.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Always pack a swimsuit. It doesn’t matter if you are going to the Arctic, you never know when a swimsuit will come in handy and you don’t want to be the only one left out of the hot tub!
Photo credit: @OfficialCocktailsDetails on Instagram
Favorite destination wedding location: Favorite destination wedding location is Mexico (see 11,000+ rentals in Mexico), hands down. It’s really quick travel from anywhere in the States with few language or money barriers. Whether you choose to say “I do” at a private villa or at an all-inclusive resort, there are so many ways to personalize your event without making it cookie cutter as well as incorporating some of the local culture. We love Cancún, Playa Del Carmen, and Cabo.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: Leave gifts and valuables at home. Not only are they a pain for you to travel with, but also for the couple getting married. Budget accordingly and follow instructions.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Pack extra space! Sounds weird, right? But definitely leave room for any gifts you may be given from the couple, the resort or souvenirs that you will want to bring home. This avoids shipping and heavy luggage fees (be sure to weigh your bag on a bathroom scale before you leave!) With the luggage rules wreaking havoc on everyone’s wardrobe, it’s best to pack smart— which also means packing a spare pair of clothes in your carry on. Purchase a portable charger or power bank to avoid having a dying phone throughout the day.
Favorite destination wedding location: Tagaytay Highlands, Philippines (see 80+ rentals in Tagaytay Highlands)! This place offers not only a beautiful place for a romantic wedding but also in an affordable price range that makes it more amazing! I have never been to Tagaytay but with all the things I have read about it and the reviews, the Highlands is surely on top of the places I consider as a destination wedding location.
For a more “Local Destination Wedding”, I would choose Palm Springs, California (see 1600+ rentals in Palm Springs). The beach, the city, and the gorgeous summer vibe just meet perfectly at this place.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: Enjoy the adventure! Know everything you need to know about the destination and carry only the essentials. Every destination has its own culture and novelties so soak it all in. After the wedding, it’s going to be you, the destination and a wonderful memory.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: I wouldn’t go without an “emergency kit. The kit includes:
Comb – to make sure every strand is in place
Makeup – for touch ups
Blotting Paper – to reduce the shine
Earring Backs – just a few extras to make sure they stay on
Lip Balm – to make sure your lips are moist throughout the day
Dental Floss – to get the food stuck between your teeth
Nail File – to smooth out your nails
Lighter / Matches – a backup to light candles
Hand Sanitizer / Wipes – this is more convenient instead of going to the bathroom
Favorite destination wedding location: My favorite destination wedding location has to be Hawaii (see 8000+ rentals in Hawaii). Not just due to the reason that I used to live there and love going back for weddings; but also because no passport is required, it is easy to get to, bugs are at a minimum, there is no language barrier, gorgeous venues and views, and the vendors there care and know how to do weddings well. All of those reasons wrapped into one is why Hawaii is my top pick for destination weddings. It just has so many positives and feels a world away with just a short, easy plane ride.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: My top tip for attending a destination wedding is to plan early! Once you receive the invitation, get right on booking your [rental], flight and car if you need one. That way, you know you’re set, and the couple can have you counted in their head count.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: The one thing you can’t forget to pack is your patience. As some couples opt to have destination weddings outside the US, you may have to go through customs, or flights may be rerouted due to bad weather. Plan ahead, and be ready to encounter at least one thing that may not go right. Roll with the punches, don’t let the couple know, relax and enjoy the ride! You’re in a beautiful location ready to celebrate with the happy couple! Enjoy!
Favorite destination wedding location: Hawaii! If most of your guests are traveling from the U.S. odds are they would love an excuse to travel to Hawaii and it allows you a jump start on the honeymoon, especially if you’re continuing on to somewhere in Southeast Asia or even staying on the islands.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: Make a vacation out of it. If you can, stay a few days. The couple is probably planning plenty of activities to keep guests entertained so you will have plenty to do. Plus, you will enjoy the entire experience more knowing you are able to enjoy your time at the destination once you have already committed to lengthy travel time.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: The gift. We recommend bringing a cash gift and card or mailing the gift to the newlyweds’ residence ahead of time. Also, ensure your outfit (and shoes!) are weather appropriate.
Favorite destination wedding location: I personally love Cabo! It has everything you’d want in a wedding destination from delicious food, wonderful weather, and fun expeditions and nightlife. Plus, you won’t have to fight humidity in the dry heat of the area, so it’s much more comfortable for you and your guests.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: My best tips are all about saving money. If you’re looking to save money while attending a destination wedding, make sure to book your travel at the optimal time. 50-60 days before a trip is typically the best time to book your flights.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Don’t forget your sunscreen and bug spray. These items are typically way overpriced when sold at airports, so you’re better off bringing them in your bag if you can.
Favorite destination wedding location: Italy (see 100,000+ rentals in Italy) is at the top of our list right now for destination weddings. The landscape, architecture, and food lend themselves to pure and absolute romance. We are lusting over Castello di Miramare as of late. If you want to stay domestic, we can’t get enough of Palm Springs. Palm Springs attracts the most stylish destination weddings from afar as well as right here in Southern California. This city is the epitome of cool and is always busy with pool parties and nightlife along with plenty of culinary delights.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: I highly encourage anyone attending a destination to add a few days on for their own post-wedding adventure. Destination weddings can be more intimate but are always still bustling with activities. It’s so amazing (and exhausting) to connect with the best of friends and family, so a few days to decompress is really valuable after the festivities.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Don’t forget sunscreen! It’s so simple, but nothing ruins an occasion like a sunburn. I’d also like to plan my outfits so I’m only packing what I need and don’t have to lug around a bunch of things I’m not going to wear.
Favorite destination wedding location: Anywhere that’s already on my bucket list because let’s face it, vacation time (and money) does not grow on trees. Regardless of location, the best kind of destination weddings involve a location and activities that enable guests to meet each other and hang out, as well as opportunities to break away from the group and do their own thing. You want all your favorite people in one place for a reason, and guests want to be there for that, not to take a vacation to a predetermined location that happens to have a wedding on one night. But to really answer the question: Tulum, Morocco, Cartagena, Colombia or the French/Italian/English countryside. The common denominators? Killer villas perfect for bigger groups and poolside hangs, amazing food, and fun stuff to check out during the day.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: Do your research. In a perfect world you could just show up and read a welcome packet that’s filled with helpful details that are perfectly tailored to you, but alas, engaged couples are both very busy and human beings, so do your own search in advance for the closest place to get a late-night meal, or a nearby side trip related to your very specific set of interests.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: That elusive pair of shoes that can be worn to the wedding AND during the rest of the trip. And a card and/or gift. Or send it in advance. But don’t waste your precious vacation time trying to hunt down a wedding card.
Favorite destination wedding location: I always adore featuring wedding weekends on Nantucket (see 1000+ Nantucket rentals) because the island epitomizes casual elegance. The perfect locale for a beautiful wedding and to kick back with your family and friends.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: My top tip would be to embrace the opportunity and plan a fun vacation around the wedding events, even if it’s only for a weekend. The bride and groom will probably be happy to share their favorite locations, activities, and restaurants which will make planning a breeze on your end.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Dancing shoes and a pair of super comfortable walking shoes!
Favorite destination wedding location: PUERTO RICO! (See 2000+ Puerto Rico rentals) I absolutely love this destination location because if you have family that can’t travel far or don’t have a passport this is an easy trip. Also, it’s an easy location to turn into an amazing vacation! I planned a 3-day wedding weekend full of activities and relaxation. The Bride, Groom, and guest were in love with the details around that wedding!
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: My top tips for attending a destination wedding is pack light, convert your money and research the destination you are going to. You need to know what’s in the vicinity of where you are going and you don’t want to be broke or stuck with large bills…people may rip you off!
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit (of course this was an easy one) and walking shoes! It’s always good to have an amazing pair of walking shoes if you love to learn and see about culture in different countries. Be a tourist! Take a tour!
Favorite destination wedding location: Las Vegas (see 800+ Las Vegas rentals) is a very popular destination wedding location and for good reason. The photo opportunities are abundant at places like The Neon Museum, Red Rock Canyon, and anywhere on the strip. Plus, an Elvis impersonator officiant is always a hunk’a burning fun.
But one of our favorite trendy destination wedding spots has to be Iceland (see 800+ Iceland rentals) with its scenic views, caves, and waterfalls. We’ve heard amazing stories of picnics in the fjords and encountering Icelandic ponies on the journey.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: Make sure to bone up on TSA rules to make your flight easier. Pro tip: TSA Pre-Check is super helpful. We’ve also heard some great rules for shipping your wedding dress including choosing to insure the package.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Don’t forget to pack your emergency kit. This includes all of your emergency wedding weekend needs like bandages, stain remover, safety pins, and sunscreen.
Favorite destination wedding location:There are so many wonderful locations to choose from for a destination wedding. From an editorial perspective, my favorite destinations are ones that have a sense of intimacy, old world charm, and stunning locations – Europe is just full of this type of location. Since a destination location usually means a smaller group of the people most important to you, a trip to Europe is one that will be enjoyed by all.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: My top tip for attending a destination wedding is to pack lightly but thoughtfully. No matter the destination, essential pieces allow you to layer, feel beautiful, mix basic pieces with a couple of special ones, and assure your comfort.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Of course, the one thing you have to remember to pack is a great pair of walking shoes to explore!
Favorite destination wedding location: Since my husband and I moved to the Emerald Isle a couple years ago, we have to say that our favorite destination wedding spot is Ireland (see 5000+ Ireland rentals). Not only can you play out your dream fairy tale romance in a castle, but your wedding budget can stretch so much further here in Ireland.
For example, an 8-hour venue only rental in North America can easily reach $8,000 or more. For that price you and your guests can stay a couple of nights at a real castle, host your wedding ceremony, and still have money left over for a grand reception feast with entertainment. Another benefit to getting married in a stunning castle is that you don’t need much in the way of extra decor – the ornate beauty and rustic nature of a castle venue does all the talking.
The weather in Ireland is not always ideal, but what it lacks in hours of sunshine it makes up for in beautiful scenery, stunning vistas, lush green rolling hills, and exceedingly warm Irish hospitality!
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: As a guest attending a destination wedding, my advice is to also make a holiday out of the trip. One of my best girlfriends recently attended her sister’s wedding in India. After a long flight to a country my friend had never visited before, the entire 7-day trip was spent attending pre-scheduled wedding activity fun. Talk about a quick turnaround, with a vacation that probably felt like a chore half the time.
While it is nice to spend time with friends and family at a destination wedding, it is also your vacation time! Don’t be pressured into thinking the wedding is the only thing that matters, or that you aren’t allowed to do your own thing.
My suggestion is to arrive ahead of the wedding to do some traveling, then catch up with the wedding party a couple days before the festivities begin. Or else, tack on alone time a couple days after the wedding and go do what you want. If you know emotions may get in the way, best to keep your extended travel plans on a need-to-know basis.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: One thing you should not forget to pack when attending a destination wedding is the invitation you received. A destination wedding is usually packed with pre-planned activities that are printed on the wedding invitation. Keep in mind that some activities may be for select guests only, and may not be listed on the couples’ wedding website. Best to bring your invite (or take a photo of it on your smartphone) so as not to miss out on any wedding activities!
Favorite destination wedding location: I love love love Hawaii. It’s just such a gorgeous, relaxing destination that feels like it’s a million miles away — but you don’t even need a passport or a visa to get there. It’s nearly impossible to not feel chill when you’re on the islands, which really makes for an easy experience leading up to your nuptials. The Big Island is especially wonderful, as there are so many things to do — which is great for guests who don’t want to just lounge by the pool all day. And the coffee is just everything.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: If you can, maximize the experience by turning it into your vacation as well. Show up a day or two before the wedding so that you’re there for the festivities, but stay a few days after to do some sight-seeing on your own, relax and take some time to unplug. That way you don’t have to fret about throwing down some serious skrilla just for a one-day event.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: I always pack my makeup in a clutch or wristlet so I have a smaller, chic purse option for dressy events without having to take up extra space in my luggage. I just empty it out when I get to the rental, put my cards, room key, and other necessities in it and voila!
Favorite destination wedding location: The Southern California desert. We love the fun, modern vibe of Palm Springs and the sublime desert scenery of nearby Joshua Tree National Park. There’s a variety of fantastic wedding venues in Palm Springs, as well as spectacular locations for photo shoots, including Salvation Mountain, Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Desert Art Museum, and of course Joshua Tree National Park. Plan to have your wedding sometime in November – April to avoid the extreme desert heat.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: Be open to new experiences. A destination wedding might just be the perfect opportunity to break outside of your comfort zone!
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: If you are going to the desert – or any sunny destination, bring sunscreen, lip balm- and a hat!
Favorite destination wedding location: The exact location of a destination wedding is less important than the venue itself. You can have a great or disastrous wedding on an international island or on a domestic beach. There’s no magical destination that will assure a perfect ceremony and reception. What will assure that, though, is the venue the couple chooses.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: My top tip for attending a destination wedding would be to be flexible. There are always potential delays with travel. Maybe it’s traffic on the road or a flight that’s canceled due to weather. You don’t want to miss the wedding because of travel delays, so make sure to plan accordingly. Add an extra day to the beginning of your travel plans, if possible.
Before you get there, be sure to check out the area online and find attractions or excursions that might interest you. The bridal party may be busy with the rehearsal and last minute wedding planning, so you can’t rely on them for entertainment or restaurant recommendations. If you can plan your own activities and turn they trip into a vacation for yourself (and your guest), you’ll have a better time.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen. The wedding is probably somewhere outdoors with lots of sun. Plan for it. This goes for the bride and the attendees. The last thing you want is to have irritated skin. It won’t photograph well either. And the thing about wedding photos is that after the wedding, they’re pretty much all you have. Years later, you don’t have the food or the cake or the playlist. But you do have your wedding photos. You don’t want to be bright red in them because you forgot to throw a bottle of sunscreen in your luggage.
Favorite destination wedding location: My favorite destination is the Dominican Republic – I know the language and I used to live there. I have family there and local ties to a florist to make it easier for events in this country. Ceremonies at private homes and resorts work well as most resorts have fantastic locations for ceremonies on the beach. You can go rock climbing in the afternoon, and be back in time for a rehearsal dinner with fresh seafood and local produce bursting with Dominican pride and flavors! Don’t forget the ice cream! Go for Helados Bon. Best ice cream in the country and perfect for a late night snack for your guests. La Romana and Punta Cana are the most popular cities for destination weddings in the Dominican Republic.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: Try to go with the suggestions of the bride and groom for accommodations and activities – it is what they want to do and where they want you to be. It will most likely be easier for them! Try to pack as lightly as possible and have a backpack for last minute adventures. Make the wedding like a vacation for yourself and invest in a few more days at the location either before or after – you won’t regret it.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: Don’t forget to pack a couple of outfits for each day for weather contingencies. You will be upset if it’s raining and you don’t have the appropriate clothes! Als, pack a portable cell phone battery so you don’t have to search for a place to plug in while you are out on your adventures!
The Wedding of Katrina Majkut of TheFeministBride.com at Willowdale Estate, Ipswich, MA. Photo: Randall Garnick Photography
Favorite destination wedding location: I love traveling, so a new destination for me is always great whether it’s a vineyard, historic house, park or new state. For destination weddings, I’ve been marooned on top of a Michigan ski mountain, watched a Bermuda beach wedding get washed away, partied like The Great Gatsby in Newport, RI and tore upfem the shore on the Jersey Shore. Whatever the destination wedding, they’ve all been memorable and fun.
Top tip for attending a destination wedding: Be self-sufficient. The soon-to-be newlyweds have a lot of their plate, if something is wrong with your stay, the travel or wedding logistics, don’t rely on them to fix the problem. Yes, you’ve probably spent a lot to get there, but as a second wedding present to them, manage it yourself so they can stay in their blissful bubble. The day is about them anyway.
One thing you shouldn’t forget to pack: The most important items to bring to a destination wedding are a phone charger, comfy shoes, Excedrin and all the proper undergarments for your wedding attire. I had a destination wedding in Cape Cod and forgot 1/2 of my strapless, sticky bra; luckily, there was a Marshall’s across the street from the hotel and I managed to buy a second and affordable outfit 20 minutes before the ceremony started. And to boot, I got tons of compliments that night on my new dress!
This family is gassed up and ready for their affordable road trip.
If you love a road trip but your budget isn’t as endless as the horizon, don’t worry, you can still keep your vacation dreams on track. Use these 8 tips for planning an affordable road trip that won’t break the bank.
Choose affordable activities.
Find activities that don’t empty your wallet – most destinations have local diversions you can enjoy for free or at little cost.
City and regional parks offer free concerts, summer theater, hiking and biking trails, and kid-friendly spaces such as splash pads. Be sure to check your destination’s online visitor guide for free activities around town.
Lower your transportation costs.
Thanks to traveler-friendly apps like GasBuddy and Google Maps, it’s possible to cut the cost of driving substantially. GasBuddy will alert you to the lowest gas prices available based on your GPS location, while the “Avoid Tolls” route option on apps like Google Maps helps you find the cheapest route.
Skip the hotel.
If you’ve never tried renting a vacation home, you’re missing a whole world of affordable vacation comfort. A stay in a rental can save you 50% or more on a traditional hotel. Plus, you’ll be getting much-needed privacy and space after being cramped in a car for hours. Look for online vacation rental listings direct from homeowners, allowing you to choose the location and price range that works for you. Many rentals come with amenities you won’t get at a hotel like a full kitchen, free Wifi or washer/dryer combo (key to freshening up your road trip outfits).
Dine for less.
Eating out three meals a day can be pricey, but it’s easier than you think to cut the cost of dining while on your road trip. Since most vacation rentals include a kitchen, shop local for fresh ingredients for at least some of your meals. Likewise, premade picnics eaten at a roadside park are sure to be less expensive than fast food. Save your dining dollars for a few special restaurant meals built into your budget.
Visit lesser-known cities.
It’s wonderful to visit NYC or San Francisco, but it can also be a budget breaker. Exploring smaller, lesser-known cities could save you hundreds in vacation dollars. Decide what you’d like to see, do and experience on your trip and then search for cities with those attractions. If they’re popular vacation sites, cross them off the list and see what’s left.
Instead of exploring Florida’s Route 1 all the way to Key West ($2642 for an average week’s vacation rental stay), stop off a bit earlier in Key Largo ($1641/week). A great example on the west coast is choosing charming San Clemente ($1591/week) over hot spot San Diego ($2003/week).
It’s no surprise that you can save big by traveling to popular destinations off-season. That doesn’t mean a beach trip in the dead of winter, but it does mean doing a little research about peak-season prices. Going a couple of weeks before or after peak season can help you save considerably. Home rentals in hotspots like Cape Cod, the Gulf Shores and Panama City Beach can be up to one-third cheaper in September and October versus peak summer.
Ask for the gift of travel.
Do your friends or relatives always give gift cards for special occasions? Ask for Visa gift cards you can spend anywhere. Shopping, eating or filling the gas tank with gift cards can pad your vacation budget, big-time.
Split the cost of this Austin, TX rental for major savings.
Take, for instance, this hip Austin house on FlipKey. It’s newly renovated, sleeps up to six people, and is two miles from downtown.
You’ll be paying $250 per night to stay solo. Split between six friends, though? That’s only $42 per person to live in luxury. That’s ashtray money.
Just remember that sharing the costs doesn’t have to mean sharing every minute together. You’ll stay saner on your road trip if you build in time apart.
Joe Laing is the marketing director forEl Monte RV, a nationwide RV rental company. Laing has been on the road working within the travel industry for more than 20 years and greatly enjoys exploring the outdoors.
There are many factors to consider when deciding when the best time to visit Destin, Florida is. For some, the most important thing might be visiting while the weather is warm. Others might prefer a relaxing getaway that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, while some might plan their trip based on local events and festivals. No matter what your vacation preference is, we’re shining a spotlight on this popular Florida destination and giving you tips on when to book your Destin rental (FlipKey has over 2300 to choose from!).
When is the best time to visit Destin for nice weather?
Destin is known for its comfortable temperatures all year long.
Situated along the Florida Panhandle in the northwest region of the state, Destin experiences pleasant weather year-round. Temperatures rarely dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and with approximately 340 days of sunshine, there’s really no bad time to visit this part of Florida. Every year, the summer months typically top out at 90 degrees, while winter lows hover in the 60s. Similarly, the emerald green Gulf waters that lap the shores of this city remain warm enough to swim in for the majority of the year, especially if you don a wetsuit during the winter. Expect water temperatures to reach a high of 84 degrees during the summer and a low of 64 degrees during the winter.
Winter in Destin
Winter is the best time to visit Destin if you’re a traveler in search of abundant sunshine, but don’t require temperatures that are hot enough to warrant days spent at the beach. Snowbirds typically flock to this destination from December through March to escape frigid temperatures up north and to get their daily dose of Vitamin D. Like most places in Florida, Destin enjoys abundant sunshine all year long, which is a welcome change for travelers visiting from colder parts of the country that are washed out by snow and grey clouds during this time of year. Expect temperatures that fluctuate between highs in the mid-60s during the day and lows that drop into the 40s at night. Water temperatures dip into the 60s during the winter but remain comfortable for surfing if you wear a wetsuit.
The perfect vacation rental in Destin to book for a winter getaway.
Planning your trip to Destin during the winter months takes the pressure off feeling like you need to book a beachfront vacation rental. Since you can be a bit more flexible with your location, rent the Crystal Plantation just a half mile walk from Crystal Sands Beach. This Destin vacation rental has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and loads of amenities that ensure a comfortable stay. It’s also less than a five-minute drive to Destin Commons, an open-air shopping center with a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Being in close proximity to local shops and eateries during a winter vacation in Destin is ideal since you won’t be spending every free moment at the beach.
Spring in Destin
If you ask locals when the best time to visit Destin is, they will tell you to book a vacation rental during the months of April and May. This time of year brings warm waters, comfortable daytime temperatures that range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s and abundant sunshine. The lack of humidity and the beautiful magnolias and azaleas that bloom during April and May also appeal to vacationers during this season. Plan your trip during these months before the stifling summer heat has settled in and the summer crowds invade the city.
The Pink Lemonade house is an ideal place to stay during the spring.
You couldn’t ask for a better location when you book the Pink Lemonade vacation home. It is situated just two blocks away from Crystal Sands Beach, which is known for its fine white sand and clear waters. If you prefer not to get sandy, this rental is also just steps away from the neighborhood’s community pool. Visitors can enjoy a bright open layout throughout the home, making it a comfortable place to relax after a busy day in Destin. Highlights of the home include a recently renovated master bathroom and an outdoor fire pit area.
Summer in Destin
Renting a home in Destin from June through August ensures that your vacation will be packed with lots of beach time. Daytime temperatures soar into the upper-80s and low-90s and the sun kisses beachgoers lounging along the water’s edge. It must be mentioned that the emerald green waters of the gulf approach bathtub-warm temperatures in the mid-80s, making it difficult to escape the heat sometimes. Visiting Destin during the summer will put you among the peak temperatures as well as peak crowds.
Convenient beach access and a private pool make this Destin rental an ideal summer rental.
Search for vacation rentals in Destin that are within walking distance to the beach if you’re planning a trip during the summer. The Castle in the Dunes a great option because it’s only steps away from the sugary sands of the beach, making it easy to get to the beach for a quick dip before the crowds arrive for the day. This home also has a spectacular private pool and hot tub, so you never have to leave your rental if you don’t want to. It boasts custom waterfalls, a swim up bar and ample sunbathing areas, so you’ll feel like you’re at a high-end resort even though you have the entire place to yourself. Inside, guests will find three levels of luxury, including seven spacious bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, and an awesome media room.
Fall in Destin
Fall in Destin is ideal for vacationers looking to spend lots of time in the water because the Gulf of Mexico remains comfortably warm well into October and November. Coupled with cooler air temperatures in the low-80s, going for a swim can feel quite refreshing on a sunny fall day in Destin. Humidity is also nearly non-existent during this time of year. Keep in mind that if you do plan a fall getaway here, you run the risk of experiencing the occasional rainstorms. Destin’s wet season doesn’t end until November, so make sure to pack an umbrella and a good book in case rainy weather puts a damper on some of your plans.
Stay near the Destin Harbor Boardwalk for a fun fall vacation.
Many world-class restaurants and family-friendly attractions are right outside your door when you stay at this waterfront condo rental within the Emerald Grande in Destin. Booking a rental within a larger resort is ideal for a stay during Destin’s rainy months because you’ll have access to more amenities. Spend time exercising at the on-site fitness center or splurge on a luxurious spa treatment within the complex. Although some of these amenities might cost an additional fee, they’re worth the added cost for their ease and convenience when it’s raining outside.
When is the best time to visit Destin based on rental prices?
Vacation rental rates are at their highest during the summer months in Destin. This time of year is considered peak season because the great weather is nearly guaranteed and vacationers pay a premium to be able to take advantage of warm, sunny days by the beach. Booking a rental for one week during this time of year can come with a hefty price tag of more than $1400.
If your vacation plans are flexible and you’re looking to experience Florida without breaking the bank then the best time to visit Destin is during the spring or fall. Renting a home during these shoulder season months means you’re likely to be able to afford an oceanfront rental and still save money. Weekly rental prices drop bout 13% during off-peak months, which means you can pocket as much as $200 in savings. Booking during the shoulder is also a great way to ensure that you have some extra spending money that can be put towards snorkeling and scuba excursions off the coast or a memorable deep sea fishing outing.
When is the best time to visit Destin to attend local events?
Destin can be seen from above along Florida Panhandle.
What was once a sleepy fishing village is today one of the most popular vacation spots along the Florida Panhandle and here is never a dull moment here! Events and festivals take place year-round but the best time to visit Destin for events is in the fall.
The Destin Seafood Festival is one of the city’s most prominent events and it kicks off the month of October. The festival takes place along the boardwalk, is free to the public and appeals to all foodies. Visitors can enjoy live music on multiple stages and some of the best freshly caught seafood from local restaurants at this event.
October is also a popular month for anglers because the Destin Fishing Rodeo draws people from all over the country. It’s a month-long event, and prizes are offered for the largest fish caught. The only criteria are that you must cast your fishing line from a registered boat and weigh your catch at the end of the day.
In November, try samples of delectable barbecue and local brews during the Blues, Brews and BBQ event. It’s a spirited affair and with fun BBQ competitions among eateries in the area. Make sure to try some of the local seafood prepared BBQ-style.
If you can’t make it to Destin during the fall, there are still great events to look forward to. Check out Burning Up The Beaches in May to see a collection of classic cars take over the city. The car show takes places at Destin Commons and is fun for all. Similarly, the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival in June offers entertainment for visitors of all ages. Whether you attend an event or you make your own merriment, you’ll quickly see why Destin is one of the most popular vacation spots on the Emerald Coast.
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