magazine | Travel | Destination Guides

8 of the Most Creative and Affordable Fall Travel Ideas

photo: Josh Hild
Looking for a creative and affordable way to see the world? You’ve come to the right place. If you’re planning to book a trip come Autumn, we’ve got a few creative ideas to maximize your experience – and spare change. Whether it’s taking advantage of nature’s free and dazzling leaf show at a cozy cabin in Vermont or food crawling through Richmond, Virginia, during Restaurant Week (when all dishes are $29.18), here are a few ideas to help you make sure you get the most of your money when planning an epic fall adventure.

Reporter: ​Dylan Essertier

Leaf-Viewing in Manchester, Vermont

Manchester, Vermont
What could be more quintessential than spending a foliage-filled weekend away in the mountains of Vermont? Not to mention, affordable. For starters, watching the leaves change into gorgeous shades of gold and crimson is completely free. Use this extra cash to splurge at the upscale Equinox Resort or get cozy at the charming Manchester Inn. While in The Green Mountain state, we highly recommend going to check out the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory (tour tickets are $4) and Hollow Cider Mill where tours are completely free... and they have maple syrup glazed doughnuts. 
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Indulging in Sea-to-Table Lobster in Bermuda

From September through March spiny lobster season begins in Bermuda. For those unfamiliar, this delicacy is smaller than its Maine counterpart and doesn't have claws, so most of the tender, flavourful meat is tucked away in the tail. To take your autumn trip to Bermuda to the next level you can actually catch your dinner with a local licensed lobster diver and cook it that evening (more on that, here). Prefer your dinner sea to plate? At Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio, The Lobster Pot, and Beau Rivage special spiny-lobster inspired dishes are cooked up during the fall months including plenty of creamy chowders, rich pasta dishes, and more. 
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Hiking in Cinque Terra, Italy

Cinque Terra, Italy
You might know this iconic Italian city from your favorite travel bloggers’ Instagram feed. You know that gorgeous and colorful seaside town overrun with perfectly pastel homes that looks straight out of a fairytale? While a visit to Cinque Terra can quickly add up during the tourist-filled summer months, opting to hike this coastal village during the fall is a much more affordable way to experience its endless charm. With plenty of boutique hotels featuring reduced rates come September, olive oil tasting and endless scenery to soak you’ll be able to enjoy la dolce (discounted) vita.
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Skiing in Chile

Portillo, Chile
For the snow-inclined, there’s no better time to visit Chile than the fall, as ski seasons runs from Mid-June through mid-October. If you go, consider Portillo Resort in the Chilean Andes, where a variety of all-inclusive packages are available in late September (prices can dip up to $1,000 towards the end of the month). But don’t just come here for the discount, come for the unbelievable scenery and to experience one of the best ski vacations in the world.
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Experiencing Festival Season in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico
From the Santa Fe wine and chile festival (September 26th) to the Albuquerque International balloon fiesta (October 6th), there is no shortage of entertainment in New Mexico come autumn. Come here to experience the Pueblo-style architecture, twisting streets, and historic downtown where the past seems to meets the future in the most fascinating of ways. For the culture-inclined, don’t leave Santa Fe without experiencing the Meow Wolf complex, an immersive multimedia space that is arguably one of the neighborhood's most thought-provoking attractions. 
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Food Crawling through Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia
From cheap airfare and chic boutique hotels to perfectly-crisp temperatures, the fall is the perfect season to experience Richmond. We’re particularly fond of Carytown, where you’ll find an eclectic hub of independent boutiques and restaurants each more darling than the next. For those really hoping to plan a trip around their stomachs, make your way to Richmond October 22nd through the 28th for Richmond Restaurant Week. Not only will you be able to experience some of the cities best dishes for under $30, but that money will then go to helping eliminate hunger through Richmond Restaurants partnership with The Central Virginia Food Bank as well as Meals on Wheels. Find out more, here.
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Mountain Biking in Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Wait until the summer crowds disband before making your way to the jewel of the Sierra. With temperatures in the 50s and 60s, you might want to skip bringing that bikini along, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other activities to keep you busy in the fall. Looking for a dose of adventure? Mountain biking is must-try. Or as the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association likes to describe the experience“epic, iconic, scenic, technical, challenging, flowy, chunky, climbing, and amazing descents."
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White Truffle Hunting in Alba, Italy

Alba, Italy
Truffles are more than just food--they are a feeling. We think the White Truffle Fair website puts it best when they write “A truffle is fragrance, poetry, mystery, and a status symbol with everlasting charm.” Head to Alba, the hub of Italy’s truffles, to celebrate these delicies in all their glory from October through November during the delicious White Truffle Fair. Still need convincing? As of October 2017, Alba was officially proclaimed by UNESCO as a “Creative City for Gastronomy.” While your at the fair (tickets begin at $20), you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of opportunities to taste one of nature’s most luxurious foods, as well as explore the surrounding area which is filled with free archaeological finds. 

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