Say it isn’t so -- summer is over. Okay, it has been a blazing hot summer, so maybe we’re not all that sad, and maybe we're ready for cooler temps. And the good news is fall is a perfect time to travel. There are fewer crowds and it’s shoulder season: when the kids are back in school but the weather is still great and prices are lower. So if you don’t have any school-age rug rats, pack your bags and stretch that summer vacation feeling right on into fall with one of these six destinations.
Think Iceland for September and October. No, I’m not crazy. I went in September, and yes, it was cooler and the days a little shorter, but lower airfare and hotel prices, plus it being the best time to see the Northern Lights make it ideal. The Blue Lagoon is a must -- so relaxing you wouldn’t want to leave. Visit one of the glaciers and see Iceland’s beautiful waterfalls. Autumn is also when Icelanders -- and tourists too -- are welcome to head to the countryside to take part in the annual sheep roundup know as Rettir. There are festivals galore: Reykjavik Film festival (September 29 – October 9), Nordic Music Days Festival (September 29 – October 1) and Iceland Airwaves music festival (November 2 – 6). The food is great and the bars plentiful. Just remember to pack some warm clothing!
If you’ve ever dreamed of the pink sand beaches and turquoise warm waters of Bermuda, you’re in luck -- Bermuda is on sale! And I don’t know about you, but for me a short, direct flight is always a winner. Enjoy snorkeling, golfing, swimming, cliff jumping, local island flavors and cycling or walking the historic trails to hidden coves, stunning bays, colonial forts, and pastel-painted villages. End your day with a Dark’n Stormy while the sun sets. Book here for the Splash Sale by September 19 and get 30 percent off some of the island’s finest resorts and hotels.
Sugary white beaches and clear blue Caribbean Sea right at your doorstep can be your next vacation spot with the Hyatt Regency Aruba. Lounge on the beach or by the pools, and unwind at the spa. Sail, scuba, kayak, and golf, or try your luck at the casino and, of course, enjoy delicious dining. The "Sunshine on Sale" offers travelers a 5th night free when booking a five-night stay now through 12/18/16.
Ireland and Aer Lingus
Fly during high-season and it could cost $1000 or more for a European getaway. But right now, Aer Lingus (from Dulles) is on sale. Book here by September 21 for travel from November 1 – March 2017. Add in the exchange rate and traveling abroad is even a better deal. In Ireland, visit Limerick and explore nearby sites such as the Cliffs of Moher and Burren -- two amazing locations of natural beauty. In Dublin, something I’ve always wanted to do is hit the pubs and meet locals. And be sure to tour the Guinness Storehouse, where you’ll experience Guinness and discover the art of making it.
Montauk, New York
The Hamptons is très crowded with the rich in summer. Now you can still sail, rent a motorboat, bike, visit local wineries, and see the Hamptons International Film Festival (October 6-10). Oh, and yes, you can get into the restaurants. Stay at Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina where prices start at $129, down from $450. Swim outdoors or indoors, paddleboard, bike, charter a boat to fish, play volleyball or tennis and savor coastal cuisine.
Go where the celebrities and business moguls vacation. Cobblestone streets are lined with restaurants, high-end boutiques and art galleries. Nantucket has beautiful pristine beaches and three lighthouses, each with its own distinctive look, personality, and history. Come during Nantucket Restaurant Week (September 26 – October 2), or enjoy on of the many fall festivals: Nantucket Arts Festival (September 30-October9), the Cranberry Festival (October 8) or the Nantucket Grown Food Festival (October 14-16). Stay at Harborview Nantucket just steps from the harbor and town, where you can paddleboard, kayak, bike, swim or sail. In high season, prices start at $995. Now, rates start at $550 for a cottage.