Why Autumn is the Best Time to Travel

Image by Lyndon Li

Words by Ella Harper

Summer holidays are pretty much the go to for the British public, but is the summer really the best time to travel? If I told you to imagine autumn, your mind probably goes straight to crisp, cold weather, leaves falling off the trees and warm, cosy clothes. But what if I told you that autumn is an ideal time to grab your passport and head to the airport! Known as the ‘off season’, autumn travel is relatively cheap, with prices of hotels, airfares, activities and transport all costing considerably less than in the summer months. With money lasting longer and going further, you will be able to do more activities, buy lots of presents for your friends and family and possibly even stay longer if you wanted! Also, with the majority of summer tourists now back home, you can fully appreciate and enjoy your time without worrying about large crowds. Cafes and restaurants will be quieter, there will be smaller queues for tourist attractions and you won’t have to wait your turn to take that perfect shot for Insta!

The climate during the months of autumn is also perfect for those people who, like me, don’t do very well with the sweltering heat of the summer. The weather isn’t too hot, but on the other hand, not too cold either. A win-win situation! I personally love to travel in September, and did so for my most recent adventure to Rome last year. But the world is home to a whole host of different festivals and events during the autumn time that shouldn’t be missed! Events such as the Feste de la Mercè, where the people of Barcelona gather to celebrate and commemorate Virgin de la Mercè- the patron saint of the city. The festival takes place in late September and is one of the highlights of the city’s cultural calendar with over 500 events taking place, ranging from traditional Catalan traditions to its very own music festival. The closing firework show has been described as unmissable and a must-see! The festival is without a doubt one of the best times to visit the city if you are looking to engage with local culture. Autumn travel for the win!

Words by Maggie Gannon

Although autumn travel can sometimes appear far less appealing than the previous summer months, cheaper flights and city-break getaways are just some of the numerous advantages of travelling at this time. Perhaps one of the most known festivals of the autumn months has to be the annual Oktoberfest which takes place in Munich, Germany, for a two-week stretch, normally at the end of September into the beginning of October. Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions Oktoberfest 2020 was cancelled, but there is no harm in looking forward to next year’s celebrations with optimism. Although planning must start early if you’re looking to save some money.

Having held the reputation of being one of the world’s greatest beer festivals, undoubtedly demand for transport, Bavarian outfits and flights all need to be considered alongside the potentially stressful situation of accommodation prices within Munich skyrocketing for last minute reservations. Next year’s festival is set to take place from 18th September through to 3rd October, so be sure to begin planning early next year, as saving money beforehand is a great way to make sure you’ll have enough cash to fully enjoy the Oktoberfest experience, oom-pah bands and all!

The festival itself is free to attend with no entrance fees, but these sneaky additional charges throughout your weekend can be draining to your bank account and perhaps not leave you as happy at the end of your weekend as you began. However, many of these charges can be avoided with a few savings prior to your trip, (pre-booking is essential to this). However, once at the festival much of your money should, and probably will be spent on beer (it is what the festival is about after all). Try not to get too hung up on the prices, as a signature large beer will set you back between €11- €12 but contains more than two pints. Food can also be fairly expensive in the main beer halls and tents, so be sure to try out the various traditional foods outside of these halls, as they are priced far more reasonably and still cater for the famous giant brez’n’s (pretzels) on everyone’s bucket list.

Aside from this, if you’re looking to not stand out like a total sore thumb and be a slightly more discrete tourist, be sure to tip servers, as this is expected. Also, be sure not to wear a cheap Halloween costume, as this will be fairly embarrassing. However, instead of splashing out on an authentic traditional dress, a simple checked shirt or traditional hairstyle with a ribbon will do, and you’ll still feel part of the Oktoberfest spirit.

Words by Lucy Pannell

Amsterdam is most well-known for its bridges over the canal, De Wallen (its red light district) and the extensive amount of coffee shops – very different to your local costa! Despite these being the first things that come to mind when we think of Amsterdam, the city has much more to offer, especially in the autumn months! From the fiery foliage to the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) to Sinterklaas’ (the Dutch Santa!) boat visit from Spain, there’s so much to see and experience in these chilly months.

Come October, the city is covered in orange, with over 400,000 trees, making Amsterdam one of the leafiest cities in Europe. There are plenty of parks, with Vondelpark being the most well-known, where you can find restaurants, a rose garden and even an open-air theatre – ideal for a romantic stroll or a bike ride. The change in colour transforms the city into an incredibly photogenic place, perfect for ambling along the canals and getting some beautiful shots for your Instagram!

If trees aren’t your scene then how about dance music?! Each October, Amsterdam becomes the dance capital of the world with the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), where thousands of DJs, music fans and industry leaders arrive for this five-day annual gathering which is spread across the city. It takes place in over 100 venues and includes classes, pop-up events, talks and of course, plenty of music to turn the day into night.

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of film and want to experience the culture up close and personal, the IDFA or Kaboom Animation Festival would be the perfect excuse to visit! Autumn is film festival season in Amsterdam and there’s something for everyone, whether you’re into epic dramas, quirky indie films or something more family friendly. From the celebration of all things animated to educational thought-provoking documentary movies, you’ll definitely find something that suits you on the big screen within the autumn months.