Fall Colors

8 Great Fall Travel Trends

Signs of fall (autumn) are everywhere in North America.

Schools are back in session. Weather is getting cooler. Football season has begun and baseball is winding down (Go Nats!).

And pumpkin stuff is everywhere. I recently stocked up on Trader Joe’s pumpkin cereal bars because my local store ran out last year. I am such an obedient consumer.

Fall travel trends

Technically, though, it is still summer. Fall does not officially start for three more days; at 10:29pm, September 22, 2014 for Northern Virginia.

There are also signs of fall in the travel world. Earlier this month I covered 6 Travel Trends for 2015 but here are:

8 Great Fall Travel Trends

  1. Boomers and Empty Nesters. Many veteran boomers lay low during the hectic summer travel season and resume exploring in the fall. Recent empty nesters are excited about the opportunity to travel during the shoulder and off seasons. Especially popular are medical tourism and ticking items off of dream lists (I prefer “dream list” or “wish list” rather than the dreaded b list term).
  2. Millennials. On the opposite side of the age spectrum, Generation Y is more interested in travel than previous generations. Whether taking gap years, study abroad programs, or becoming digital nomads, millennials are seeing more of the world and producing/sharing more travel content than any other age group.
  3. Foliage. Road trips to view the gorgeous fall colors is a highlight for many people. One of my favorite resources is the STORMFAX Fall Foliage Guide, which provides links to all state hotlines.
  4. Social Media Sharing. Social media is naturally growing but I predict an increase of sharing, especially with the release of iPhone 6. Apple’s new product features a larger screen (easier viewing for us boomers), better camera and video, longer battery life, and faster wireless connection. Competitors will also continue to improve their offerings. You may not like it but these improvements and enhancements will result in even more food pictures, sightseeing videos, and silly portraits with the world’s monuments (maybe even some from me!).
  5. Festivals. Everyone is talking about fall events and festivals. Families are going to pumpkin patches and apple orchards. Football fans look forward to weekend tailgating. Steven Grams of passportsandcocktails.com told me, “Oktoberfest (not just in Munich) gets people traveling all over the world to celebrate a seasonal beer. From small towns to big cities like Cincinnati, Oktoberfest draws them in. The wine harvests in the US get people moving in the fall as well, people get up and move for the end of season wine.”
  6. Destinations. Popular destinations for Fall 2014, according to a travel agent survey, include Orlando, Caribbean cruises, and Europe river cruises. I know people visiting all three areas and I cannot disagree.
  7. Self-Service. Who needs to deal with snarky travel industry people? It is already possible to fly without speaking to anyone. Checkin online and wave your smartphone over the ticket machine. Very soon, many hotel companies will allow you to checkin and use your smartphone as your room key. Look for more self-service “consumer-friendly initiatives.” Pretty soon the only necessary travel industry employees will be for breaking up passengers fighting about reclining seats. And with Apple Pay, you do not have to even speak with merchants.
  8. Ground Transport. Speaking of reclining seats, look for more and more travelers to skip flying and choose to drive, ride the rails, cruise, or hop on a bus. I think it will be a global reaction to the airline’s industry disrespect for its client base. The past few years have seen too many ridiculous fees, decreasing legroom, substandard service; all the while improving the “front of the cabin” experience.

Which of these travel trends is your favorite or what other travel trend are you following?


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3 Responses to “8 Great Fall Travel Trends”

  1. Kae Lani | A Travel Broad September 27, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    Tis the season for beerfests! Almost every city has their own Oktoberfest! So happy that made it on the list. I love traveling during the fall — prices are discounted, the weather is pleasant, the seasons are changing and there’s less tourists — more locals!

    • McCool Travel September 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      So many Oktoberfests, so little time. Right?

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  1. The Top 8 Traveling Tips for Fall 2014 - October 16, 2014

    […] and the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Thinking of planning a little getaway this season? Here is a list of eight travel trends for the fall season, courtesy of McCool […]

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