Americans Are Falling for Autumn Travel

Summer’s over and kids are back in school, but many people are making plans for at least one more getaway this fall, before the arrival of another busy holiday season. According to a new survey from AAA, more than one in four Americans (28 percent) expects to take a vacation this year between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

“Traveling during the fall season has its advantages,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Fewer crowds and mild weather, allows travelers to immerse themselves in a destination’s local culture and catch a good deal in the process.”

In fact, Americans say the top benefits of taking a fall trip include:

“Savvy travelers can often find lower prices on everything from airfare and hotels to cruises and vacation packages, as travel companies offer incentives to fill their vacancies during the fall,” continued Evans.

Road trips are the preferred activity for fall travelers, with 62 percent of those planning a vacation intending to pack up their cars and hit the road. Thanks to milder weather, outdoor events such as fall festivals and visits to national and state parks are particularly popular with travelers this time of year. Twenty-six percent of those who are planning a fall vacation will take a trip to view fall foliage, a favorite pastime from the northeast and New England, to the mountains of North Carolina and Colorado.

The majority of fall travelers will stay within the United States, though approximately one-third of fall travelers are planning an international vacation, with European especially popular this time of year.

For decades communities across North Dakota have held festivals to celebrate the end of the harvest, a popular tradition that carries on to this day. While the 40th annual Norsk Hostfest will be a large draw, smaller celebrations are also sure to delight, says Gene LaDoucer, North Dakota spokesman for AAA-The Auto Club Group. “Whether it’s an Oktoberfest, Duckfest, Goosefest or a main street celebration, there’s certainly something for everyone looking to stay close to home. A leisurely drive along one of the state’s many scenic byways is also a popular adventure this time of year,” said LaDoucer.

Before setting out on a fall getaway, travelers should contact their local AAA office for the expert advice of a trusted travel advisor who can provide personalized service and in-depth destination knowledge to create a memorable vacation experience. For more information about fall travel or to begin planning a trip, visit

About the survey

AAA’s report presents the findings of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,011 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted August 3-6, 2017. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.