Summer might be officially over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a long weekend trek to the beach or a national park. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that fall can actually be an even better time to travel. Here are 4 reasons to “fall” for fall travel.

1. Ideal weather

The heat and humidity in summer. The wind and snow in winter (sure, it’s nice if you’re skiing, but still ….) Fall travel offers the most reliably temperate weather in most locales. And it can be fairly easy to pack for in terms of wardrobe choices. Think about it: no need to stuff your puffiest coats, bulkiest boots, or that one glove you’re bound to forget into your luggage.

2. Lower prices

Want to pay less for the same destination? Of course! That’s why fall rocks: the period between summer and the holidays (starting with Thanksgiving) is known as “shoulder season,” with price drops you won’t want to shrug off. Airfares are typically 11 to 20 percent cheaper when you book for the fall, and hotels and resorts are likely cheaper too. If you’re road-tripping, gas prices historically fall in fall as well, though that depends on a host of economic conditions.

3. Gorgeous scenery

Sure, it’s fall leaves that are most liable to capture our hearts, but think beyond that to the other stunning views of fall. Like tailgate parties. Oktoberfests. Apple orchards. Hay mazes. Pumpkin patches. Even spots that boast year-round glory, like Central Park or national parks, can be even more beautiful in the fall.

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And since fall is often known as “festival season,” why not take advantage of the many free or low-cost activities out there? Visit the website of your destination city to see what’s going on during upcoming fall weekends.

4. Fewer crowds

Well, let’s add a caveat here: If you’re headed to a known leaf-peeping area, then this great fall travel perk might not apply since the other tourists will be out in droves as well. But if you’re going to a typical “tourist” destination, such as a national park or a theme park, chances are good that you’ll have far fewer people to contend with. Though you might also have shorter hours and fewer amenities, it won’t matter nearly as much because you won’t be waiting in line behind 500 people to get a picture with the Big Mouse himself!

And, let’s be honest: Not everyone wants their visit “enhanced” by kids and families. When the kids are back in school, you can ride that awesome roller coaster over and over and eat at that hot new bistro in peace without the next table whining for more chicken nuggets.

The one other fall travel essential? Great car insurance. Make sure you have the coverage you need. Get a free quote today.

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about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.