October is one of my FAVORITE months to travel. Not ONLY because it is my birthday month 😜, but because the weather is typically mild, the crowds are down, the prices are cheaper and it generally makes for a great trip! Here are my top places to visit in October and why:
- Austria (And Germany)
- Costa Rica
- Banff National Park
- West Virginia
I’ve actually got a whole post on why you should visit Austria in October. More specifically, road-trip Austria in October! Including, but not limited to, the weather, the leaves, the crowds and more. I’m sure Austria is great year-round, but it is truly spectacular to visit in October. Read here, to find out why!
I’ve also grouped Germany in with Austria, because the reasons are the same: beautiful leaves and beautiful weather. Sitting in a BEER GARDEN in Munich or Austria in October with the crisp weather and red, yellow and orange leaves should be ON YOUR BUCKET LIST.
Driving through Slovenia, the whole country looks like it would be amazing in October (it is truly an UNDERRATED country that I intend to get back to), but we specifically visited Lake Bled! Lake Bled is quite a popular destination, bringing in big crowds to enjoy the crips lake water in the summer. However, in October, the crowds are much more manageable! Paddle boats are available without a wait and you can hike without enormous crowds. Plus, the clear, turquoise water surrounded by the changing color of the leaves is SO stunning!
Click here for a great way to optimize 24 hours in Lake Bled!
Although Croatia is a popular summer destination known for its sunny weather and crystal clear waters, don’t hesitate to visit in October! The weather is actually still quite warm, no jacket needed while we were there. You will be able to visit the Blue Lagoon (and swim!) on a boat tour in Split and kayak in Dubrovnik without freezing! Weather was perfect all 4 days we were there, although expect the water to be a little chilly. So don’t let the weather deter you from visiting in October!
Plus, if you haven’t been to Croatia, know that its rising popularity has brought in RISING crowds in the summer, especially once cruises start docking regularly. In October, the crowds are much less! Also, with rising popularity comes rising prices, so shoulder season is a great opportunity to visit Croatia (especially Dubrovnik) without the big price tag.
Here is a 4-Day Itinerary to Croatia!
Sure, October is rainy season for Costa Rica. However, we were actually pleasantly surprised by visiting Costa Rica during shoulder season. In the higher altitudes such as Monteverde, it will rain in October (probably daily). However, everywhere else was mostly sunny with only occasional rain showers. Also, rainy season in Costa Rica= green season and Costa Rica was so LUSH in October! October is on the edge of rainy season (dry season begins at the end of November and runs through around May)
Also, Costa Rica is actually not as cheap as other central American countries. There are a lot of expenses involved in doing excursions (even costs to see the popular waterfalls!), so visiting during shoulder season helps to bring down the price of accommodations 🙌🏼 We were also able to zip-line with minimal crowds and walk into a restaurant every night with no wait time. We really enjoyed Costa Rica in October!
Here is the best way to spend 8 days in Costa Rica!😍
Yes, a full day of sunlight and the midnight sun are amazing, I’m sure! However, Iceland is a rather expensive country to visit also. Food, drinks, gas, etc. A lot is imported making it more expensive than most countries. Add the inflated prices of peak travel season and Iceland can really be an expensive trip.
However, October is a definite shoulder season month and accommodations and car rentals are cheaper. Also, in October it gets dark around 5:30pm. This is not ideal for maximizing exploration. However, it does mean there is a good chance of seeing the northern lights (we didn’t due to cloud coverage in southern Iceland, but someone at the airport had amazing photos of them in northern Iceland at the same time we were there!)
So, if you visit in October, the weather is chilly, but manageable, prices are down and the ability to see the aurora borealis is present. A great combo!
Here are 10 things not to miss in Iceland!
Banff National Park, AB, Canada
Truth be told, we actually visited during the last week of September. We experienced the first snow of the season one day and the next we had sunny weather in the 60’s F! So, although weather can be a bit unpredictable (definitely try to go at the BEGINNING of October or end of September), but shoulder season in Banff is SO MUCH less crowded.
Banff has gained a LOT of popularity in the last few years, for good reason, but has made crowds a little out of control. Shuttle buses are now required to get to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise😕. Banff also has a distinct ski season which usually starts at the beginning of November. Therefore, if you want to experience Banff without massive amounts of frustration from the people, visit in October (or end of September)!
Also, when we visited, it was like we visited in two separate seasons. One day it was sunny, clear, mountains visible everywhere and the next day it was a snow globe in the Icefields Parkway. I really enjoyed being able to experience it in both instances!! The photos below were 24 hours apart!
Here is a complete guide to visiting Banff National Park!
Looking for somewhere to visit in October in the United States?Many people flock to the New England region or the Smoky Mountains to see peak leaf color change (for good reason!). However, West Virginia is also a good option! It is less crowded but still has gorgeous leaf colors. If you visit, don’t miss New River Gorge (the NEWEST US national park and Seneca Rocks, which you can hike to the top of for awesome views of the valley!
Travel in October
I am really #teamtravelinoctober. For a combination of all the reasons mentioned above, traveling is just SO enjoyable this time of year. It is a month that is shoulder season for nearly every part of the world, making it a versatile and AWESOME travel month 😄👍🏼
Ready to start creating your October itinerary? Click here for a simple way to create an itinerary on your own!