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Believe it or not, Fall Break is just around the corner. In my daughter’s school district, her break is in mid-October, meaning we have exactly 100 days left. If you haven’t already planned your family’s Fall Break vacation, the time is NOW!
Here are some of my favorite destinations for family trips this autumn:
1.Walt Disney World
This perennial classic is especially magical in autumn. Not only is Epcot in full festival mode, featuring the Food and Wine festival (a big hit with adults and kids alike), but Magic Kingdom is decorated for Halloween. Even better, if you visit on certain dates, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will delight the whole family. This separate, hard-ticketed event, closes the park to host a spooky celebration, featuring Trick-or-Treat stands, character meet and greets, stage shows, parades, a special fireworks show, and best of all, lower than normal wait times for rides.
October is truly one of the best times of the year to visit WDW. The recent openings of Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios, and Pandora at Animal Kingdom make all 4 parks worth a visit.
2. Caribbean cruises
October is considered shoulder season for Caribbean cruises, because it’s technically still during hurricane season (albeit towards the end.) You can find some great deals if you sail during this month. If the ship does encounter a tropical storm, guess what? It just sails to a different destination. This happened to us once while sailing in October. Our port of St. Maarten was in the path of a tropical storm, so we switched ports to Turks & Caicos instead, which ended up becoming one of our favorite stops. That being said, it’s always a good idea to purchase travel insurance, especially when traveling out of the country or during hurricane season, just in case a storm ends up prohibiting your travel entirely. Cruises provide a great, budget-friendly option for families, with your hotel, food, and entertainment all taken care of via the cost of the cruise package. Some cruise lines offer great deals in the autumn, such as included drinks packages, or kids sail free deals. Of course, your local Travel Agent has access to all of these great discounts and promotions!
Paris is not only beautiful in the autumn months, but October is also off-season, making it an ideal time to explore the City of Light without the excessive crowds you’d see in the summer months. Even better, Delta recently began direct service from Indianapolis to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport. Get on the plane in Indy and 8 hours later you’re in Paris. C’est magnifique! Paris holds many family friendly activities. Beyond the Eiffel Tower and always fun bateaux mouches rides down the Seine, children are fascinated with the creepy catacombes, and fun afternoons spent at one of many Parisian parks. Of course, your children will need a passport for this destination, but it’s a worthwhile investment in developing their global perspective.
4. St. Louis, Missouri.
St. Louis came up a lot during our recent theCityMoms Live Facebook chat “Last Minute Vacation Ideas for Summer Break,” and for good reason! A quick drive to the west, and we have a vibrant city full of museums, history, iconic sites, restaurants, and outdoor fun. The Magic House was an attraction suggested by one of theCityMoms on our panel, and while I personally haven’t been there, it looks like a great stop! Hotel rates are reasonable in St. Louis, and if the Cardinals are still playing into October, attending a game is another great option.
Here’s how using a travel agent benefits you:
Lots of people I talk to aren’t aware of the benefits of booking with a travel agent, especially when doing it yourself online is so easy. One thing I like to do as an agent is ensure my client has thought through all the small details, like logistics from point A to point B once they arrive in their destination.
A travel agent can also answer your questions, no matter how small, based on their own first hand experiences or in depth research. If you’re the type that prefers to be heavily involved in your trip planning, then great! Your agent will be happy to give you as much control and involvement in the process as you desire. If you prefer to be more hands off, and leave it to the professionals, then your TA can provide you with a fully detailed itinerary, in which all you have to do is pay and show up.
OTHER FUN READING: 12 Great day trips for families in Indiana
Travel agents often have access to deals that are better than you can find online. Oh, did I mention that travel agents don’t charge you a fee for working for you? They’re compensated after you travel, directly from the travel supplier. It’s a win-win! Perhaps the best benefit of having a travel agent becomes apparent in the unlikely event something goes wrong: You have a partner on the ground back home who will advocate for you, and help solve problems that might pop up along the way.
MORE INFO: Travel by Jennifer is happy to help you plan and book your family’s travel, be it Fall Break or for some time in the future. Contact us for a no obligation quote or just to chat about trip ideas. Happy planning!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Vail’s life long passion for travel began at age 3, while watching Sesame Street’s segments shot in New York. She thought “there’s a world outside of corn fields and small towns?” and has wanted to explore the world ever since. Her adventures have taken her to 14 countries on 4 continents. When she’s not traveling, or helping others plan their travel, she loves watching Formula 1 racing, listening to The Beatles, or working on puzzles (both jigsaw and logic). She lives in Fishers with her husband, Tommy, her 7-year old junior travel agent partner/daughter, Lizzy, and the doofiest English Bulldog around, Winston.