Fall is a beautiful time of year to travel. Autumn foliage can make for a striking backdrop in any environment, and the cooler weather lies somewhere between the potentially sweltering summer heat and the frozen depths of winters chill. However, if you do decide to take a trip this autumn, consider these tips to have a great time while being a considerate guest no matter where you may go.
Price check early and often
Travel can become intimidatingly expensive. You may save yourself considerable resources and stress by planning in advance as much as you can. If there’s a popular location or a famous event you want to see, the closer you get to peak times, the more expensive travel and lodging become. And that’s assuming availability. Wait long enough, and you may find tickets or rooms sold out. For intercontinental US travel, you want to be looking for plane tickets at least two to four weeks in advance. If you’re going to travel internationally, you will want to check for rates at least three to four months ahead. Many services online also give you the option to request alerts when the price for your desired flight drops. Plan ahead as much as possible to get the best prices, avoid unpleasant surprises, and remain as relaxed as possible as you travel.
Be flexible with food
For many people, dining is easily one of the best parts of traveling. Local specialties can be an enlightening and delicious way to experience a place. However, restaurant fees can quickly add up and be one of the most significant expenses you incur while on the road. If you plan, you can acquire groceries from local markets, which can be a much less expensive way to fill in some of your meals and snacks. When shopping for lodging, you might check to see if they offer a complimentary breakfast. Food trucks tend to have much more flexible pricing and are often very reflective of local tastes and culture. Just be sure to observe these smaller operations and note if anything looks egregiously sketchy or not fresh. Finally, if you have some finer restaurants in mind, consider visiting them during lunch hours as opposed to dinner since the rates for lunch tend to be lower.
Avoid overstuffing your itinerary
If your destination is loaded with numerous points of interest, it can be tempting to attempt to see it all. Especially if you are not sure when you may return. However, with limited time, if you try to hit every location of note, you run the risk of not genuinely experiencing any of them. You ideally want to avoid turning your trip into a mere scavenger hunt. That’s not to say that every item isn’t worthwhile. But you may find you create more meaningful memories by focusing on doing a few things completely right as opposed to trying to do everything haphazardly.
Try and experience local festivities
Most destinations will have year-round attractions that you can visit at any time. However, you may be able to research beforehand and see if there are any festivals or celebrations unique to autumn you can visit. These tend to reflect the local flavor and can be an excellent way to make the most out of your experience.
Do not take a piece of the environment with you
Picking a flower, grabbing a rock, or even scooping a handful of soil can seem like an innocent enough souvenir idea. Compared to any number of trinkets and gift shop items, it’s also cost-effective, since it costs nothing. But if you multiply this idea by potentially millions of visitors, it can begin to wreak havoc on the ecosystem you are currently visiting. For this reason, most national parks have established rules prohibiting the collection and keeping of samples from the environment. Abiding by these rules will make sure the beauty you are actively trying to experience will endure for generations to come.
Be respectful at historical lodging or sites
When you visit a place like a fully staffed theater, hotel, or a museum, you will likely conduct yourself a certain way so you will be permitted to stay there. Throughout the country, there are smaller operations that may rely more on authenticity or antiquity. It is important to treat these environments with respect, as they may have significant meaning to the local population and in most cases, are irreplaceable. In the case of sites like graveyards, they may even be held as sacred. Even though you are likely paying for the experience, wherever you go, always be mindful that you are a guest and should conduct yourself as a considerate one.
See a chiropractor
Even if you are traveling for leisure, there’s a certain amount of physicality in any trip. Even if there’s nothing as rigorous as a hike or a climb, you may have to stand upright for prolonged periods or find yourself racking up an impressive number of steps. If you have back pain, this can add up throughout the trip and significantly distract you from the experience you are trying to have. To make sure you are prepared to properly engage, consider checking in with a chiropractor. They can examine your back and spine and diagnose any misalignments or irregularities. Getting your spine ready can go a long way in helping you enjoy yourself.
Reconsider doing things just for social media posts
Nowadays, social media is practically integral to the way we communicate with each other. Some also say it’s a significant driver of bad tourist behavior. The lure of an impressive Tweet or Instagram can tempt people into breaking the rules or engaging in boorish behavior they might otherwise not consider. Some examples that have come up in recent years include moving past clearly marked barriers into restricted areas, getting too close to wildlife, and trampling on delicate flora in an attempt to get a better picture. It is natural to want to create engaging social media posts, but before you do so, ask yourself if you did not have your phone on you, would you still go through with the process? And if local rules prohibit you from doing a specific thing, it would be best to avoid that action altogether.
A fun fall trip can make memories that may last a lifetime. Make some preparations beforehand, be mindful of being a respectable visitor, and this may be a tradition you will want to come back to again and again.