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Summer Travel Sidebar: All About Fall

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By Bekah Wright

Published Jul 1, 2009 8:00 AM


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Once summer has waned, don't put your suitcase away just yet. Fall is a great time to hit the road as well — crowds are down and so are sweltering temperatures. Katie Kimbell Larson '79, who has spent 20 years working in all aspects of air travel, gives tips for getting the best airline bookings for the buck. "Wait to book fall airfares until after Labor Day, when sales typically start," she says. A possible downside — "Some areas are seasonal and not available."

Her picks for fall travel? International destinations, particularly over Thanksgiving week. "Most Americans stay home and the flights are packed domestically, but are readily available internationally," she says.

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At such times, hotel developer Rob Lowe '92 travels to international hot spots like Provence, St. Tropez and Sardinia. Italophile Susannah King '99, of course, makes a beeline for Venice. "You get holiday festivities without the crowds," she notes. Locales Larson recommends avoiding during fall: "Tropical destinations tend to be very crowded over Thanksgiving week, particularly in Hawaii and the Caribbean."

If traveling domestically, Larson says fares tend to escalate in areas with foliage tours. High prices, however, don't deter hotel developer Matt Walker '00 from heading to New England to watch leaves turn. "Wrapped in a jacket with the cool, brisk weather, the white church steeples and explosion of colors on the mountains," he says. "It's like walking into a Norman Rockwell painting."

Fall is also ideal for checking out metropolitan areas. "You do need to look out for business travelers in the fall," Larson warns. "Frankfurt has a lot of conferences, New York City has Fashion Week and many cities have popular annual events that draw large audiences."

Angelenos need merely hop in the car to reach idyllic, fall destinations. "Fall in Southern California is the best season to visit the coast," says Lowe. "The summer coastal fog is gone and you have crystal-clear views of Catalina Island, and the weather's warmer during the day and cooler at night."

Get more trips from these Bruin travel gurus in the main story, A Bruin Guide to Great Summer Travel.

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