Autumn is my favourite time of year (so no surprise that we got married in October) – I love crisp, bright Autumn days, the ochre hues of the leaves, and the chill that starts to creep into the air that heralds the approach of winter and Christmas. In many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, October will still see warm weather; if anything, it can be an unpredictable month – last October we were wandering around New York in our summer clothes, but the week before we left the UK the Big Apple had been having a cooler spell. With spring really in full swing, October is a wonderful month to head south of the equator, and you’ll also find that the rainy season is beginning to retreat from many tropical areas.
- Tuscany is gorgeous in Autumn, and all the more enjoyable for being a lot less crowded than during the summer – allowing you ample space to soak up the art and architecture, indulge in the food and wine, and for plenty of lazy days.
- Normally, I’d recommend Egypt for an October trip, but given the current situation you’d be forgiven for not putting it at the top of your list. That said, once things have calmed down a bit, it’s well worth considering – the weather is great at this time of year, with hot days and warm evenings – perfect whether you want to sail down to Nile or lie on a Red Sea beach.
- Marvel at the natural spectacle of the Autumn foilage in New England – kick off in Boston and then head up north on a road trip. Or perhaps consider Canada, which may be a little chilly at this time of year but is just as glorious.
- October is one of the best months to visit New Orleans – the balmy weather (minus the rain clouds and hurricane threat you get in September) is just perfect for a leisurely visit of music, food and cocktails. The city also works well as part of a road trip, perhaps combined with Florida or a trip around the Deep South.
- In southeast Asia, Laos is a fantastic choice this month, especially if you want to get off-the-beaten track; or head to southern Vietnam if you’re after beaches – Phu Quoc Island is wonderful.
- Spring in South Africa is beautiful, and a highlight for us (we went here on our honeymoon) was being able to see loads of baby animals when we were on safari, plus the countryside, especially on the Garden Route, was completely in bloom.
- Queensland‘s tropical weather makes it a perfect choice for divers – the Great Barrier Reef is fantastic at this time of year – and offers a great mix of adventure options (four-wheel-driving around Fraser Island, exploring the Daintree Rainforest) and all-out flopping on the beach.
- If it’s a beach holiday you’re after then definitely consider the Indian Ocean – Mauritius is a particularly great choice this month.
Don’t forget to check out my recommendations for September, and to check back for November’s picks next week – there’s likely to be a fair amount of cross-over between months. And remember that these destinations have generally been picked for the offering the best weather at this time of year – if you don’t mind a bit of rain (see the article about monsoon seasons here), then your options will substantially increase.
Photos courtesy of Kay Gaensler; Mohammed Al-Naser