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14 Best Cheap Places to Travel in October

Written by Joni Sweet
Sep 2, 2020

Traveling in October can be fantastic - for both your wallet and your wanderlust. As shoulder season in many parts of the globe, mid-fall can be an affordable time to visit some of the world's top destinations that would be otherwise out of reach during peak travel times.

Take the Balinese beach vacation you've always dreamed of at a price you can afford this October. Or, go onsen-hopping through the charming Japanese town of Kinosaki. If you're after a budget-friendly cultural trip, plan to visit Antalya, Split, or Amman. Nature lovers, take note: Lake Tahoe boasts wonderful fall foliage at rock-bottom prices.

For more ideas on a low-cost fall getaway, check out our list of the best cheap places to travel in October.

1. Kinosaki-Onsen, Japan

Kinosaki-Onsen, Japan

Looking for an affordable place to travel in October that will leave you deeply relaxed? Make your way to Kinosaki, a picturesque Japanese onsen town nestled in a mountain valley just 2.5 hours away from Kyoto by train. Visitors and locals alike have been experiencing the healing benefits of the town's hot springs for more than 1,300 years.

Book a stay at a local ryokan (Japanese inn), and you'll receive a pass to Kinosaki's seven public bathhouses for the duration of your visit. Slip on a robe and wooden slippers (also usually provided by the ryokan) and go onsen-hopping throughout the quaint town. Kouno-yu, Kinosaki's oldest hot spring, is a quiet outdoor sanctuary. Tourists can bathe in a cypress barrel filled with mineral-rich water at Mandara-yu. And at Goshono-yu, you can soak next to a soothing waterfall.

Kinosaki is also a lovely spot to appreciate Japan's famous fall foliage at a fraction of the price you'd pay in the major cities. Take a ride on the Kinosaki Ropeway for an award-winning view of Mount Daishi, which starts taking on color this time of year. On your way back, stop halfway down to visit the famous Onsenji Temple. Legend has it that a Buddhist saint prayed here for 1,000 days to bring the hot spring water to Kinosaki.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kinosaki Onsen

2. Antalya, Turkey

Hadrian's Gate in Antalya, Turkey

Bargains on accommodations, and balmy weather, make Antalya one of the best cheap places to visit in October. The Turkish resort city's luxurious all-inclusive resorts typically offer great deals this time of year - a boon for travelers looking to lounge on the Turquoise Coast's pristine white-sand beaches.

Stunning sweeps of sand are just the start of the top attractions in Antalya, though. The city's labyrinthine Old Town (Kaleiçi) is a major draw for tourists looking for a glimpse at restored Ottoman mansions. The Antalya Museum brims with archeological treasures from as far back as the Bronze Age.

Tourists can also visit Hadrian's Gate, a dramatic structure built to commemorate a visit from Emperor Hadrian in the year AD 130. Its ceiling has some remarkably preserved carvings.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Antalya

3. Split, Croatia

Diocletian's Palace, Split waterfront, Croatia

While the somewhat chilly October weather doesn't lend itself to a beach holiday in Croatia, Split can be an affordable place for a culture-focused getaway this time of year. The low numbers of visitors mean that tourists can score great deals at local hotels in this perpetually popular destination.

The top thing to do in Split is visit Diocletian's Palace, an impressive Roman monument that's around 1,700 years old. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was featured in HBO's Game of Thrones. While here, check out the Temple of Jupiter and the Cathedral of St. Domnius.

Continue your exploration of Split with a visit to the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery, which has 86 statues and many drawings on display, and the Split Archaeological Museum.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Split: Best Areas & Hotels

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

Bourbon Street in New Orleans

Want to visit the Big Easy on the cheap? Try traveling to New Orleans in October, when crowds have dwindled and prices have dropped. The fall also offers a welcome escape from the otherwise oppressive heat and humidity this destination is known for.

Even though Mardi Gras is long over, Bourbon Street keeps the party going with live music and fiery Cajun restaurants. You can also chow down on world-famous beignets at Cafe du Monde; learn about the local culture at the Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo; and take a river cruise on the Steamboat Natchez, an iconic paddle steamer.

This city is wild in more ways than one. See for yourself at the Audubon Zoo, which has giraffes, orangutans, elephants, and an ultra-rare white alligator, among other exotic creatures.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in New Orleans: Best Areas & Hotels

5. Amman, Jordan

Roman ruins at sunset in Amman, Jordan

October is not only one of the best times of year to visit Jordan - it's also one of the best bangs for your buck across the world. The country's safe, affordable capital enjoys its most comfortable sightseeing weather this time of year and brims with archeological attractions that will leave you astounded. All you'll need is a light jacket to feel comfortable spending hours at the Amman Citadel and the Roman Theater.

Amman also makes for a convenient jumping-off point for other things to do around Jordan. With far fewer tourists than in the spring, Petra is spectacular this time of year. You might be able to get a photo of the iconic Treasury without waiting for crowds to move.

For more adventures, head to the Wadi Rum desert. Even budget-hunters can afford a glamping experience near the sand dunes.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Amman

6. Bali, Indonesia

Sea temple Pura Tanah Lot in Bali

Of all the cheap places to travel in October, Bali is among the most enticing. This breathtakingly beautiful island regularly tops travelers' bucket lists for its incredible scenery, postcard-worthy beaches, and rich culture. The relatively low price tags will make your fall getaway to Bali even better.

While not high season, October still brings the ample sunshine and warm temperatures you'll want for spending days at the beaches in Bali, like Amed, Jimbaran Bay, and Sanur. Tourists can also explore the island's rich culture with a visit to the sacred sea temple of Pura Tanah Lot and the artsy town of Ubud.

Enhance your trip with an overnight stay on Nusa Lembongan, a tiny island off the south coast that has a refreshingly slower pace of life and rugged cliffs.

Accommodation: Best Beach Resorts in Bali

7. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Lake Tahoe

Visitors flock to Lake Tahoe for world-class skiing in the winter and alluring water sports in the summer. But one of the lake retreat's best-kept secrets is its autumnal season, when you can enjoy gorgeous fall foliage, minimal chance of rain, and a relaxing waterfront escape at a fraction of the price it would normally cost.

If you think there's nothing to do in Lake Tahoe outside of its high seasons, think again. You can witness the exciting salmon run in early or mid October through below-water-level viewing windows at the Taylor Creek Salmon Run Visitor Center.

But arguably the best thing to do in Lake Tahoe this time of year is explore the great outdoors. Hit the trails of Page Meadows, Hope Valley, or Mt. Rose to see the trees explode into a blanket of vibrant colors.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe: Best Areas & Hotels

8. Tenerife, Spain

Beautiful beach on Tenerife

Beach holidays don't get much better (or much more affordable) than a trip to Tenerife in October. The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is delightfully uncrowded in mid-fall, despite its downright perfect beach weather. Look out for deals on flights and four- and five-star hotels this time of year.

Plan to spend ample time at Tenerife's dazzling beaches, like La Tejita, El Duque, and Los Gigantes (a black-sand beach surrounded by giant cliffs). But leave a day in your itinerary to go sightseeing at one of the island's other natural expanses: Teide National Park. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the world's third-highest volcano and offers unforgettable views from its cable car.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Tenerife

9. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal beckons budget-seekers in the fall. Once you experience Lisbon's gloriously warm weather and renowned attractions, you'll wonder why the city is so cheap to visit in October. Take advantage of the low tourism numbers to get wallet-friendly prices on hotels and transportation.

Top attractions in Lisbon include the Castelo de São Jorge, a fort-like castle situated on a hill overlooking the city, along with the iconic Jerónimos monastery, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, and the Torre de Belém.

The overall low prices on things to do in Portugal may leave some extra wiggle room in your budget to take a day trip from Lisbon. Sintra, in particular, shouldn't be missed. Its candy-colored Pena Palace looks like something out of a fairy tale.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Lisbon: Best Areas & Hotels

10. Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

Objectively speaking, New Zealand is not a cheap destination. However, there are deals to be found in late October, when prices on flights tend to drop and the weather has started to warm up. It's an ideal time to explore the country's economic powerhouse - Auckland - before high season kicks in.

The "City of Sails" is chock full of cultural and outdoor attractions. Tourists should make a point to check out the views from the observation deck at the Sky Tower - and strap on a harness for an adrenaline rush base-jumping off the platform. Explore the Waitemata Harbour area (Quay Street is a particularly fun, lively area). And take in the verdant scenery at One Tree Hill, which features a planetarium and two telescopes.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Auckland

11. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, Canada

Bargain-hunters, take note: Hotel rates in Vancouver drop quite a bit in October, yet its agreeable weather and colorful foliage make it a phenomenal fall escape. Stroll down the walking paths of Stanley Park or challenge yourself on hiking trails like the Grouse Grind hike to see the bright orange and red leaves. Or, head to the VanDusen Botanical Garden for a view of the striking Japanese maples.

Vancouver has some fun seasonal events in October, as well. Pack a costume and check out the Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo in the middle of the month. Get your spook on with a ride on the Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train. And plan to visit the Pacific National Exhibition's annual Fright Nights festival - if you dare.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Vancouver: Best Areas & Hotels

12. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh statue in front of City Hall

If you're not afraid of a little (or a lot) of rain, Ho Chi Minh City can be a steal in October. Most travelers are scared off by Vietnam's wetter months, leaving plenty of great deals for tourists willing to carry an umbrella. Often still called by its old name, Saigon, this bustling destination is full of culture and atmosphere. Temples stand proudly next to glass-and-steel skyscrapers, while the tree-lined avenues feel like they've been plucked from Europe.

Since rain is almost a given in October, plan to explore Ho Chi Minh City's indoor attractions. The War Remnants Museum is a must-visit, rain or shine. Catch a show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre. And learn about the country's struggle for independence at the Ho Chi Minh City Museum.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City: Best Areas & Hotels

13. Darjeeling, India

Bhutia Busty Monastery in Darjeeling, India

Another cheap place to visit in October is Darjeeling, India. The monsoons have ended by this time, and this popular hill station gives tourist the chance to see magnificent snowcapped peaks.

Catch great views from the area's heritage Toy Train during a two-hour round trip between the Darjeeling Railway Station and Ghum. If you crave an adrenaline rush, plan a white-water rafting trip down the Teesta River, which surges from the monsoon rains in the fall. Finally, pack a picnic and spend the afternoon at the Rock Garden. The weather in October is just right to truly appreciate this green space.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Darjeerling

14. Atacama Desert, Chile

Geysers in the Atacama Desert, Chile

The Atacama Desert (the world's hottest desert) has low prices, little to no crowds, and comfortable weather in October - the perfect trifecta for a travel destination. The area is best known for its stargazing opportunities. No pollution (light or otherwise) means you can see the Milky Way at its very best. Stargazing tours depart from San Pedro de Atacama most evenings, taking tourists to remote areas and giving them the chance to see the cosmos from powerful telescopes.

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