Best Vacation Places, Pictures and Information

Man o’ War Bay, Dorset, England

England’s Dorset coast is often glorious during September-October and the beach waters at their warmest. Man o’ War Bay is next to famed Durdle Door and offers a better beach, with less people, more sand and less water turbulence, tho’ lacking a rocking doorway. You could walk there on the Southwest Coast Path (about 25 miles from the ferry across Poole Harbour) or drive via Wareham if you don’t mind steep parking fees.

Vacation Places Guides September – October 2017

Americas     Europe     Africa      Asia     Australasia

September – October are superb holiday months in the Northern Hemisphere as the tourist hordes take their kids back to school but the sun still shines brightly in  and seas are warmer than ever. However, by the end of September some summer-oriented tourist facilities start to shut down so public transport can become a problem – such as open-top buses and tourist ferries – while hotels, restaurants and bars start to close their doors for the winter season.

Low cost vacation places in 2017

Mexico’s currency is suffering from Trump nerves, it’s easy to reach and sunny though hot and occasionally wet during these months so plenty of bargain vacations can be found.  For example  Mexico’s Maya Riviera beaches such as Cancun  – with  incredible Maya sites are only a couple of hours away – and Cabo San Lucas on the Baja peninsula.

The consensus on  interesting Europe vacation destinations  that are good value in 2017 and OK  in late summer is that it includes Portugal,  Greece, Croatia, Budapest (Hungary), Prague (Czech Republic).

London’s accommodation is expensive – tho’ less so with the weak pound –   but  there are a huge number of world-class free activities available, such as sensational museums, art galleries and car-free city walks. September should offer a good chance of warm, sunny weather.

More low-cost holiday destinations in 2017 are:  Portugal, offering Algarve beaches and plentiful ancient sights (perfect at this time); Bulgaria (we’ve never been there so no comment); South Africa (pretty good in September but a bit chilly);  Spain’s downmarket Costa del Sol tho’ still crowded during these months.  Next in line  with terrific ancient sights and expansive beaches but  terrorist problems and political issues is Turkey ( not a safe place to be at the moment!); then Hungary (especially Budapest); Czech Republic (especially Prague, beware crowds); Indonesia (especially Bali island (but avoid the horribly traffic-dominated Kuta-Legian-Seminyak stretch and if you want interesting beaches try the Bukit peninsula ), best May-October); Greece (especially the Greek islands, fine end to the season); surprisingly Japan is next, tho frequently wet and windy in September unless you head for the northern island of Hokkaido.

The Americas

US September – October

alburqurque balloon festival, USA. Photo a4gpa

So this is how they get high in New Mexico. The International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, USA, October 1 – 9. Photo by a4gpa.

Beach vacations will be attractive in California and Texas at this time of year but the weather in Florida is likely to be hot, sticky and stormy. 

Hawaii is out of season during these months and the big surf has disappeared, so prices are lower and bargain holidays on offer for careful researchers.

September is a terrific time to take a road trip around southwest America’s awesome canyons and national parks or take a trip around Canada before the chills set in.

US Festivals:

 1 – 24 September is time for the Los Angeles L. A. County Fair, the largest fair in the USA featuring everything from pig racing to rodeos and big name bands.

1-3 September Seattle, Washington State, hosts Bumbershoot at Seattle Center, a 3 day music and art festival with over 2, 000 artists, many world famous, perform art of every kind from top flight rock to comedy, drama, poetry and bizarre sculptures.

In California the  Strawberry Music Festival is one of US’s most popular music jamborees, 31 August-4 September inWestside Park, Tuolumne.

1-24 September, South of Seattle the Washington State Fair – also known as the Western Washington Fair – draws more than a million visitors annually to see rodeos, concerts, kid’s rides and chow down on a huge variety of food offerings.

October is a fine month for festivals in the USA, with the spectacular International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque  from 7-15 October; Miami Broward Carnival (Caribbean Culture) 8th October; Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival in Texas, 6-8 and 13-15 October. Finally New York’s Village Halloween Parade is on the 31st as usual. English Speaking Festivals


Canada, September – October

The Capilano Suspension Bridge crosses the Capilano River in North Vancouver, Canada. It is 140 metres (460 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) above the river. Photo by Leonard G.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge crosses the Capilano River in North Vancouver, Canada. It is 140 metres (460 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) above the river, in a private park with an admission fee. Photo by Leonard G.

Canada’s currency is not too high and they have no problems with terrorism so this could be another good year for Canadian tourism.

Summertime is almost over but this could be the best time to take a trip there to:

Best cities: Vancouver (British Columbia), Toronto ( Ontario), Quebec City and Montreal (Quebec) province.

Best summer festival: Calgary Stampede, Alberta.

Best beaches: New Brunswick (Atlantic Provinces) and Vancouver (British Columbia).

Best natural wonders: Banff lakes and mountains (Alberta), Niagara Falls (Ontario).

Best  wildlife: Quebec province.

Best landscapes: British Columbia, Alberta and North West Territories.

Canada Map

Latin America September – October

inca trail, dead womans pass, Peru

Peru’s Inca Trail. The top of the first, highest and hardest pass, Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,200m. This is the killer. Get past it and you’re coasting to Machu Picchu.

Some of Latin America’s most colourful countries are perfect September – October, such as Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, but Central America is generally overheated, oppressively humid and liable to rainstorms.

Latin America Map

Europe vacation places, September – October

Paillon water feature, Nice, France

Nice’s Coulis Vert, otherwise known as the Paillon a lovely stretch of greenery, water features, and kids play areas at the heart of the city.

Europe in September is a perfect month for late beach holidays, with prices down, accommodation options open, sun shining (probably!) and very warm seas. Southern Europe is obviously the prime target in late summer and Nice is one of our favourites.

Tourist services will, however, start to disappear in some summer-oriented destinations in October, such as the Greek Islands. Beaches in southern Spain and  Portugal’s Algarve  will be warm and good value at this time but we’d suggest staying clear of Turkey for the time being.

September is also time for some iconic European festivals, ranging from Venice’s Regatta Storica in Italy on the 3rd, to Germany’s beery Oktoberfest (16 September – 3 October) and Spain’s Festes de la Mercé in Barcelona 22 – 25 September.European Festivals and dates.

For English speakers London is a great choice with its world-beating free museums, invigorating life and newly cheap due to the Brexit currency crash. Other must-see cities of central Europe are Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Venice and Florence, all  perfect for historic sights and pleasant strolls in balmy, late summer weather.

Beach seekers can find varied, unusual vacation places with the necessary sunshine and good value north Spain, along with some spectacular cities such as Santiago de Compostela, Bilbao and San Sebastián-Donostia

Island and beach hopping in Greece is a great way to see a lot but not a very cheap option. Still fast ferries do the job smoothly and conveniently. Hop from Athens to Santorini island (Atlantis!), to Mykonos, to Crete etc. maybe 2/3 days each? Plan for September only, many facilities shut down in October. 

Favourite Europe photos

Europe Map

Africa Vacation Places, September – October

Yasmina lake, dune, Merzouga, Morocco

Yasmina lake and a Sahara dune, Merzouga, Morocco.

North Africa will still be overly hot in September but approaching perfect, warm temperatures and blue skies in October. Magnificent Morocco’s beaches, mountains, deserts, buildings and Marrakesh culture await you, along with the less delightful rug sellers and street hustlers. Learn to deal with them, the country is well worth a little hassle.

Travelling to Jordan’s spectacular Petra (not Africa, but close!), Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea should be no problem and a comfortable temperature in October, but stay away from border areas and Amman, which isn’t up to much anyway.

As for animal viewing, September is a good time for Tanzania and Kenya big game safaris (but avoid coastal areas where there has been some violent Muslim/Christian conflict), while South Africa is as usual very good value and offers self-drive wildlife safaris over both these months.

Africa Map

Asia Vacation Places, September – October

Great Wall of China near Mutianyu. Photo Craig Nagy

Great Wall of China near Mutianyu. Photo by Craig Nagy.

The Great Wall of China is a wonder, but NOT the section at Badalang unless you want to share the experience with screamingly monstrous crowds of Chinese tourists. Try Mutianyu for a better walk or the 10kms from Jinshanling to Simatai for a taste of the real thing. September/October should be a good time to travel China, unlike much of the rest of the year.

Generally in Asia monsoon rains or typhoons will be stirring the muggy climatic soup  but China is more-or-less OK during these two months, as are Bali’s beaches, or the exotic attractions of Tibet (though chilly), Russia and Papua New Guinea.

Asia Map

Australasia Vacation Places, September – October

Kepler Track walking, New Zealand. Photo Michal Klajban

Kepler Track walking, New Zealand. Photo Michal Klajban

New Zealand is heading into winter so less than perfect at this time but still fine for walking, the country’s favourite activity.

Northern Australia is fine from May to October, meaning mainly the activities resort of Cairns, the sadly bleached  Great Barrier Reef and Darwin, but Sydney’s weather will be cool and probably damp.

Australasia Map

Dangerous Countries as Vacation Places?

We don’t want to discourage adventurous travelling but should clarify for novice travelers which parts of the world are problematical – troubled by disease, terrorist attacks, high levels of crime or aggressive disrespect for single women.

Egypt is looking better now for robust travelers who can find reliable flights (with proper safety checks) going to Luxor and the opportunity of seeing incredible sights a) at low cost b) more importantly without the massed crowds that are normally there stuffing up the ambience.

Turkey still seems a little volatile these days but almost certainly OK for beach or Cappadocia holidays. But in winter it’s a Must-Not-Do anyway, wet and miserable, so that’s a pass.

Here are some broad generalisations on where NOT to go on vacation if you have a nervous disposition.


Africa except for Morocco, Egypt (at the moment seems OK!), Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar, Mauritius.

Middle-East except for Israel, Jordan (if you’re nervous about flights but really want to visit wonderful Petra, fly to Israel on the world’s safest airline – El Al – and drive into Jordan), Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi.

Venezuela, Honduras, Haiti. Some drug-cartel regions of north Mexico are also off the tourist trail.

Solo women travelers should think twice before going to Pakistan, Philippines, North Korea, Indonesia, India, east China and even Thailand.

Whatever, wherever, safe travels!