October Travel Destinations

June 24, 2024

October is an incredibly underrated month for traveling and vacations. Sure, the kids will be in school — which might limit your options — but the shoulder season is upon most of the world (meaning big money-saving opportunities), and there are even fascinating festivals throughout the globe. It might be a little chillier in many regions, but the best places to travel in October embrace the fall season with joy.

For example, many countries and cities hold fall festivals, such as Hachiman Matursi, Japan, with its unique fall crafts festival, one that draws thousands of people a year. Beyond these celebrations, October is one of the best times to fly because tickets are often dirt cheap. 

Note that the best October travel destinations (including European travel destinations in October) will vary heavily based on your interests. Want to check out some late-season Oktoberfest events? Munich, Germany, might just be the best option for you! Or are you into more low-key vacation spots? There are great places you can try! Any of the following choices will keep you busy and have fun throughout your whole trip!

The 7 Best Places to Travel in October This Year 

When booking any of these October travel destinations, make sure that you read through these sections carefully to learn more about them. For example, you should know what kind of events take place there (we have you covered), as well as various tips that make each destination more enjoyable. In this way, you can visit even the most exciting European travel destinations in October without too much difficulty.

1. Concurs de Castells, Spain: The Human Tower Competition 

Concurs de Castells is an amazing experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life: human castles taller than buildings that move and sway! Obviously, it is one of the best European travel destinations in October, and this event will take your breath away with every second. 

Dating back to the 18th century, this event (October 1-2) features 32 tower teams that can rise as high as nine stories. At the top, a child is placed: what a unique experience for that little one! While here, you can enjoy Catalan culture, parades, street performances, and amazing music experiences.

Tips for Visiting Concurs de Castells

When visiting here, book ahead of time by as much as a year. Like many of the best October travel destinations, it’s incredibly popular. Note that tipping etiquette is very different in Spain than in America: servers get paid very well and don’t require tips to survive financially.

2. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico 

What’s cool about October travel destinations like this is that they take place all over the world! While you could visit Albuquerque, New Mexico, to experience this event first-hand (from October 5-13), many large cities around the world hold similar festivals at the same time. 

That said, visiting the original Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is worth it if you have the time and money! With drone light shows, gorgeous balloon displays, amazing opening ceremonies, and even musical performances, this festival is one that you and your kids will never forget. 

Tips for The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

When visiting this week-long fiesta, it’s worth signing up for their monthly newsletter to learn when tickets go on sale and more about the event in general. Note that you also buy tickets based on the “session,” not the day, with morning and evening sessions being your options. Choose wisely.

3. Rubber Duck Race, Freiburg, Germany

In early October (dates vary), Freiburg, Germany, becomes one of the quirkiest and most enjoyable European destinations in October, thanks to the Rubber Duck Race! This event is exactly what its name suggests — over 7,000 rubber ducks get placed in the River Necker every year for a race. 

How exactly does this event work? Well, anybody can participate (even visitors from different countries) by placing their name and number on a rubber duck and placing it in the river. If yours wins, you get a monetary prize! Watching thousands of yellow ducks roll down the river is very cute.

Tips for the Rubber Duck Race 

While Germany is generally one of the best places to travel in October (for the Rubber Duck Race and other events), it’s important to note cultural differences. For example, table sharing is common, and you might have to eat with strangers. It’s not as awkward as you’d think, but be prepared for it.

4. Fall Color Tour, Marquette, Michigan

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a wonderland of natural beauty, and Marquette, its biggest city, is one of the best October travel destinations for fall leaf tours. As a college town, Marquette offers plenty of great restaurants, breweries, and activities, including used bookstores and college sports. 

For example, Northern Michigan University has a competitive Division A hockey team that’s always worth checking out. If you plan on doing a fall leaf tour, don’t forget to check out the many waterfalls in the area. You’ll be in for quite a hike, but one that’s more than worth it if you love nature.

Tips for Visiting Marquette

Plan to pack for winter weather when visiting Marquette: temperatures drop early, and snowfall is common here. Also note that, as a college town, there are many students (about half the population during the school year), so keep that in mind when booking your vacation here.

5. Bahamas Heritage Festival, Nassau, Bahamas

If you’re looking for a more warm-weather destination for your October vacation, Nassau, Bahamas, is an excellent option. The Bahamas Heritage Festival (October 7) will provide you with a fascinating experience, including lots of arts and crafts, live music, food, liquor, and much more. 

During this celebration, you’ll learn more about the Bahamas in general and experience all the unique fun and excitement it can provide. Note: You must be 18 to attend, so there are no children. If you plan on bringing your little ones, there are still plenty of great activities in and around this area. 

Tips for Visiting the Bahamas

The weather in Nassau should be pretty decent during your visit. Though there’s about a 20% chance of rain all month long, temperatures range between 74 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average of 83. It might be a little windy, too, so you might want to bring a windbreaker to avoid discomfort.

6. Cirio de Nazare, Belem, Brazil

If you want to enjoy a Festival-style celebration in Brazil but missed it this year, Belem is one of the best places to travel in October. Unlike most European travel destinations in October, the weather should be mild (about 76 degrees Fahrenheit on average) with lots of amazing activities. 

For example, Cirio de Nazare can provide you with the exciting experience that you deserve. This annual celebration includes an amazing procession of boats crossing the Amazon River carrying a religious statue of major significance. If you’re into a more spiritual experience, this is one of the best October travel destinations and something you should seriously consider booking ASAP. 

Tips for Visiting Brazil 

Brazil can be a costly country to visit, so try to save money by booking hostels (you share a room with multiple people) or even buying local foods to make meals. You can then save your money for event tickets to ensure you get the best and most comprehensive experience possible.

7. White Truffle Festival, Alba, Italy 

Taking place between October 12 and December 8, Alba’s White Truffle Festival is one of the most popular events in Italy in October. It comes during a low-key time in Italy’s tourist trade (the infamous shoulder season), so it should be easy for you to book a vacation here with minimal fuss. 

Truffle dog looking for valuable white truffles on a leafy forest floor.

During this event, you’ll learn about white truffles and their history, watch cooking shows, try amazing truffle-based dishes, and even visit Mudet, the world’s best truffle museum. If you’re into a  culinary adventure and love great foods, this festival is a fascinating place to visit in October.

Tips for Visiting Italy

Italian culture is, in many ways, the polar opposite of Germany. While Germans are reserved, quiet, and stoic, Italians are very gregarious, chatty, and open with visitors. Be prepared for residents to try to talk to you in Italian even if you only know English. It’s welcoming and overwhelming (and fun).

Travel Tips and Preparations From the Parking Spot

No matter which of the best places to travel in October you plan on visiting, The Parking Spot has some suggestions that can improve your vacation. These include how to pack properly, planning for your transportation and navigation, and other vital tips you simply can’t ignore. 

Cold Weather Packing Suggestions When Snow Starts Falling

Most of the best places to travel in October will be fairly cold: it’s right in the middle of fall, and snow could even start coming down, so it’s critical to pack some cold-weather clothes. It’s essential, especially if you plan on being outdoors a lot. Just a few things to pack include:

  • A heavy coat in case the temperatures drop precipitously 
  • Down jackets and sweaters that can keep you cozy in mid-level weather
  • Long-sleeve tops that work well when layering up for the day
  • Winter boots and water-proof shoes for snow issues
  • Beanies, scarves, gloves, and socks that can keep you warm

Warmer Temperature Packing Tips for October Heat Waves

There aren’t many European travel destinations in October that will be warm enough for swimming, short-sleeve shirts, or even shorts. However, other parts of the world (i.e., anywhere in the southern hemisphere) may be quite warm, so if you plan on going there, make sure to bring accessories like:

  • Sunscreen if you plan on being outdoors for hours at a time
  • Light shirts and pants (it’s not quite summer: think mid-spring temps)
  • Sandals if temperatures get warm enough for the beach 
  • Sneakers and walking shoes for nice outdoor hikes
  • Backpacks for holding your gear if you plan on being outdoors

Suggestions for Transportation and Navigation for October Vacations

The most exciting October travel destinations often have multiple transportation options you must consider before visiting. Just as importantly, you must consider things like airport security and even hotel bookings, so make sure you try out these tips when traveling anywhere this October:

  • Contact Your Bank/Credit Card Company: While your debit and credit cards should work perfectly well on your vacation, let your providers know beforehand that you plan on going overseas. This step can reduce your risk of accidentally triggering fraudulent charge alerts.
  • Research Your Airport Security: When traveling, always make sure that you know whether your airport uses Global Entry or TSA Precheck and make sure you know the differences between the two. This can save you a lot of time and minimize potential travel complications as well. 
  • Download Travel Apps: The best travel apps offer discounts on plane tickets, event fees, and restaurant visits. Many even offer maps and ride-sharing coupons, so make sure you find apps that work in your destination and try them out while on your trip. 
  • Know Public Transportation: What kind of public transportation do your October travel destinations provide you? Are there Uber drivers or taxis? What about trains and subway stations? Most European travel destinations in October have train schedules, so find a map and plan your trip around them.
  • Always Book Ahead: We can’t stress this enough: when hitting up the best places to travel in October, always book ahead! You should have hotel rooms, car rentals, and event tickets in hand before you ever set foot at your destination: you’ll thank us for this suggestion later!

The Parking Spot Says “Enjoy Your October Vacation!”

These unique and rewarding October travel destinations (including the best European travel destinations in October) are just as rewarding as traveling in any other month: for the right person, they’re even more exciting! Whether you plan on visiting the best places to travel in October on a solo vacation or with your family or friends, the fall-themed excitement each brings is truly unique. 

Before booking, start planning ahead for your trip, including looking for places to stay, buying tickets to many events, and carefully packing your bags for the weather. Just as importantly, make sure your car is safe by booking with The Parking Spot. Finding a great place to park (and saving money by joining The Spot Club) will ensure your trip goes smoothly and safely. 


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