Still have a bunch of vacation days to use but don't know how to use them? The experts at KAYAK, a fare aggregator and travel search engine, crunched the numbers to find the top 10 places around the world that are trending for fall 2017 travel. Thanks to some major flash sales on flights, Europe is becoming more affordable than ever. Meanwhile, Havana, Cuba, topped the list for fall travel destinations — “which may be in part due to the fact that President Trump may cut off travel to the island once again soon,” says David Solomito, KAYAK's vice president of North America marketing.
Methodology: KAYAK pulled the global destinations with the highest increase in search between Jan. 1, 2017, and June 8, 2017, for travel dates between Sept. 5, 2017, and November 30, 2017.
Best for: Adventurous types
Ever since President Barack Obama loosened travel regulations to Cuba a few years ago, interest in the once-restricted Caribbean island has continued to grow. KAYAK searches for flights to Cuba have increased 75 percent this year, which may be in part due to the fact that President Donald Trump may restrict travel to the island once again. “With the future of travel to Cuba uncertain and tourism restrictions still in place, travelers who are eyeing the destination should keep tabs on how the new policy impacts [it],” says Solomito. Hotels are few and far between in Havana, but the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, which opened in a historic building last June, has a rooftop terrace and swimming pool. Keep in mind that U.S. debit and credit cards don't work in Cuba, so bring enough cash to cover your expenses.
Best for: Night owls
“Portugal may be the new Iceland in terms of being the latest ‘it’ destination, as it continues to gain popularity year over year,” Solomito says — but start planning your trip ASAP if you want to travel there soon. “You should book three to six months out to score the best deals,” Solomito says. If you stay in the city’s old red-light district, you’ll be within walking distance of plenty of clubs for bar-hopping, including the Pensão Amo, which is right across the street from the stylish and affordable LX Boutique Hotel. Cure any hangovers with Lisbon’s famous Pastéis de Belém egg tarts.
Best for: Relaxation seekers
If your dream vacation itinerary involves sleeping in, wandering through food markets, and drinking outdoors, get yourself to Madrid. The Barceló Food Market is located just across the street from the stylish URSO Hotel & Spa, which is just a short walk away from the trendy Chueca neighborhood and some of Madrid’s best museums, including the world-famous Prado.
Best for: Architecture buffs
Barcelona has become so popular over the last few years that the city recently passed a law to try to limit the number of tourists. But if you go in September and October, when the weather is still warm, you won't run into quite as many visitors. Check into the Hotel Room Mate Anna, which is located in the city center between several of Gaudí’s most famous — and Instagrammable — buildings, including Casa Batlló and Casa Milà. The location is unbeatable, and the rooftop pool and breakfast buffet (served until noon) aren't half-bad either.
Best for: People who love sweater weather
Do you live for crisp autumn days and the sound of leaves crunching underneath your boots? Get yourself to Amsterdam, where the average October day is a slightly rainy 52 degrees. Book a stay at the Kimpton DeWitt, conveniently located just a five-minute walk from Amsterdam’s Centraal train station. While the hotel itself is brand-new — it opened just last spring — several of the buildings it occupies date back to the 17th century, so expect to find cozy, Old World details like exposed wood beams in some of the rooms.
Best for: Endless summer searchers
Everyone from the going to Bali these days. While Bali may seem like a place reserved only for honeymooners, it can also be the perfect place to . So if you’ve been hoarding your vacation days, head to this island paradise before rainy season starts in October. Split your time between the cultural center of Ubud at the Wapa di Ume Resort and Spa and the beach at Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa.to Instagram influencers is
Best for: Fashion addicts
As the saying goes, Paris is always a good idea, and flight searches to the City of Light increased 24 percent for this fall. Check into one of the chic art-deco style rooms at the Hotel Saint-Marc, which is located in the heart of the Second Arrondissement. Indulge in the indoor heated pool and steam room after a long day of shopping (the legendary Galeries Lafayette department store is just around the corner).
Best for: History nerds
Italy will always top travel bucket lists, but interest in the Eternal City continues to grow thanks to brand-new nonstop flights this fall on Norwegian Airlines — for only $360 roundtrip from New York — that'll make the city easy and cheap to get to, so you can focus on eating all the pasta, pizza, and gelato you can get your hands on. Book a few nights at Fifteen Keys, a boutique hotel in the heart of the bohemian Monti district — it's a short walk to both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
Best for: Foodies
Blame it on Brexit. When the U.K. voted to leave the EU in 2016, the value of the British pound plummeted, making London more affordable for Americans than it’s been in a long time. If you’ve been-there, done-that with Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, check into The Distillery, London’s first “gin hotel” that includes a working distillery, two bars, and a museum called the Ginstitute on Portobello Road in Notting Hill. Soak up all the booze with afternoon tea in Sketch’s millennial pink dining room — or with some of the best Indian food of your life at Dishoom, which has four locations across London, including Carnaby Street and Shoreditch.
Best for: Urban explorers
For many twentysomethings, Tokyo may have been off-limits due to expensive flights and an even more expensive city. But recent airline sales may finally put this long-haul flight within reach (aka less than $600 from some cities). A weaker yen also means that once you get there, you won’t blow your entire salary on sushi. Save a little extra to splurge on a night or two at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, or at least a cocktail at the New York Bar, located on the hotel’s 52nd floor in one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo. The views are worth it.