Autumn’s cornucopia of colors and crisp, clean air make it the perfect season to get away, while taking advantage of many lower prices, fewer crowds, and more comfortable temperatures. Whether you are planning a long break that lasts weeks, or a quick weekend getaway, nationally recognized travel expert, Stephanie Oswald, offers the latest tips on last-minute planning ideas, and tips to survive the journey.

Unique accommodations: The holidays often mean visiting family, but that does not mean you have to lose out on the ‘adventure’ of travel. Instead of staying at a relative’s crowded house, find some more exciting accommodations. can help with more than 29 million unique places to stay – from a log cabin in Vermont, to a villa in Miami or even a sanctuary on the Lower East Side in NYC. If you plan to do some leaf peeping, stay in a tree house to make it extra fun.

Play It Safe: No traveler likes to think about delays and disruptions, but the reality is that we never know what might happen leading up to a trip – or when you’re far from home. It’s always a good idea to play it safe and purchase travel insurance to make sure you’re covered no matter what the circumstance. Some companies are making it easier than ever to get funding FAST – Allianz Travel Insurance plans come with “Smart Benefits” which means, if you do all your paperwork correctly in advance, you could even get paid while you are experiencing your travel delay.

Procrastination Doesn’t Pay: Depending on your destination, you may find high prices and limited availability. If you want your fall travel to come in under budget, do your research and plan early! If you know where you need to be for Thanksgiving, you should be booking your travel NOW.

Remember: Timing is Everything: Shoulder season, a travel period between peak and off-peak seasons, after summer and before the holidays can be a perfect time to use your miles or points to book travel. If you are flexible, you may be able to save money by using all those miles – most airline websites have an option for ‘flexible’ dates, but if you have trouble, call and speak with a customer service rep. Even if they charge you a fee, you will come out ahead in the long run.

Exercise Caution: Holiday travel calls for us to be extra cautious with our belongings. Make sure to tell your bank and credit card companies when and where you will be traveling. Label all your belongings – even stick a business card between your cell phone and your phone case. Be especially watchful when the security lines are chaotic, count how many bins you use and be sure to close all of your bags and zippers before you set out.

Wherever you may be headed — the beach, a tropical island,  winter snow skiing, Europe, the Far East, mountains or the desert—be sure to enjoy the experience and most importantly, have fun!

Happy Travels!