If you can’t face the idea of fall and winter yet, follow the birds south and catch some rays in any of these tropical destinations. Rad on to swap pumpkin spice for fresh coconut, scarfs for swimwear and falling leaves for shooting stars in tropical skies.
September and October are when the ocean around Hawaii is at its warmest and the air temperature is still close to summer's peak. As it’s the beginning of the rainy season you might get a few rainstorms but they mostly fall at night, meaning beach days and outdoor activities are still very much on the cards.
Out of peak season there are way less tourists around and prices come down from their summer highs. Fall also has some fun events, from Honolulu Pride to Kauia’s Coconut Festival. And if you start craving fall feelings Hawaii still goes big for Halloween, with even a few pumpkin patches to visit.
*Keep in mind that as of August 2023, West Maui is still closed for recovery from the wildfires. Please spend your money responsibly.
Bali can offer a truly tropical fall with steamy jungles, hidden waterfalls, beaches and surf. Its popularity has risen rapidly over the last few years meaning peak season can get a bit pricey.
High season is April to August so fall travel hits the sweet spot between avoiding the crowds and the winter rainy season. Spend days touring temples, embark on a spiritual journey, become a yogi, laze in a luxury resort, hike all over the island. Or do all of the above. It’s the perfect time to travel for beach life, zipping around the island on a scooter, and visiting uncrowded temples.
Koh Lipe, Thailand
Lower costs and less crowds are the benefits to traveling to Thailand for a tropical fall and if you’re happy to wait out a few rainstorms in a beachside bar, it’s a great time to travel. Although fall is at the tail end of the rainy season, the intense downpours of tropical rain pass quickly and won’t interrupt your travel plans too much.
Koh Lipe is a far-flung island with white sandy beaches, transparent waters and seafood caught and grilled in front of you. It was originally inhabited by nomadic people living off the ocean and whilst it's developed to meet the demands of tourism it still has some of the best beaches in Thailand. Coral reefs begin just four meters from the sand so snorkeling and scuba diving are one of the main highlights here.
Whilst many avoid the Caribbean in October due to Hurricane season, those in the know head to Aruba which lies just below the Hurricane Belt. The likelihood of strong storms is very small and the tropical waters of the Caribbean are at their warmest making it the perfect bathing season.
With average highs of 90F and lows of 70F this is the place to travel for an extended summer and a tropical fall. When you’re done with the beach head to Oranjestad the former Dutch colonial capital where colorful Caribbean culture mixes with the architecture of Holland. It’s an intriguing mix of cultures and the town is full of cute cafes, markets and duty-free stores.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Just the name Montego Bay is enough to warm you up with tropical thoughts on a cold October day. The temperature rarely drops below 82 degrees year-round and if you do get any rain it will clear quickly, allowing you to get back to that hammock swinging between palm trees. There are a lot of resorts here but also chances to stay independently and get a deeper experience of this buzzing city. The nightlife is famous, there are endless possibilities for excursions and restaurants to suit whatever mood you’re in.
Barbados is in the far east of the Caribbean so it very rarely gets hit by hurricanes. Fall here is hot and humid with occasional rain showers that can be fun to swim in! As well as the usual idyllic tropical beaches there's plenty to discover on this island, from old colonial towns to grand plantation houses. October is the height of the low season, so prices are as low as they get, and although there's rain, the average is still 8 hours of sunshine a day.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Down in Mexico the blazing heat of summer chills out from October on, giving way to warm days and gentle sea breezes. You know the tropical drill by now, if there is rain it will pass by quickly, still leaving plenty of beach time. A lot of resorts in Cancun and Playa del Carmen slash their prices during fall and you will find Mexicans in the mood to party if you come around Independence Day on September 16th or Dia de Muertos on 1st and 2nd of November.
If you’re not ready to say goodbye to long evenings and sunny days, summer is still waiting for you on one of these faraway beaches. Don’t forget your Carry On Closet with a six-shelf storage system with plenty of room for swimwear and the waterproof layers you’ll need for those brief tropical storms
Written by Laura Sedlak