Summer is supposed to be the season for vacation and relaxation, but if you were too busy to take time off, you’re not alone. More than 40 percent of Americans didn’t use their paid time off (PTO) in 2014, according to Project: Time Off, a study by the U.S. Travel Association. But it’s not too late to take much-needed vacation; fall is a great time to relax, recharge and go on that trip you deserve.

During the busy summer months when it seems like everyone is taking vacation, it can be hard to slip away from responsibilities at home or at work. Travel costs can be higher during peak summer season, but when fall arrives, prices of accommodations, attractions and transportation drop in many desirable destinations. Availability and pricing can make fall the perfect time to travel for anyone who felt like they just couldn’t fit a vacation into their schedule or budget over the summer.

A bounty of beaches

While beach destinations can be crowded and expensive during the summer, locations throughout Florida’s coastline, offers fall travelers a second chance at summer with its warm temperatures and less crowded beaches once schools are back in session. What’s more, attractions remain open well into the season and a variety of packages and incentives are available.

Florida locals often refer to September and October as the “perfect time of year” because the weather is still beautiful, ocean waters retain their summer warmth, there’s more elbow room on the beach and accommodations become even more affordable. These positive qualities make fall an even more relaxing season at the Florida beaches.

Autumn can be an ideal time for couples, families with pre-school-age children, honeymooners, bridal groups, retirees and groups to visit beach towns. In addition to popular family attractions that remain open, a number of shopping and entertainment options make fall travel appealing. Opportunities for relaxation range from spa treatments and winery tours to horseback riding on the beach and feasting on comfort food.

Mountain resort highs

While ski resorts fill up when snow arrives, fall is not yet peak season in many mountain areas. You don’t have to be a skier to savor the natural beauty and top-notch accommodation of mountain resort areas. Many offer a variety of outdoor activities that don’t require the presence of snow, such as hiking, rock climbing, fishing and water sports.

National park majesties

Millions of Americans visit the most popular National Parks each year, and the majority of them do so during summer months when schools are out. The Grand Canyon, for example, in 2014, the months of June, July and August accounted for about 40 percent of all the visits to the park that year, according to National Park Service data. To learn more about the national park services or to find a location near you, visit www.nps.gov.

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Group Publisher, Doctor's Life Magazine | Managing Director, Mashed Media Group, LLC

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