October Getaways

October is a wonderful month for just about anything, including travel. The temperatures are pleasant, the rates are off-peak, roads are less crowded, and there are lots of special events happening. In addition to the regular harvest festivals, Columbus Day parades, and Halloween events, here are some nice travel ideas for October.

The US Forest Service has a set of links where you can check on the peak fall colors for different parts of the country. Scroll down for your state. The default rule of thumb is to visit New England or the Great Lake states in early October, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the Mid-Atlantic in mid-October, and Kentucky, Virgina, and Missouri in late October. You can still find great colors in November in the Deep South. Pre-packaged bus tours are offered in all these areas, but if you have more than one driver (and/or children), a private road trip off the main highways can be a getaway you'll always remember.
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The 2007 World Series will start Wednesday, October 24th. If seven games are neccessary, it will end on Thursday, November first. This gives you two locations for a baseball getaway, but we don't know yet where they will be. The first two games will be either in New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles, or Boston, and the games three and four will be in either Denver, San Diego, Philadelphia, Chicago, or Phoenix. All are nice places to visit!
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Oktoberfest in Munich actually takes place more in September than in October! It runs only through this Sunday. But if you are the jet-setter type, you can still catch the last few days. The smaller Oktoberfest celebration in Berlin continues through the 14th. And there are plenty more beer festivals all over.

More October destinations, after the jump.

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Autumn is Aurora Borealis season in areas near the North Pole. The village of Porjus in Swedish Lapland is especially accomodating to tourists who want to see the Northern Lights. The town has a small population, few artificial lights, guides, and activities for visitors. Ursi's Blog has more links on the Aurora.
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The Melbourne International Arts Festival runs October 11th-27th in Australia, featuring theater, dance, painting, photography, sculpture, music, poetry, film, and even circus performance! There will also be seminars, classes, and parties where you can meet the artists. See a schedule of events at the official site.
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The Chicago International Film Festival is October 4th through the 17th. 160 movies are entered representing 44 countries, from Argentina to Vietnam.
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The Karate World Championships take place in Marina di Carrara, Italy, October 17th through the 21st. Over 2500 competitors from 65 nations are expected to compete in several martial arts disciplines. When you're not watching the action, you could be tasting wine and drinking in the atmosphere of autumn in Tuscany.
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The Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans, October 26th through the 28th features an amazing lineup of concerts. While you're in NOLA, you might check out some Haunted New Orleans events in time for Halloween.
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OK, how about one completely Halloween-related getaway, to Salem, Massachusetts. The many witch-trial related museums, home tours, cemeteries, and haunted attractions are all open in October. You can also take a ride on a sailing ship, visit the pirate museum, and enjoy the fall colors.

Now, if we could only do something about those annoying school and work schedules...

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The Best (and Worst) States for Summer Road Trips
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As we shared recently, the great American road trip is making a comeback, but some parts of the country are more suitable for hitting the open road than others. If you're interested in taking a road trip this summer but are stuck on figuring out the destination, WalletHub has got you covered: The financial advisory website analyzed factors like road conditions, gas prices, and concentration of activities to give you this map of the best states to explore by car.

Wyoming—home to the iconic road trip destination Yellowstone National Park—ranked No. 1 overall with a total score of 58.75 out of 100. It's followed by North Carolina in the No. 2 slot, Minnesota at No. 3, and Texas at No. 4. Coming in the last four slots are the three smallest states in America—Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut—and Hawaii, a state that's obviously difficult to reach by car.

But you shouldn't only look at the overall score if you're planning a road trip route: Some states that did poorly in one category excelled in others. California for example, came in 12th place overall, and ranked first when it came to activities and 41st in cost. So if you have an unlimited budget and want to fit as many fun stops into your vacation as possible, taking a trip up the West Coast may be the way to go. On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi is a good place to travel if you're conscious of spending, ranking second in costs, but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the quality of your trip, coming in 38th place for safety and 44th for activities.

Choosing the stops for your summer road trip is just the first step of the planning process. Once you have that covered, don't forget to pack these essentials.

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Netherlands Officials Want to Pay Residents to Bike to Work
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Thinking about relocating to the Netherlands? You might also want to bring a bike. Government officials are looking to compensate residents for helping solve their traffic congestion problem and they want businesses to pay residents to bike to work, as The Independent reports.

Owing to automobile logjams on roadways that keep drivers stuck in their cars and cost the economy billions of euros annually, Dutch deputy infrastructure minister Stientje van Veldhoven recently told media that she's endorsing a program that would pay employees 19 cents for every kilometer (0.6 miles) they bike to work.

That doesn't sound like very much, but perhaps citizens who need to trek several miles each way would appreciate the cumulative boost in their weekly paychecks. For employers, the benefit would be a healthier workforce that might take fewer sick days and reduce parking needs.

Veldhoven says she also plans on designing a program that would assist employers in supplying workers with bicycles. The goal is to have 200,000 people opting for manual transportation over cars. If the program proceeds, it might find a receptive population. The Netherlands is already home to 22.5 million bikes, more than the 17.1 million people living there. In Amsterdam, a quarter of residents bike to work.

There's no timeline for implementing the pay-to-bike plan, but early trial studies indicate that the expense might not have to be a long-term prospect. Study subjects continued to bike to work even after the financial rewards stopped.

[h/t The Independent]

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