Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Here’s great news if you’ve been waiting to plan your fall travel! Southwest has opened their schedule through November 4, 2016.
So you can now book your Labor Day, Columbus Day, or Halloween getaways. Or book an early fall trip somewhere warm, and avoid the peak summer crowds!
I’ll show you how to get Big Travel on Southwest and share some terrific fall vacation ideas!
Book Fall Travel on Southwest
Most airlines open their schedules ~11 months to 1 year ahead of time. But Southwest flights are only available to book ~6 to 8 months in advance.
It’s always a good idea to book your Southwest tickets as far in advance as possible. If your plans change (or the price of your ticket drops), you can change or cancel your flight without penalty.
Plus, everyone gets 2 free checked bags!
5 Great Fall Trips on Southwest
Here are some ideas for a fun fall trip on Southwest! Remember, early fall is off-peak season in many destinations, so it’s a good time to travel (and save money!)
1. New England
If you want some of the most beautiful leaf tours in the country, New England is a top pick! Rent a car and see stunning fall foliage, visit quaint small towns, and sample local cuisine.
Folks who prefer a more urban getaway could visit Boston and take a day-trip into the countryside to see the changing leaves.
Don’t forget to check out some of the many local food festivals during your travels!
You can fly Southwest to:
Smart Disney travelers know the best way to avoid crowds and save money is to travel during off-peak times. So consider planning your Disney vacation in September after the kids have gone back to school!
Grown-ups might enjoy visiting during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which features global cuisine, wines, and more! Or take the little ones to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for trick-or-treating, costumes, and a fun parade!
3. Upstate New York
If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll find terrific hiking, camping, and waterfalls here. It’s home to the Grand Canyon of the East!
You can fly Southwest from many cities to:
- Albany (closest to the Adirondacks)
- Buffalo (closest to Niagara Falls)
- Rochester (closest to the Finger Lakes)
4. New Orleans
Many folks visit New Orleans in the spring for Mardi Gras, but fall is an excellent time to visit as well. Temperatures are mild, and you’ll find plenty of fun (and eclectic) festivals to attend!
Foodies might enjoy events like:
- Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival – October 12 to 14, 2016
- Louisiana Seafood Festival – September 2 to 4, 2016
- Martini Madness – September 16, 2016
- We Live to Eat Restaurant Week – September 12 to 18, 2016
Southwest flies non-stop to New Orleans from several cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC.
5. San Diego
Looking for a fun and inexpensive family trip? San Diego is an excellent option for folks with children this October, because kids can stay, play, and eat for free at many participating locations throughout the city for the entire month.
San Diego is easy to get to on Southwest, with lots of non-stop flights from many major cities.
Fly 2 for 1 for Up to 2 years!
When you earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year, you’ll get the Southwest Companion Pass and a friend or family member can fly with you for (almost) free for up to 2 years!
And the sign-up bonuses from 2 Chase Southwest cards can help you get there!
- Chase Southwest Premier Personal Card – 50,000 Southwest points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
- Chase Southwest Premier Small Business Card – 50,000 Southwest points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
- Chase Southwest Plus Personal Card – 25,000 Southwest points when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
Emily and I don’t earn a commission on these cards, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!
Note: There are rumors that starting April 2016, Chase will make it tougher to be approved for ANY of their cards (including airline & hotel cards) if you’ve opened ~5+ credit card accounts with any bank within the past 24 months. So if you’re interested in these cards, you might want to apply soon.
Need More Southwest Points for Award Flights?
You can transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus directly to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. Just keep in mind, this does NOT count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.
You can also earn Southwest points by:
You can now book Southwest flights through November 4, 2016. So it’s a great time to start planning a fall getaway!
Because it’s off-season in many areas, fall is a perfect time to avoid crowds and take advantage of cheaper prices. Check out fall foliage and local food & drink in New England or Upstate New York, plan an affordable family vacation in Orlando or San Diego, or get your party on in New Orleans!
Remember, if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend or family member can join you for (almost) free anytime you fly Southwest for up to 2 years!
Let me know if you plan a trip!