September is an ideal time to travel - the prices are lower and the temperatures are often more comfortable than in July and August, and you won't be met with hordes of fellow tourists wherever you turn. Spring is blooming in the southern hemisphere, and in the northern hemisphere there's the beauty of turning leaves and harvest season. (For those who require a little more advanced planning, you may want to read our recommendations on where to travel in October or where to travel in November .) Read on for our pick of September destinations.
Average temperatures across Japan fall from a sweltering, humid 30+ degrees in August to a drier and much more bearable 28 degrees in September. Add to that the beautiful colours of the turning leaves in rural areas, lower rainfall and less crowded cities and you have some great reasons to visit Japan in late September. Watch out for typhoons earlier in the month, especially in coastal areas.
For more information on holidays to Japan, including insurance tips, recommended places to visit and travel advice, check out our Japan travel insurance page.
New England, USA
Autumn is a great time to get acquainted with some longstanding North-Eastern US traditions. This is a time of county fairs, harvest festivals, fantastic food and outdoor activities in the mellow September weather. New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont are all wonderful places to take in the spectacular New England Fall - from mid-September into October the leaves turn truly magnificent shades of amber, russet and vermillion. Track the changing foliage at Fall Colors to find the best viewing spots.
September is a great time for a dip in the Med - the seas are warm, the days are still long and sunny, and the beaches are tranquil compared to the crush of August. This is a great time of year for a watersports holiday in the south of France or a walking tour of Corsica. Sicily is also a beautiful place to visit in September - here you can enjoy sampling the first fruits (and olives, and nuts) of harvest. Appetito!
September is the end of winter in South Africa - which means it's still low season price-wise, but you'll benefit from weather which is starting to feel warm without being unpleasantly hot. This is an excellent time to visit Kruger and other national parks if you're keen on wildlife - clear skies and little rainfall means the animals will be out seeking water and you'll have good light for photography. The winter months are also less crowded, so you should get more individual attention if you're heading out on safari. September is also a very pleasant time to visit the Cape if you're interested in boating and watersports.
September is the start of spring in Argentina, and a very nice time to visit Buenos Aires if you want to see the sights and get your tango on. The end of winter brings great beauty to Argentina's lake district in the foothills of the Andes, and the weather is more temperate for hiking than in high summer. September is also a spectacular time to visit the Iguazu Falls in the far north-east of the country - the temperatures here are subtropical all year round, but you'll miss the high-season crowds.
Both of New Zealand's beautiful islands burst into bloom in September with the onset of spring - and there are plenty of spring festivals to celebrate, with seafood, parades and plenty of local beer and cider. If you're a thrill-seeker, September is the most exciting time to go white-water rafting as melting snow from the mountains makes those rivers extra-rapid. Winter sports lovers can still find snow on the Southern Alps - so pack a waterproof and your skiing gear if an active holiday is your thing!
Have you had a great September holiday? Let us know your travel tips below!
Written by Lise Smith, a former contributor to Lonely Planet's India guidebook - she's seen her fair share of hotel rooms (both grotty and glamorous!). She learned to walk in a hotel corridor in Tunisia, and at the age of three had been on more aeroplanes than buses. Lise writes for a number of local news, technology and arts publications.Top