Kyoto | Japan
Our top pick this month is Kyoto, Japan.
First, because it just reopened to visitors. Japan closed down during the first Covid lockdown of 2020 and stayed that way for two years, reopening partially this year to organised tour groups. From 11 October, it reopens completely to independent travellers (with a test or three jabs), so it's possible to get out there and explore again.
We love Tokyo, and you'll likely fly there if you're coming from the UK - but our favourite place in Japan when we last visited was Kyoto, two hours away on the famous bullet train.
Visitors rave about the sakura that blooms all over Japan in the spring, but equally breathtaking are the gardens in autumn when the leaves turn red and start to fall. Kyoto, the former Japanese capital, is home to so many temples, palaces and gardens that it's the best place to appreciate the autumn livery - so if you're heading out, October's the time to go.
Japan comes a solid 30th on our Good Trip Index, so if you're looking for a holiday that's both exotic and ethical this is a great destination.
Girona | Spain
A rising-star city break, Girona in Catalonia is now served by direct flights from Ryanair and Jet2 so is every bit as easy to visit as Barcelona, Madrid or the ever-popular Italian city breaks.
It has stunning medieval walls reminiscent of the Bar Walls in York, a bridge built by Gustav Eiffell just before he started work on his tower and one of the best-preserved Jewish Quarters in Western Europe. You may well recognise both the winding streets and the striking cathedral as parts of Bravos and King's Landing from Game of Thrones.
It's a convenient day trip from Barcelona, but why not do it the other way around? Fly to Girona, explore here and pop over to the capital for a day or two.
Where did everybody go?
Varadero is one the fastest-rising destinations this year. See where else everyone is going this year and get in on the action!
Dakar | Senegal
Dakar, the capital of Senegal and a newly-popular budget alternative to the Canary Islands, now has direct flights courtesy of TUI.
It's five hours vs the four-and-a-half you'd take to Tenerife, and for that extra time in the air you get the same reliable sunshine in a more exotic location, the chance to tick a new country off the bucket list and the same standard of service you'd expect from any resort. You're also paying in West African CFA Francs, which is performing less strongly than the Euro against our beleagured pound, so your holiday money is going to go a fair bit further.
Unfortunately Senegal does score poorly on our Good Trips Index, coming 116th in the world. This is partly because of weak scores for women's and LGBTQI+ rights, but also partly, to be fair, due to not being included in a number of the indices that make up our table.
Goa | India
If you're going to celebrate Diwali, why not do it in style in southern India?
Diwali this year starts on Saturday 22 October and ends on Wednesday 26 October (the start of half-term for much of the UK, if you're thinking of taking the kids).
The Festival of Lights is as spectacular as you'd imagine, and even if you're not here for the festival or the observance of the holy days Goa is fantastic for a relaxed, reliably warm beach holiday. In October the monsoon-season rains are ending, temperatures are heading into the 30s but the crowds that fill beaches in high season are yet to arrive - so now's the time to go.
India scores 104th on our Good Trips Index - a good place for women with a largely excellent record on animal welfare, it scores very poorly on press freedoms and relatively weakly on human rights.
London Theatre Break
Autumn is the start of the new theatre season in London, so if you want to treat yourself to some R&R but don't fancy heading overseas, making a trip to the West End into a city break could be your perfect solution.
After the baking heat of August, London is now enjoying a cooler autumn and the shows are back in town. Head to the capital, stay overnight in one of our hand-picked hotels and take in a show nearby for a great UK city break.
Top picks this season include Moulin Rouge, Back to the Future, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the Only Fools and Horses Musical - which, playing opposite Phantom of the Opera, now means that every night on the London stage not one but two chandeliers crash down right across the road from one another!
Book a London Theatre Break
Come and see your favourite shows and make a break of it this autumn.
Tallinn | Estonia
Right at the top of our Good Trip Index sit Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland, and in a comfortable seventh place is Estonia.
An increasingly popular city break, Tallinn can be reached from London in 2 hours 40 minutes, comfortable enough for a long weekend or a week away.
The old town, the harbour and Toompea Hill and Castle are perfect for walking tours - visitors swear by both the beer and the food in the capital, and outside the capital hiking, spas, bicycling and forests are all accessible.
It's sustainability and freedom that pushes Estonia towards the top of our Good Trips Index, so if you want a sustainable, ethical city break this autumn here's our top pick.
The Holiday Extras Good Trip Index
Leave only footprints and take only photos by picking destinations you can visit sustainably and responsibly.