There are the obvious reasons of course, why fall travel is so popular. The summer school break is over so the crowds are gone. The weather is mild, no more scorching hot days. There's more availability at the hotels so the rates might be better and it's not difficult to catch a tour at the last minute. Add to that, all the extra time you have to explore while you're not waiting in long lines for everything.
But I really like fall travel, particularly to Europe because there are so many fall festivals where you get the flavor of the place and rub elbows with the locals. Think Oktoberfest but on a smaller scale in a lot of places around the continent. There's harvest time in the vineyards of France, Spain, and Germany and the Christmas markets seem to start earlier every year.
November 1 is the official start of winter season rates and in most places the weather is still mild. January and February are the coldest, wettest months in Europe so even late fall is a good time to go. I love to see the snow on the mountain tops and if I get cold, well that's what hot toddies are for.
I have been in the travel industry for over 25 years, as a flight attendant, travel agent and travel writer. I think all travelers should have the kind of inside information that professional travelers have. The business has changed over the years and those on the front lines deserve a lot of credit. And what they know can help all of us get more out of our travel experience.