Four Reasons Traveling in October Can Save You Money and Enhance Your Trip

October is the quintessential month of autumn.

The seasons start to turn, and the scents of fall, from cinnamon brooms to pumpkin spice, welcome you.

Winter isn’t far off — nor are the dark and freezing mornings to come.

It’s the perfect in-between month, not only for weather, but for travel.

While everyone is preparing for the holidays, you could be having the time of your life for a fraction of the cost.

Why Travel in October

It seems like a strange month to travel with the kids back in school and the holidays just around the corner. Yet those are the exact reasons it’s one of the best months to travel.  

Shoulder Season

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Most people know that off-season travel has the best deals, but many don’t consider the perks of traveling during shoulder seasons.

Shoulder season is the period between the peak season and the off-season.

It generally means lower prices and fewer crowds.

October comes after the peak summer season, on the heels of Labor Day and ahead of the holiday season, making it ripe for travel.  

Zag when everybody zigs,” said Mark Murphy, travelpulse.com founder.

“Go to places that are just out of their main season, when the crowds are gone, and you’ll have a better experience at a hard-to-beat price.

Deals, Deals, Deals

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Prices turn in the traveler’s favor in October, just like the color of leaves.

Skyscanner determined that September and October will be the cheapest time to fly in 2018.

Which totally makes sense because October follows the post-summer slump for airlines and cruises. Less demand for tickets and tours means cheaper offers to drum up business.

Iceland’s low-cost airline, WOW Airlines, offers $160 or less round-trip flights to select cities in Europe during October.

The same goes for gas prices, too.

Since 1993, gas prices for all petroleum types have averaged about $2.16 a gallon in October, making it the fifth cheapest month in which to travel by car, according to a Penny Hoarder analysis of U.S. Department of Energy data.

Murphy says the end of summer marks the end of peak demand for travel.

“This leads to aggressive pricing, value-added offers and even two-for-one deals the world over,” he said.

Weather

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There’s hardly a place on Earth where the weather is bad in October.

It’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere and autumn in the Northern. There’s no drastic temperature extreme, making it the perfect Goldilocks in-between.

Autumn brings a wave of colorful foliage down the East Coast along with cooler mornings and nights.

It’s too early to ski, but the first snowfall of the season could come early and bring fresh powder from Killington Peak, Vermont, to the Arapahoe Basin, Colorado.

Wanna watch the northern lights dance across the sky? October is one of the best months to witness them from any arctic viewing point including Norway, Iceland and Alaska.

Just don’t expect to see them on an Alaskan cruise — most of those close up shop come October.

Meanwhile, Caribbean cruises and resorts entice brave travelers with discounted rates since it’s the tail end of hurricane season.

Murphy said the threat of bad weather means better deals for you, like the recent volcano eruptions in Hawaii.

Bad news means a great deal… Usually nothing close to how they are actually portraying it, leading to a great deal for you,” he said.

School Is in Session

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Since October is sandwiched between Labor Day and the holidays, most families stay grounded during the month.

More kids in school means smaller crowds at main attractions.

For folks without kids, October is a prime month to travel if you’re looking for quieter experiences or you just want to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter without thousands of middle schoolers around.

It’s also prime time for couples and solo travelers to explore the world without sharing a romantic or individual experience with herds of families on spring and summer vacation.

It’s much harder to travel in October if you have children, but if you do, lines at Disney are shorter and you might be the only family on the shoreline for miles.

Murphy suggests Iceland, Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico.

If you’re looking to stay stateside, big cities like New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas offer stellar deals, while national parks like the Grand Canyon and Shenandoah see fewer crowds but have the same great views.

The 10th month also is home to pumpkins galore, apple pickin’, wine tastin’, Halloween Horror Nights, the return of the monarch butterflies in Big Sur and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Seriously, why are you staying in again??

The Penny Hoarder data journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this post.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. October is her favorite month.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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You Don’t Have to Be Walt Whitman to Win This $1K Poetry Scholarship Contest

Roses are red, violets are blue, and you could win $1,000 by sharing what a mentor meant to you.

Is there someone in your life who has inspired or guided you along the way or assisted in your personal development?

Here’s a chance to pay that person homage and enter to win a $1,000 scholarship toward college.

Power Poetry is holding an “O Captain, My Captain Scholarship Slam” scholarship sweepstakes.

How to Enter the Poetry Scholarship Contest

The contest is open to all current and former high school students who are in college or will attend college within the U.S.  All entrants must be 25 years old or younger to enter.

Before you enter, you must register as a member of the Power Poetry community, which promotes the writing of poetry.

Once that’s done and you’ve composed an ode to your mentor, all you have to do is submit your original poem with a title. That’s it.

The $1,000 scholarship winner is chosen in a random drawing — which means this is more about luck than being a wordsmith. Just keep your submission original and cross your fingers.

The deadline to enter is Oct. 25, 2018.

Check out the contest rules and contact Power Poetry with any questions.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Like our College page on Facebook to discover other scholarship opportunities.

And if you’re looking for even more scholarships to apply for, be sure to check out our list of 100 scholarships that will help you pay for college.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’ll always be thankful for the wisdom and compassion of her mentors.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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A Glut of Retail Jobs Means Higher Pay and Better Benefits for Workers

Major U.S. retailers are scrambling to find workers to fill a record-high number of job openings, and that’s a good thing for current and potential employees.

As the holiday hiring season approaches, job openings in the retail industry are already at record levels. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the retail industry had an unprecedented 835,000 job openings in July — the highest number since the BLS began tracking this statistic in December 2000.

Anticipating a strong holiday season, employers are adding hundreds of thousands of additional seasonal jobs into the mix as well.

Filling these job openings is the biggest hurdle the retail industry faces, according to Evan Armstrong, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. The RILA represents the largest retailers in the U.S. — Walmart, Target, Costco, Walgreens and many others.

The labor shortage is a big problem for retailers. But for average retail workers?

“That’s good news,” Armstrong said. “There are a lot of employers out there competing for them.”

The stiff competition for labor leads to better schedules, wages and benefits for workers. For example, Target, which plans to hire 120,000 additional seasonal workers,  is offering starting hourly wages at $12, with a $500 gift card bonus for workers hired after September.  The company also plans to increase all beginning wages to $15 an hour by 2020.

In June, Costco hiked starting wages to $14 an hour. Both full- and part-time hourly workers are eligible for health care, dental care, dependent care, 401(k) and several other benefits, according to its website.

Gap Inc. announced Monday that it is looking for 65,000 seasonal workers. The company has encouraged job seekers to show up at any Gap Inc. store or distribution center to apply for a job (including its related brands: Banana Republic, Athleta and Old Navy).

“The truth is,” Armstrong said, “there are just not enough people to work all the jobs that are open right now.”

So large companies are trying these creative and innovative methods to attract employees. Armstrong said that they aren’t only competing among themselves, but the retail industry as a whole is competing with the gig economy for labor.

Younger workers, especially, are attracted to the “work-when-you-wanna-work” aspect of the gig economy.

“The gig economy is providing so much more scheduling flexibility,” Armstrong said. “Retail is trying to catch up on that.”

Armstrong thinks that the seasonal benefits retailers are offering could be a play to attract a new wave of employees to remedy the overall labor shortage in the retail sector. Over the past year, retail wage growth has outpaced that of other industries. If the intense competition among retailers continues, employees can expect benefits to keep getting better.

“Retailers are getting folks in the door in the seasonal space,” Armstrong said. “Then they can retain them throughout the rest of next year.”

Adam Hardy is a reporter, editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. He writes about careers for The Penny Hoarder’s Make Money vertical. Read his full bio here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Aldi Instacart Delivery Is Almost Here — Save $10 on Your First 3 Orders

If the idea of spelunking through your car’s cup holders for a quarter or bagging your own groceries (gasp!) is too much for you, you may still be able to score some affordable groceries from Aldi.

After testing delivery via Instacart in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago, the company announced on Sept. 18 that it would roll out the service to all its stores across 35 states by Thanksgiving.

Aldi shoppers ordering groceries via Instacart can request delivery in as little as an hour or as far out as a week after placing their orders. Instacart delivery fees vary, but a release from Aldi said that new Instacart customers can take $10 off their first three Aldi orders of $35 or more by using the code ALDILOVE.

Instacart grocery delivery typically costs between $6 and $12 for orders above $35, depending on demand. You can’t use coupons when you order via Instacart, but that’s not a problem for Aldi shoppers — the store doesn’t offer coupons.

Aldi started its delivery pilot program with Instacart in August 2017. The grocery chain, which is in the midst of an ambitious expansion plan, announced last month it would offer more fresh produce options in its stores.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, covering the retail and grocery industries.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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