The lure of lower prices and fewer crowds have convinced 68% of respondents to plan a trip before Thanksgiving, according to a recent Orbitz survey of 750 U.S. travelers.

The top spots for travelers to head this fall are Las Vegas, New York and Chicago according to Orbitz Shoulder Season Insider Index, which ranks the most popular fall destinations based on hotel bookings. Disney destinations Orlando and Orange Country also made the list, while international locales London and Paris rounded out the top 10.

Other highlights from the Orbitz Fall Travel Insider Index and Fall Travel Survey include:

  • 68% of respondents plan to take a vacation after Labor Day and before Thanksgiving, bucking the misconception that fall is a down period for leisure travel
  • Las Vegas tops the list as the top fall travel destination, driven by budget-friendly hotel rates of $105/night and the busy college football and NFL season in the sports books
  • 39% of survey respondents deem fall the most economical time of year to travel, followed by summer (23%), winter (20%) and spring (18%)
  • As the election heats up, Washington D.C. offers affordable prices – $144/night for a hotel and average airfare of $320

“There used to be a misconception that the leisure travel season ended after Labor Day, but now we’re seeing people really embrace fall as the perfect time to vacation,” said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior travel editor for Orbitz.com.  “Not only are you avoiding the crowds you find during the busier summer months but in many places you can grab really amazing savings, especially in beach or mountain locales where you’ll find a slight dip in temperature but a huge drop in price.”

Because mountain and beach destinations offer the most bang for the buck during shoulder season, Orbitz pulled price data to find popular spots where travelers can save up to 56% off what they would pay during peak periods.

[Source:  “Orbitz Fall Travel Insider Index and Fall Travel Survey.”  Orbitz.  2 Oct. 2012.  Web.  2 Oct. 2012.]