Header image courtesy of Annie Spratt (via Unsplash)
November is a great month in which to travel. The weather in most places isn’t scorching anymore, but if you don’t quite want to let summer go yet, you can still jet off to lots of destinations with warm climes. It’s also not a peak season for travelling, which means your checklist from flights to accommodation are all likely to be more affordable than over the traditional holiday periods of December and January. If you’ve still got AL days stashed away, read on to find out how you can make the best of your time and money for travel! We’ve rounded up the best cheap travel ideas and destinations for November.
Go full-on Eat, Pray, Love and take a trip to Bali to revitalise both your mind and body. The rainy season is from December to March, so visit Bali in November before the weather gets awful. As Indonesia is a tropical country, the average temperature will be a toasty 31 degrees celsius. Kuta Beach is too touristy for our tastes, so we’d recommend Pemuteran, where you can laze around on the beach of black sand, and snorkel or take dips in the sea as and when you feel like it. For a spot of spiritualism, visit the serene Ulun Danu Beratan Temple on Bratan Lake, or bathe in the healing waters of Tirta Empul. At time of publishing, the cheapest return flights to Bali for a three-day trip was priced at $1,692.
Italy in November is much more welcoming than in the height of summer, so it really is the perfect time to put on your comfy shoes and traipse up and down the cobblestoned streets of Roma. It’s not peak tourist season either, so you’ll have fewer queues and crowds around to get annoyed at. Imagine actually being able to enjoy Piazza Navona in peace! If you manage to make the trip before the second Saturday of the month, head to the nearby town of Rocca Canterano and take part in the unusual Festival of the Horned Man (Festa del Cornuto). People decked out in costumes and horns (signalling being cuckolded) will dramatically tell of how they have been betrayed in love. Leave it to the Italians to jazz up a festival with such sad undertones! At time of publishing, the cheapest return flights to Rome for a week-long trip was priced at $3,051.
Myanmar’s rainy season will just have neared its end in November, so the city of Yangon will still be hot, but not the kind of blistering that will leave you resembling a boiled lobster. If you’ve always admired the golden spikes of Shwedagon Pagoda on Instagram travel accounts, now’s your chance to see it in person, and also pop by Bogyoke Park, which isn’t far from the pagoda. Alternatively, take the circle line train, which loops from one end of the city to the other in a three-hour journey; the train gets increasingly packed with locals and their fruits, vegetables, and other such ware, and makes for a unique experience. Street food in Yangon is on par with Bangkok’s offerings, and can be had at even cheaper prices! At time of publishing, the cheapest return tickets to Yangon for a five-day trip over a weekend was priced at $1,713.
Most people go to Dalat during December for the Flower Festival, which means the off-peak season of November will make for a cheaper visit. With its year-long temperate mountainous climate, Dalat is the place to go to if you want to prolong the sunny weather while still keeping it cool. Make a point of visiting the Hang Nga Guesthouse (more commonly known as the Crazy House), which is worlds apart from the French colonial villas dominating Dalat. This is more like a bizarre, avant-garde art piece, with spiralling staircases, bridges, hidden nooks, and flowing lines. Think modernist master Antoni Gaudí’s work—if he’s fallen down the rabbit hole into Alice’s Wonderland and then had nature reclaim half of the architecture. You can visit Crazy House for a fee, but we’d recommend checking if rooms are available for a unique, psychedelic experience. At time of publishing, the cheapest return tickets to Dalat for a four-day trip was priced at $1,256.
If you’re not quite ready to let go of summer yet, jetting off to sunny Philippines should be a no-brainer. Cebu is great for its idyllic beaches, and we can already envision lazing on the sand to deepen our tan while the rest of Hong Kong is breaking out their winter wear. The adrenaline junkies could also go to the Kawasan Falls for some cliff jumping or canyoneering. Throw in some bagnet (twice-fried pork) or halo-halo (shaved ice with various toppings) to cool down, and we have ourselves a winner of a vacation. Check out the Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa, with its very own marine sanctuary, as a hotel option. At time of publishing, the cheapest return flights to Cebu for a three-day trip was priced at $1,565.
Break away from the touristy cities of Shanghai and Beijing and venture to the river city of Yangzhou. Famed for its crisscrossed network of canals and waterways, it only makes sense to stroll along the Xiaoqinhuaihe Canal in the city centre and visit the Slender West Lake, a slim lake northwest of the city centre designed after the West Lake in Hangzhou. Yangzhou is also famous for Chinese folk arts, so see if you can check out a Yangzhou opera or a puppet show.At time of publishing, the cheapest return flights to Yangzhou for a five-day trip was priced at $654.
Fans of winter will love that SoKo is already well on its way into the cold season. Just a quick and affordable flight from Hong Kong lies a world of warming samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup), amusing drunken noraebang (karaoke), and long-legged oppas awaiting your arrival. The more historically-inclined should visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace, where you can wander the golden-leaved halls of carved wood in the traditional Korean hanbok garments and contemplate life as a member of the imperial family in ancient Joseon. November already marks the start of their skiing season, so you could even head to Bears Town or Jisan Forest Resort in the nearby Gyeonggi-do and hit the slopes. At time of publishing, the cheapest return flights to Seoul for a four-day trip over a weekend was priced at $852.
Everybody in Hong Kong is always off to Taipei, which is a great and cheap travel destination, but Taichung, as Taiwan’s second-largest city, is filled with just as many things for visitors to see and do. Stroll through the colourful Rainbow Village—painted over by one nostalgic grandpa who refused to leave his home when developers came in and tried to buy up the land—and the Zhongshe Flower Market, which is bursting with beautiful blooms, water features, and photo ops.Don’t forget to check out Animation Alley, a set of alleys in downtown Taichung covered with street art and murals featuring the likes of One Piece anime characters, Looney Tunes, and Super Mario. Of course, make sure to grab some bubble tea and pineapple tarts before you leave!At time of publishing, the cheapest return flights to Taichung for a ten-day trip was priced at $985.