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Aaarrgh, where did summer go?

D'oh! I forgot to travel! (courtesy kjarrett at Flickr Creative Commons)It’s embarrassing to be a travel writer who forgets to travel.

I looked up this morning and school was starting; where did the summer go?

We took a short road trip to Houston, and the kids visited the nearby Schlitterbahn water park a couple of times, but that was about it.

What’s up with that?

I didn’t have plans for anything elaborate this summer, not with gas at $4/gallon and air travel such a misery, but I did intend to take a series of short one- or two-night family road trips.

As my teen would say….FAIL.

Still, I’ve been at this travel business for awhile, and I’ve learned that the vast majority of the planet will still be there when I get around to getting into the car or onto a plane.

Summer is beastly hot anyway, at least here in my home state of Texas, so another way to look at it is that the best season for travel is coming up right now.

Plan now for fall travel

Every year at about this time, it dawns on me that I should get ahead of the game for fall family travel.

When the kids come home with those enormous mounds of paper from their school, pull out the 2008-2009 school calendar and starting noting holiday/teacher workday dates (or look it up on the school Web site, of course.) Get those puppies down on your family calendar NOW, and start planning some short weekend fall getaways.

If your school observes Columbus Day, (October 13th this year) that’s an oft-forgotten holiday that’s good for a short trip.

Veterans Day in November works well, too; perhaps visit a nearby battlefield or historic fort?

It’s certainly not too late to lock in some Thanksgiving or even Christmas plans right now, because I assure you, airfare is only going to go up. Book now.

Get out of town, or out of the country, for Thanksgiving

Sometimes, holidays are even better when your family can enjoy them away from home.

If I could swing the cash, I’d make plans to go to Europe, Canada or somewhere in Latin America for Thanksgiving – November is an excellent time to travel, because it isn’t so crowded and you can often score airfare/hotel package deals.

Take a look at Budget Travel Real Deals, BootsnAll’s Cheap Travel Scout or Go-Today.com (I used them to go to Hong Kong and Tokyo) for opportunities.

See, I didn’t miss the travel season; I’m just in time and so are you!

Are you way ahead of me, with some fall trips already planned?  Let us know about it in the comments!