On the hunt for a deal that will satisfy your wanderlust? Top-of-the-world peaks, tiger-stalked national parks and tropical escapes rarely come cheap, but choose to travel in November and your money could go as far as you do. Find the affordable adventure for you with our expert tips and recommendations.
Enjoy the clearest skies over the highest Himalaya in Nepal
Crisp, cloud-free, warm, dry – a delight. November is perfect for exploring all of Nepal, from its mountain highs to its jungly lows and the culture-rich ripples in between. In the Kathmandu Valley, 22°C (72°F) days are comfortable for temple touring in Patan and Bhaktapur. Down on the steamy terai (plain), it’s 27°C (81°F) and mud-free, so it’s easier to search for rhinos, tigers and other creatures that lurk therein. Rivers are full countrywide, and offer great rafting for all levels – from the serene Seti to the raging Kali Gandaki. And then there are the mountains: 26,000ft (8000m) peaks soaring into clear blue skies; myriad hiking trails open for business. The main routes, such as the Annapurna Sanctuary, will be busy – good for trekker camaraderie. But choose one of Nepal’s more offbeat routes (Kanchenjunga Base Camp, Upper Dolpo) if you’d prefer to hike away from the crowds.
Trip plan: In two weeks, link the Kathmandu Valley, Chitwan and lakeside Pokhara, incorporating short walks. Multi-day treks, which can be remote, may require longer stays.
Need to know: Practise the traditional Nepali greeting: hold your palms together, say ‘Namaste’ (I salute the god within you).
Through the year: Mar–May: warm, flowers; Jun–Sep: hot, monsoon (Jul–Aug: wettest); Oct–Nov: clear, dry; Dec–Feb: dry, colder.
Experience the unique cultural mix of Puerto Rico
A US ‘unincorporated territory’ and proudly Latino, Puerto Rico brings a unique cultural mix to Caribbean paradise. It has incredible sands – notably on the islands of Vieques and Culebra, where former US navy occupation kept developers away. But there are also Spanish colonial towns, a cave-riddled countryside and swaths of mountainous jungle (viewable via some of the world’s longest zip lines). Deals can be found in pre-peak-season November. While there’s a chance of rain, more likely are lovely 30°C (86°F) days, plus a festive vibe as Puerto Rico readies for its own take on Thanksgiving – here, turkeys get stuffed with mashed plantain.
Trip plan: Explore the alleys of Old San Juan (founded 1521) then head into El Yunque rainforest for hikes. Sail to Vieques to kayak with glowing plankton in Bioluminescent Bay. Take another ferry to offbeat Culebra to explore the wildlife refuge. Return to the main island, travelling to lively second city, Ponce. Veer into the mountains (stay at a highland retreat), then surf at Rincón. Return to San Juan via the caves of Karst Country. Intersperse beach time. Allow two weeks.
Need to know: Kayak in Bioluminescent Bay around new moon, when skies are darkest.
Through the year: May–Jun: quieter, hottest; Jul–Oct: wettest; Nov: warm, cheaper; Dec–Apr: dry, busy.
Head to Florida for parks and recreation
Whether you’re interested in real animals or cartoon ones, November is a fine time to visit the Sunshine State. It’s the start of the dry season, so it’s ideal for biking, air-boating and canoeing in the wildlife-filled Everglades without the nuisance of bugs. However, if you’d rather see Goofy than alligators, November is good for that too. Orlando’s hotels tend to be cheaper and theme parks quieter this month (aside from the period around Thanksgiving). That means potential financial savings and less time spent queuing at Disney World, Universal Studios and the like – you might also see the Christmas decorations and shows, without the December crowds. And although winter is approaching, the temperature is still a delight (26°C; 79°F), so Florida’s beaches remain tempting too.
Trip plan: Spend a week indulging your inner child at Orlando’s theme parks and a week elsewhere: the Gulf of Mexico coast for white beaches and Cape Canaveral; southern Florida for Miami and the Everglades; or a drive from Miami down through the Florida Keys.
Need to know: Miami to Orlando is a one-hour flight, four-hour drive or seven-hour train ride.
Through the year: Jan–Apr: cool/warm, quieter; May–Sep: hot, busy, wet; Oct–Nov: dry, warm, uncrowded; Dec: dry, cool, busy.
Indulge in some temperate touring around Rajasthan, India’s regal state
Rajasthan is the India of your imagination: colourful, chaotic, pulsating, exotic; with tigers, temples, palaces and bazaars. It’s the ideal choice for India first-timers, and is superb in November, when days are dry and sunny but not oppressively hot (29°C; 84°F). Begin in sense-assaulting Delhi, then head to Rajasthan’s three major cities: bustling pink-painted Jaipur; cobalt-blue Jodhpur, with its clifftop fort; and whitewashed Udaipur, which sits by Lake Pichola. En route lies Ranthambore National Park, where tigers stalk amid jungle and medieval ruins. Further west lies Jaisalmer, a desert citadel in the Thar Desert. Near Delhi, but just outside Rajasthan, is Agra, home to the unmissable Taj Mahal.
Trip plan: With one week, combine Delhi, Jaipur and Agra by train or private car, with a quick stop at the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. With 10 days, add Ranthambore. With two weeks, include Udaipur and Jodhpur. Ideally allow three.
Need to know: November sees thousands of decorated dromedaries gather at the Pushkar Camel Fair; Diwali sometimes falls this month too.
Through the year: Apr–Jun: very hot, humid; Jul–Sep: hot, wet, monsoon; Oct–Mar: warm, dry, sunny.
Article first published September 2017, and last update September 2019
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our book Where To Go When for 360 ultimate escapes from family-friendly adventures to animal encounters and relaxing retreats.