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Are you the type to bust out the pumpkin apple spice candles on Sept. 1, regardless of the weather? Are you sweating underneath that knit jumper and fur-lined boots? Do you have squash soup and white chicken chili simmering in your slow cooker? Don’t worry — we can totally relate. If you can’t wait for Halloween 2019, why not channel some of your spooky energy toward planning an adventure to one of the best Halloween bashes in the U.S.? Here are a few we think you should consider this year, as well as the best airport hubs to fly into:
Las Vegas: Fly Southwest to LAS
What sounds better than burlesque on the Strip, am I right? Hit up Vegas this Halloween for a ghoulishly good time. Get yourself to Fremont Street, aptly renamed Freakmont Street, for the season and check out some of the special shows and events.
The 12-hour Rock of Horror Halloween Party runs from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., starting on Halloween day, and there will be free live entertainment on three different stages.
Head to the 3rd Street Stage for the Wicked Dreams production, a free show that involves singing, dancing and aerial acrobatics.
Then, make sure you’re around for nightly Viva Vision light shows at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Bust out your best moves to the likes of "Thriller," "Monster Mash" and my personal favorite, "Time Warp."
Orlando: Fly Southwest or Allegiant to MCO
Orlando always comes in strong when it comes to the entertainment industry, and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is consistently lauded as a premier Halloween event. It’s important to note that HHN is not for the faint of heart and is officially not recommended for children under 13.
The event started on Sept. 6 and runs through Nov. 2, enhancing your Universal experience with 10 terrifying haunted houses and five horrifying scare zones throughout the streets. This year, HHN is keeping it traditional with an emphasis on classic monsters like vampires and zombies. Universal has also partnered with Netflix to feature inspiration from "Stranger Things." If you love scaring and being scared, you can’t miss Halloween Horror Nights 2019.
NYC: Fly United to EWR or Delta to JFK/LGA
Is it even a holiday in New York City if there isn’t a parade? This year, the 46th annual Village Halloween Parade is happening on Halloween evening at 7 p.m., with this year’s theme being “WILD THING!” Join Grand Marshall Zohra, The Giant Spider and master puppeteer Basil Twist for a creative, colorful Halloween celebration.
To participate in this event, you have a couple of options: You can join spectators on 6th Avenue north of Spring Street to 16th Street for a view of the parade. However, if you’d like to get more involved, anybody is free to march in the general lineup — the only requirement is a costume!
If you would rather skip the massive cattle call for the general lineup, you can purchase tickets to march alongside any one of the 35 bands performing in the parade. The best deal, though, is the Theme section. If you wear a costume that is on-brand for the parade, you can purchase a $25 advance ticket to march in the theme section of the parade and then join an in-parade party. If you ask me, that’s the way to go!
Rehoboth Beach: Fly American to PHL
And now for something completely unexpected: Delaware. Each year, Rehoboth Beach hosts a unique Halloween weekend festival called the Sea Witch Festival. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Sea Witch Festival, a family-friendly event that includes a costume parade, dog parade, trick-or-treating, beach games, a 5K race, fiddlers, vendors, local artisans, horse shows and live entertainment.
This is perfect for folks looking for some good, clean family fun. The festival is Oct. 25-27 this year, so head to the East Coast to hop on a hayride, learn how to make your own Halloween slime or enter a broom-tossing contest.
Salem: Fly JetBlue or Delta to BOS
Perhaps the most obvious choice for Sanderson sisters at heart, Salem, Massachusetts, is the perfect Halloween home base. Salem doesn’t just come alive on Allhallows Eve, it’s abuzz with events and activities throughout the entire month of October.
Known for the infamous Salem Witch Trials in 1692, Salem keeps its witchy vibe throughout the year but especially in autumn.
Start your journey at the Salem Witch Museum to learn about the town’s rich history, then join a city walking tour through the haunted village streets. Salem does have a few dedicated October attractions, such as the Salem Time Machine, which includes both a history walk and a haunted house. Spooky Salem has something for every age and scare tolerance, making it a great family destination this October.
Now that you know where you’d like to go, make sure you’re maximizing the value of your trip. If you book your airfare, accommodations and tickets with your Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll not only earn 3 or 2 points per $1 spent, respectively, but you’ll be entitled to travel insurances that will cover you and your family for the entirety of your trip. Points are redeemable through Chase Ultimate Rewards. With Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you also get an annual $300 travel credit, which you could redeem for airfare or hotel accommodations. Whatever you decide, we wish you a safe, frugal and fun Halloween this year!
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you Chase Sapphire Preferred review: A must-have for travelers Chase Sapphire Reserve review: A first-class premium travel card