There are all types of planners. Planning a vacation a year in advance comes easily for some, while others wait until weeks before to plan a getaway. For some types of trips, either method will work as long as you are willing to be flexible. I recently had a woman call my office you wanted to travel to Mexico in three weeks time. Her children did not have passports. See wanted an all-inclusive style resort, so I suggested that we look at options for Club Med Sandpiper, in Florida. She was unaware of this options, but by contacting a professional, and staying flexible, we were able to tailor a short vacation to suit her needs.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages for time tables to keep in mind, when planning your next travel experience.
If your destination is popular or has limited space or both, you will certainly want to plan ahead. For example, a cruise to Alaska. The window for travel to Alaska on a cruise ship is short. May – September. Space for these ships opens up about 18 months in advance and they do fill up. If you want a specific cabin location, such as n unobstructed balcony, you need to book early. The limited travel window, makes space in high-demand. Last minute travelers are left with little or no options to sail.
Some domestic location trips can be made with just a few weeks notice. If you want to travel to Las Vegas, Phoenix or Nashville, you will not need such a large booking window prior to travel. These types of destinations have many rooms available and daily flights. Be aware of common holidays and school vacations, such as mid-winter break, which is typically the week after President’s day in February, spring break – the weeks before and after Easter and of course Thanksgiving and Christmas. Destinations popular with families, such as Disney and beach locations, will fill up 6 to 9 months in advance. For best selection and pricing book early.
Is your thinking about a trip to the South Pacific, Australia or New Zealand? Their seasons oar opposite of ours, which mean that they are on summer holiday from November to January. This makes traveling there during those months high season. Many Aussies and Kiwis take trips to the South Pacific islands during these months as well, so demand is high. Book early. I reasonable time to travel down under is what is called the shoulder season. Their spring and fall months. Looking to ski in July? New Zealand is a great option.
For most destinations, six to nine month planning windows are optimal. Air flights can be purchased 330 days prior to travel. If you plan to use frequent flyer miles, book those tickets at the 330 day mark.
Using a travel professional to help you plan the details of your trip will simplify the planning process and save you time and money, so that you can anticipate your journey while letting someone else worry about the details.