How Far in Advance Should I Plan My Trip?
One of your friends casually mentions they’re planning a winter holiday. Perhaps your initial reaction is: What, it isn’t even really summer yet! But then you start to consider it may actually be a good idea to plan that far ahead. Today, we’ll tackle the tricky travel question: How far in advance you should plan a trip?
Factors to Consider
When it comes to planning a vacation, many factors come into play that may help you determine how far ahead you need to make bookings and firm plans.
- Where: First, consider the destination. If you’re going halfway around the globe, securing flights far in advance (about the six-month range) is advisable. However, if you’re travelling within the country or continent, sticking within the four-month range is do-able.
- Season: Some destinations are very seasonal and get booked months in advance. Consider the small, colonial town of Antigua, Guatemala, for example. Known for its religious processions, the city is a flurry of activity during Holy Week and Easter. Hotels get booked full several months in advance there, when other times of the year they may be empty. Christmas and New Years are often busy times anywhere you travel as well.
- Budget: For those who need to know how much they’ll be spending to incorporate it into their budget, planning ahead can be very helpful. But, remember while you’re doing your research that prices in the travel world are always subject to change. This applies in particular to flights. While there are sometimes last-minute deals, it’s better to plan ahead so that you can get exactly what you want, and deserve, on your vacation.
The bottom line? As a general rule, start planning your next trip at least six months ahead of time. But, it’s best to consult with a travel specialist who can help you with the specifics of destinations, seasons, costs and availability.