how far in advance should you start planning your next vacation with your travel advisor?
to allow your advisor to secure the best options for you, here are some suggestions on how far in advance to plan for different types of travel.
TRAVEL TIPSTRAVEL PLANNING
when it comes to planning travel, it's generally recommended to start planning at least a few months in advance. this allows your advisor to secure the best options on flights, accommodations, and activities, and make any necessary arrangements needed. however, if you're traveling during peak season or to a particularly popular destination, it may be wise to start planning even further in advance to ensure availability and avoid price hikes. so, the average rule of thumb is 3-6 months in advance. but, there are plenty of reasons why you should allow 6-9 months, or more for more elaborate, or important travel arrangements to come to life.
spring-break, summer & any holiday weekend that includes an extra day off is one of the most popular times for travel, so 3-6 months in advance is the minimum amount of time you should begin to plan. if there is little to no flexibility on those dates, like during spring break & long weekend travel, the further out the better. however, this ultimately depends on where you are planning to travel. if you are planning on going to a warm beach location such as florida, hawaii, the bahamas, or mexico, then closer to 6 months in advance is going to be your best bet. however, if you want to take a road-trip around the pacific northwest, you can likely get by with 3-4 months in advance.
holiday season travel:
holiday is one of the most popular times of year to travel. the sunday of thanksgiving weekend is the number one traveled day by airplane in the united states and travel peaks during that time until the new year. travelers are not only going home to visit family, but families are going on trips all over the world to take the time they have off to be together. the types of travel during the holiday season is very diverse! so, do yourself a favor and plan these trips out well in advance! i suggest 9-12 months in advance. you might think that sounds a bit extreme, but especially if international travel is involved, just getting the ball rolling is going to help. some countries require 6 months validity with passports and there are a lot of rules that are in the process of being changed when it comes to international travel. for example, did you know us citizens will need to apply for & secure travel authorization to enter the uk as early as the end of 2023? so, while you’re with your family for the holidays, start thinking – where is next year’s trip going to be and connect with your advisor so they can keep that on their radar and start to plan!
i tend to see two extremes with honeymooners! the “I AM SO EXCITED TO GO ON MY HONEYMOON!!!!” honeymooners that get ahold of me to start planning right away when they get engaged, 18+ months in advance, and that is fantastic – the more time the better! or, i get the “WHOOPSIE, OUR WEDDING IS IN TWO MONTHS AND WE DID NOT PLAN A HONEYMOON. SOS! HELP! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!” honeymooners who thought they would be able to plan it themselves. but after life, a lack of time and ya know, planning that little thing they have going on (a wedding!) they did not have time to figure out which resort was best, or they did – but it sold out. which, i am here to tell you, sometimes the resorts are not actually sold out, so absolutely reach out to an advisor in this case because they like to hold some rooms for us! however, my suggestion is to plan your honeymoon 12-18 months in advance! this way you are not feeling any sort of pressure between life, planning your wedding and planning your honeymoon. as a travel advisor, i like to make sure i am keeping the level of communication at the way my honeymooners like so i am not overwhelming them, or making them feel in the dark as this time in their life should be enjoyable – not hectic! [if you need to create an amazon registry, here is a link!]
the importance with international travel is making sure you are fully prepared with everything you need. So, before you even begin - do you have a valid passport with at least 3-6 months validity based on the country you’d like to visit? if so, you are squared away, and 6-9 months in advance is the suggested amount of time to start your international travel plans. additionally, cross check if it’s over peak travel times, then the further out the better!
this category, while is going to have a lot of similarities to international travel, peak travel, etc., (and is likely going to include those categories) - is one of the most complex types of travel to logistically plan for our clients. ensuring every flight, transfer, accommodation, activity and minor detail is accounted for takes a lot of time and effort to not only research but get booked and organized for our clients. this type of travel should absolutely be planned out 9-12 months in advance! that way you are getting a well-planned and organized trip! i love to create these types of trips, they are so exciting for me – but i also want to make sure they are the best experience, and having a bit extra time to make that happen is necessary.
hopefully this helps you determine the best time to start planning that trip you want to take! but, a great rule of thumb is, the earlier the better! reach out to me today, to start planning your next trip!