I have clients ask quite often, “When should we book a vacation?”
The short answer is: It depends!
The long answer I will break down into parts:
Flight Price Increases
In a previous article I discussed why and how airfare pricing changes. You NEVER want to wait until the last-minute (2 weeks or less) to book an international flight. Flight prices will be extremely high and the flight schedules are not usually great resulting in long layovers or even overnight layovers. I suggest booking your flight no less than 3 months before your departure date. UNLESS you are traveling to a remote destination, like: the Cook Islands, the Galapagos Islands, the island of Grenada, etc. These destinations have limited flight schedules. For these remote destinations I suggest booking no less than 6 months from your departure date.
Where are you Traveling?
As a rule of thumb I suggest booking your accommodations 4-6 months in advance in destinations that receive a large amount of tourists. For those destinations that are remote, be sure to book 6-9 months in advance. UNLESS you want a specific hotel. If you want a specific hotel you should book as soon as you know that you are going on vacation. Don’t forget that other people in the world are traveling, so you are competing with Europe, Asia, and India for seats on a plane and rooms in a hotel.
What Time of Year are you Traveling?
Major holidays are the busiest travel times and will be more expensive for all travel-related items. Major holidays include: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, and Spring Break week.
In general, I suggest booking at least 9 months in advance of departure for these busy traveling times.
Do you Need to Budget?
This area is where I can really help my clients. Many times I set up my clients on an in-office payment plan. There is no interest in these plans and no extra fees. It’s my way of helping clients meet their vacation goals. In these cases I suggest getting your deposit down as soon as possible and locking all travel components in place. Then, my clients make the decision on monthly or bi-monthly payments. It really is that simple! Several of my clients choose this option so that they don’t have to remember to pay another monthly bill on time. I always let clients know when the payment will be made and they get a receipt after payment.
So, it’s not easy to answer the question “When should I book a vacation?” There are a lot of factors to consider. Don’t hesitate to send an email or call me in the office with questions about your own vacation! You can contact me here or call 1-812-477-8833 ext 317.