Did you make a resolution to travel more in the new year? If so, now’s the time to plan your vacations! You don’t need to design your full itinerary right away, but there are some things you’ll want to book ahead to ensure things run smoothly. Follow these travel tips to achieve the vacation of your 2017 dreams.
1. Find the prime airfare booking window
CheapAir analyzes over a billion airfares each year to help travelers find the “prime booking window.” They’ve discovered that the cheapest average time to book a domestic flight in 2015 was 54 days before your flight. For international flights, the best price was available anywhere from 70 to 320 days ahead of time. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to book flights between three weeks and four months in advance, erring on the earlier side for longer distance travel.
The exception to this rule: Flights during busy times of year like Thanksgiving or spring break tend to fill up fast, so make sure to book early for peak travel periods.
2. Pick the right days to buy and fly
Ready to book those tickets first thing on Monday morning? Wait a day. Research shows that Tuesday is both the least expensive day of the week to fly and one of the least expensive times to buy plane tickets. Tuesday should become any travel lover’s favorite day of the week!
3. Book excursions right away
If you know that you definitely want to go on that zip lining adventure or get seats on that popular safari everybody’s raving about, book it right away. Other travelers likely have the same idea as you, so beat them to the punch by booking these kinds activities ASAP.
4. Pick hotels early
Like activities, be sure to book your accommodations well in advance, particularly if you’ve a specific hotel or resort in mind. Many hotels require a credit card hold, but most won’t charge you until after you arrive — so book early to get the best available rooms. Just be sure to ask if they have a cancellation policy in case your plans change.
5. Plan out restaurant reservations
If you have a specific restaurant and day in mind, it’s best to reserve your space early, especially if that day is a holiday or special occasion. For popular destinations, reservations might disappear more quickly than you think. For instance, at Walt Disney World Resorts, you can make table reservations up to six months in advance, and it’s advised to do so.
When it comes to travel, it pays to be proactive. Planning your vacation in advance helps ensure that you save money and have the most options available. That way, you can focus on enjoying your travels. Do you have any of your own travel tip that you swear by? Share them with us in the Facebook comments!