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How far ahead do you plan your vacation? (frivolous post)

How far ahead do you plan your vacation? (frivolous post)

May 10th, 2003, 04:21 PM
  #1  
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How far ahead do you plan your vacation? (frivolous post)

I often read posts that say "Sept 2004 we are going to Paris," etc. I'm just curious how far ahead do you plan, and to what extent? Do you do all your research on hotels & itineraries then implement later? Do you find it sustains you until the next vacation? I pretty much can only go abroad once a year, and I just got back from vacation. I am dying to start planning my next one!
Bnice is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 04:26 PM
  #2  
 
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Usually one the way home from one vacation, we will start planning the next. Usually, we go away on a big trip, twice a year, small ones all through the year. The BIG ones (Europe/Mexico) we usually plan several months ahead.
We (I) do all the research, book our own hotels, flights and itineraries.
It sort of sustains me until the next trip, but I do get depressed if I have to wait very long
Right now we are thinking of where we want to go Thanksgiving, this would be the first Thanksgiving we have ever gone away instead of home with a big turkey and family.
Scarlett is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 04:27 PM
  #3  
 
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I'm not as fortunate as you to be able to go abroad yearly. However, if I'm able to go then I plan at least one year in advance. It can be even more in advance as it depends on when I start dreaming about the next trip.

Most of the research is done on hotels as that's most fun for me. I don't care about itineraries.

Happy travels to you.
francophile03 is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 05:33 PM
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I try to go to Europe every other year. I get home from a trip,write a trip report,take a break from travel and fodors, although I still read my travel magazines, then start planning about a year ahead. I just got on fodors again because I went to Europe for a month last year and plan to go next year! I plan everything myself and get a travel agent to book what I want. WT
WanderingTexan is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 05:45 PM
  #5  
 
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I plan 6 months to a year in advance. Was in UK last fall. Going again in June. I have family over there. Next year I hope to go to Poland. Half the fun is in the planning. I hope to start my own travel business bringing Brits over here. I've found a nitch. 27 days to go!
chrisp is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 06:13 PM
  #6  
 
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We try to travel spring and fall. So, the planning cycle is 6 months and perpetual.
bobthenavigator is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 06:17 PM
  #7  
 
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I start thinking about the next trip as soon as one is over but I don't seriously start planning until 6 weeks before. That includes buying plane tickets, and hotel and car reservations, and of course, lining someone up to take care of the cats.
usbeauty is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 06:17 PM
  #8  
 
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my last overseas trip was in march...i am currently working on germany, austria, czech rep for nov/dec and also nearly completed venice/florence for march 04 and out further i am starting to think about thailand/laos for fall, 04.
rhkkmk is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 06:41 PM
  #9  
 
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Will be in Prague in November, so planning for that right now. However, I am also scheduling the Hungary/Romania/Bugaria trip my wife and I are taking May '04.

What can I say, this is my hobby!
ehazard is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 06:52 PM
  #10  
 
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I always start planning one year's trip even before the current one has taken place. If using FF miles for flights which is the usual, then I need to be ready to book the flights 11 months before going, which means I already need to know when and where I'll be going. So, for example it is now May and I'll soon be leaving on this year's trip, but I'm already looking at next summer -- so I can book each leg of the journey 11 months ahead.
Patrick is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 07:27 PM
  #11  
 
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Ditto Patrick. I need to buy my tickets in the next 60 days so I can use my FF miles for the trip next year.
WanderingTexan is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 07:55 PM
  #12  
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I have been going to Europe, usually the UK, once or twice a year since 1993. Next trip I leave on May 28. I started thinking about going around April 15, I got my passport photo on the 21st, submitted my passport application on the 22nd, bought my plane ticket on the 24th and started planning on the 25th. This is more compressed than usual, normally I would start planning two months in advance.

I always thought it would be great to fly free with FF points but I now see it is a good thing I have to pay for my own tickets. I could not imagine having to get tickets 11 months in advance.
ron is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 09:24 PM
  #13  
 
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Hmm, I think it may depend on what "planning" means. With still being part of the active work force and still on other people's schedules, we can't travel as often as we'd like.

We will likely travel to Australia later this year and do some mountain driving between Sydney and Melbourne. Oz is my wife's homeland so I don't think of it in terms of planning so much. But, I have been actively planning a trip sometime next year for Italy.

By planning though, I think in terms of itineraries. 3 days here, 2 days there. Hotels, we don't work out until a month or two before as we don't travel in high season.

But, if planning includes research stuff, well, I'm really pathetic in that area. I roughly figured out the other day that I have at least 40 countries where I know there are significant places I would dearly love to sit and gawk at before my time is up. And I sit and read, think, prioritize, file and re-file these wonders of nature and mankind over and over again in preparation for some future trip. Is that planning or just addiction? I don't know. But my wife just bought us a guide book on Japan over this past week. Looks like I'm up to 41 countries now. Hmmm...
Clifton is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 10:03 PM
  #14  
 
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It is an ongoing process...Book 1 holiday, and start researching the next 10!! I usually book around 6 months prior and then start planning where to go next...Continuous research though!!
TracyB is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 10:14 PM
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Wow. I'm so impressed so many of you are able to travel so often. My husband and I love Europe but got a bit sidetracked by having 2 children, rebuilding our house, etc. I guess you could say we've been planning for 15 years. I'm thrilled to say we're going this summer!
KathrynT is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 10:46 PM
  #16  
lyb
 
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I see a pattern, many of us seem to be continuously planning the next trip. I haven't even gone on my trip this year, Italy in late June, and I'm already trying to decide where to next?

Actively I probably start 6 - 8 months in advance, reading about the area, figuring out what I want to do, with a tour or on my own. Basically, I'm always planning!!!
lyb is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 10:52 PM
  #17  
 
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I'm a bit like TraceyB, in that its something of an ongoing process. For our annual summer holiday, we found our "personal heaven" about 12 years ago and have been going back to the same place ever since, so there's not much planning involved in that. But since accommodation is fairly limited there, we usually get it booked up about 8 or 9 months in advance to be sure of staying where we want to.

In between, we tend to take a couple of city breaks a year nowadays and plan these maybe 3 months or so in advance.

Then there's our "big trips" to the far east every few years, which we start planning about 2 years in advance! Our next one is in April 2004 and we're planning to confirm our bookings this week.
Xenos is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 05:02 AM
  #18  
hdw
 
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I like to think about and read about traveling all the time. I like to seriously plan one trip at a time but tend to have several in mind. Right now I'm planning an Italian trip and am awaiting travel books in the mail so I can plan an upcoming spain (maybe portugal trip). Both trips are happening this summer.
hdw is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 05:41 AM
  #19  
 
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I normally begin to plan at least 6 months before.

After 2 aborted planned trips to Spain we suddenly booked last night for 3 weeks from now.

A lot of work to be done.
Myer is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 05:45 AM
  #20  
 
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I'm planning a trip to Italy with my teenaged children in May 2004 and I've got the whole thing pretty much planned out with a few glitches that are driving me crazy but I think I really ought to wait till closer before worrying too much about it. I can't even get that dates on most hotel and airpline web sites that far in advance!

And reading all this makes me REALLY want to go to Paris (had originally thought I might squeeze in Paris with the Italy trip but there was too much in Italy to see) so now I'm reading about Paris, though it may be 3 or 4 years after this Italy trip before I can save up for that. Heh. Maybe I should wait until the kids are gone and go by myself...

Joelle
Joelleinitaly04 is offline  

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