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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 11th, 2003, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 305
We generally start planning about 15 months before a European or other major trip (Australia). Usually we go with another couple and do independent traveling so we need to lock up dates. The first 3 months are developing the itinerary (locations, driving times, number of nights per stop, flight dates). This requires the research on what we generally want to do at each stop. (Current trip is 25 days and 12 stops) Since we usually try to go on frequent flyers, we need to know all that before the 11.5 month time frame for availability of flying as soon as they open the seats.

At 1 year I start researching accomodations.

About 9 months before I periodically start booking hotel reservations (first are first and last nights, then smaller B&Bs, and popular sites. Usually all booked by about 3 months before. At 3 months reserve seats, reserve car. 1 month before, finalize driving trip tics, day itineraries.

I truly believe the planning is half the fun!
MGB is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,579
Frivolous answer: I don't buy green bananas. Sorry.

We do very little detailed planning and don't think about the next trip until we actually buy a plane ticket. Because the dollar was so strong for a few years and the airlines offering such low fares we've taken the opportunity to take more trips. Our trips are city centered and we generally make hotel reservations thru the airline at the same time we buy tickets.

We never make restaurant reservations. We prefer to just find some place spontaneously and have seldom been disappointed. That's one of the advantages of two happily married traveling alone.

My wife and I are both avid readers and you could say we've been preparing for each trip our entire lives. So we have a list of things to do that will appeal to us. Sometimes we repeat things we've done before - always the British Museum and National Gallery in London and Musee d'Orsay in Paris. Sometimes new things, Basilique St. Denis and Viaduc des Arts in Paris and Sir John Sloane's Museum in London.

We are very relaxed travelers.

jsmith is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 10:50 AM
Posts: n/a
Great, great travel question....and yes to all your questions.

We usually plan two vacations ahead; i.e. our May and November vacations have been in the works since January when we returned from Puerto Rico. May tickets are purchased the latest by March. November tickets are purchased by August-September. Lodging is settle 5-6 weeks prior. Itineraries are obviously settle 5-6 weeks prior as well. Our May trip did change; we switched a French Wine Tour for a tour of some Western States (CO-WY-SD-ND-NE-MT). Can't wait!!
May 11th, 2003, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 507
It has been a long 15 months. But we leave June 15th. 6 of us, 3 generations. Off to gay Paree (you can tell which generation I am!), then barging in the south, and then a bit of Provence. Got an apartment, train tix, barge, hotels, more train tix... all begun & ended with a bit of Air France. We had a very small window based on kids' school and Paris warming up in July, so I probably didn't get the big deal on plane tickets, but I have certainly orchestrated a big adventure. It all started as a family trip to Alaska. But all I got to that idea was a lot of shrugs & oh, that's nice. Boy, are they excited now. Thanks to all of you out there who have helped & put up with me these many months. Oh yeah, then there was the broken back part, but he's getting better. Planning, yes. I got Andros in mind for Feb. 2004 & Egypt for Fall of 2004.
janeg is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 547
It's really an ongoing process. Usually we take 3 big family trips per year with shorter weekend trips between so I always have at least 2-3 trips in the works. Usually I start thinking about a year ahead, but don't start planning in earnest until I have the boys' school and scouts schedules in hand. My husband does absolutely none of the planning--I basically ask him if he wants to go somewhere or he suggests a place he is interested in, then I start doing research and making reservations. Haven't used a travel agent in years.
RachelG is offline  

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