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How far in advance do you plan your vacations?

How far in advance do you plan your vacations?

Sep 27th, 2002, 05:28 AM
  #1  
christina
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How far in advance do you plan your vacations?

We are planning on going to Italy (venice, rome, florence and the amalfi coast) next september. I will start researching and looking at hotels as soon as January, and hopefully book it by May.
How far in advance do you plan and book YOUR vacations?
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 05:31 AM
  #2  
orgy7
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as I'm travelling.
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 05:36 AM
  #3  
Rex
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I have started planning this far in advance when it involved a sizable group. But I think you can plan September well later than this if you so choose.

I actually DO recommend starting as early as possible to ask places to send you brochures in the mail. You can get so much good and free information - - and it inevitable leads to your wanting to explore things you didn't even know of their existence.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 05:39 AM
  #4  
John B.
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I get almost as much enjoyment from planning our trips as I do being on them. With that in mind, I start planning at least six months ahead. All of our bookings would be confirmed some three months ahead.
As a result of my research activities I have literally hundreds of web sites in my "Favorites" folders.
Since most of our trips have been to Provence, I also started a Provence Group to share and exchange information and ideas. We can be found at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/provence
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 05:43 AM
  #5  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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We typically do two trips per year--spring and fall--so I am always in a 6 month planning phase. However, I have found that the air prices are best as you get 90 to 120 days out--especially thru the discounters. It is never too early to plan, just do not book too early. Good luck !
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 05:48 AM
  #6  
Geoff Hamer
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I try to learn about the places I'm visiting as far ahead as possible, so I read books, study maps and timetables, and try to learn the language. Booking hotels is something I do on the spot. Earlier this month, I visited Italy and Croatia and all I booked in advance (two weeks in advance) were the overnight trains to and from Italy. I stayed overnight in Trieste, Mali Losinj, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik and Bologna. The only place where I had the slightest difficulty was Bologna where the first hotel I tried was full but the second one had rooms.
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 05:56 AM
  #7  
Amy
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I have booked everything now for a trip to Florence/Venice in March 2003. I am thankful that I did, because I got great airfare. But while I had no problem getting my hotel of choice in Florence, many of the hotels in Venice in which we wanted canal views could not accomodate us (already booked 6 months out). Keep that in mind if you are going in a busier season than March!
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 06:03 AM
  #8  
Angela
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One comment on airfare-- for our last trip to Italy just a few weeks ago, I started looking at airfares in January. One day in February I noticed an unusually low fare on American's website and booked it immediately. I continued checking the fares afterwards and the fares never came close to that again. I actually think it was a glitch in their system. So, I don't think it is ever too early to start checking for airfares providing you know your exact dates of travel.
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 06:05 AM
  #9  
Patrick
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I've already booked the flights for next summer (had to for FF freebies on AA), have reserved my London flat for 15 days in June). Also doing a "stopover" in New York for one month and have booked the apartment for the month of May in New York. Beyond that, I suspect most of my reservations will be done by March or April for the total trip from April 30 to August 3. Still trying to figure out the exact itinerary we want to do. Just know we will go to Berlin from London, and will end up in Paris. Also will go to California after we return and have already reserved The Ahwanee (hate the fact that they hold my $700 for an entire year, but if you want to stay there, that's the rules you have to follow.
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 06:06 AM
  #10  
kate
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Most often on the plane home
This year we have been trying to decide where the next trip will be, so we keep thinking of different countries, scenarios, it is sort of fun, having the feeling that you can go anywhere in the world that you want to.
Wondering if New Zealand is really too far, will the weather be acceptable in Cornwall, do we really want to know what Mexico is like, should we try again for Florence and VEnice? Aahhh, choices choices! But back to the question, we have been thinking of this trip lately for next March/April. Then the next would be the end of the summer/early Fall 2003.
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 06:10 AM
  #11  
Carolyn
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I usually plan our vacations about 4 - 6 months in advance (especially when you need to request vacation time from two jobs!) We usually travel in the off or shoulder season, but we have to attend a wedding in Scotland during summer high season in 2003. I started planning in May of this year! I already have both of the hotels for our 17 day trip (Scotland & England) reserved & am waiting till between Jan - Mar to book our airfare. I was lucky to find a room in the small town of S. Queensferry, many of the B&B's & Inns were booked full or 1/2 full already for next summer! It really depends on where you are going & what time of year it will be that should determine how far in advance you should start booking, but the planning & dreaming is a continual thing being done by many Fodorites!!!
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 06:14 AM
  #12  
Jede
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My partner sketches out the plans by month after we discuss over drinks the goals for the next 7 or so months. We're out of the US 4-5 times annually, and may make 8-12 trips domestically each year. We don't have nay standard timeframe for planning. One soon has taken a year, and two agents, another in a few months one morning. Others a week or two, or overnight. The only secret is to actually stop planning and start travelling. We try to avoid the trap of lots of talk about deciding between two or three trips, we solve it by taking them all. I hope this helps you.
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 06:47 AM
  #13  
amy
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We're like Kate--and I'm telling the truth when I say we start planning the next summer while we're on our summer vacation.

Kate's words are great: "It is sort of fun, having the feeling you can go anywhere in the world if you want to." Lives up to the idea that each trip consists of three experiences--anticipation, the actual vacation, and the memories.

Because we are willing to pick up and go at the last minute, I check airfare constantly. The best thing about doing a search everyday is that you can recognize a bargain when you see one. I've often used great airfare as the basis for the initial trip destination.

If I'm very sure when and where I'm going,I often book good hotels six months in advance. My favorite hotels in Paris are quite small establishments that are unfortunately the favorites of other people, too.

 
Sep 27th, 2002, 04:27 PM
  #14  
top
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Great thread.
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 05:25 PM
  #15  
Jim Rosenberg
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We have more of a program than a plan. That generally means that there are two trips booked and in the hopper at any given time. We do much of our travel in the fall and the spring months, while winter is the time when I'm most likely to hop on something short-notice and solo. Summer tends to be the time for Canadian adventures; often on FF miles.

Some trips can be economically booked more than six months out, if you know what your are looking for and it appears. Other trips have shorter planning horizons. We have a number of places on our "list" that we are ready to grab at certain fares & rates.

Itineraries are kept loose and most trips are not of long duration because of a preference for fewer days and more frequent travel.
 
Sep 27th, 2002, 07:07 PM
  #16  
David L
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We are planning a month long soujourn to Greece in April 2004 (assumming we are not at war) and have already been in contact with several hotels and a very good travel agency. I think if you know what you want it is never too early to start planning......
 
Sep 28th, 2002, 05:03 PM
  #17  
Bill
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I think that planning a trip in April to June logically begins anytime in the winter or fall you choose. For some reason, planning a fall trip seems more logical to start later in the year, like April or even later. Not entirely logical, but seems right, from habit.

 
Sep 29th, 2002, 03:14 PM
  #18  
Sue
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I usually have the next 2 trips in the planning stage at all times. I returned from France & Belgium last night and had trips going for 2003 before I left.

What can I say; I'm addicted and happy.
 
Sep 29th, 2002, 06:37 PM
  #19  
steve
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I begin preliminary planning about a year in advance (as soon as I get back from that year's summer vacation). I plan the route about 10 months in advance and then start looking for hotels. I usually don't book them until about 3 months in advance.

As soon as I can set the dates I want to go, I will try to book airfare when I can get the fare I want.
 
Sep 29th, 2002, 06:41 PM
  #20  
sandra
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I will start to plan our vacation to the riviera in june of 2003 before the end of the year. I have already decided where we will start from and where we will end up now i will just fill in the blanks and start the research.
 

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