Is it too early to plan for...

Old Jul 12th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Is it too early to plan for...

a 2009 trip to London and Paris? Originally we had plans to travel in January but now we're thinking June/July so we can catch some Wimbledon play.

I think I'm just excited about the trip and "planning" will be a way to get there faster in my dreams
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Old Jul 12th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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Yes, too early.

Just write down a list of ten sights for each city and keep an eye on the news.
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Old Jul 12th, 2007, 10:00 AM
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Instead of planning, now is a good time to watch some DVDs (travel and fiction as well, documentaries, too) and read. If you haven't been before, you can arrive knowing up from down, old from new, etc. Your agenda will change from simple "must sees" to a nuanced list of attractions that really suit your own interests.

There are hundreds of books to choose from. I'll recommend one, Edmund White's "The Flanneur", about walking Paris. I also enjoy a front-to-back reading of a guidebook on occasion ...!
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Old Jul 12th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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If you are flying, you will be limited in your advance planning by how soon your travel dates are available in the airline's computer.

My wife and I will spend the month of May 2008 in Paris (actually arriving 30 April), and we could not reserve the outbound flight on American Airlines until 329 days in advance. We didn't get the return flight (June 1) until the night of July 4-5.

I'm sure other airlines also have some limit on how far in advance you can reserve. If you are paying cash, you might assume you can get the date(s) you want--but we used frequent flyer miles for Business class seats (very few are available because business travelers pay a lot and reserve close to the travel date!) and had to call every 15 minutes on the first night seats became available for 29 April to get our reservation. A few hours later, there were no such seats available.

I don't know how far in advance Wimbledon tickets go on sale and sell out, but someone in this forum will know.

You can surely get hotel/apartment reservations much closer to your travel time. I recommend nailing down the plane tickets before trying to make reservation(s) for accommodations, but it is never too early to start gathering info and sorting through your options.
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Old Jul 12th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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Here's a link to the book a previous poster recommended (I am not familiar with the book):

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...edmundwhite-20

The title word is spelled "Flaneur" in case you search for it elsewhere. It looks interesting.
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Old Jul 12th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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For me, it's never too early to plan a trip.

But there's a difference between planning and making reservations, etc. I hold off on reservations until I'm closer to the date.

I will make hotel reservations as early as possible IF I can change or cancel them at no charge at any time. I have found that I can often get guaranteed a better price by reserving early (i.e., they haven't raised their prices for the new year yet).

The biggest trick with planning early is to re-check everything every couple months or so. Hours and admissions you find for a sight in September will likely change before your trip so you need to keep checking and adjust as needed.

The part I like about planning early is that by the time I go I've got most of it down in my mind and I don't worry about messing things up.
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Old Jul 12th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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Thanks, d claude bear, for the spelling correction. It can be maddening to search for anything with incorrect spelling - especially in a language not one's own.

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Old Jul 12th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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I don't think it's too early to plan. But possibly, too early to book anything.

One thing about planning early, is you can see the price fluctuations in airline rates. Yes, there are now websites that do this and it's never an exact science. But I had a year's worth of airline deal emails from various sites. I was able to see when the prices suddenly hiked up for my destination. I was able to book it before the fees went up. (Of course, I waited too long, as it started to slowly creep up again)

And of course, never to early to start collecting info on recommended hotels and restaurants. Some of the best places book up quickly, especially in high season.

As advised above, before you book anything take note on the cancellation policy.

And if you don't know French yet, you have time to learn some basic French.
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Old Jul 12th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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I agree that it is never too early to start planning! I am already thinking about a 2009 trip to New Zealand! Meanwhile, it drives my husband crazy b/c we already have trips booked for this August and March '08.

I always start early to monitor airfares, like ricerco suggested. It can at least give you a benchmark for monitoring fares.

As far as Wimbledon tickets, you have to send a request for a public ballot. You can only request the ballot in August (I think) of the previous year, and then you must return the ballot by Dec 31st I believe (so for 2009, you would want to request the ballot next August 2008).

They also sell limited # of general admission tix the day of play but you would have to line up early for these and, of course, no guarantee.

I got the ballot last year but didn't end up submitting (would have been nice to see Venus win!!). Instead, we are thinking of squeezing London/Paris in during the holidays this year.
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