There are two travel planning techniques that are extremely popular yet could not be more opposite: booking travel far in advance, or planning travel at the last minute hoping to unearth an incredible deal. Everyone has a friend who is extremely organized and enjoys planning every detail of their vacation way ahead of time, as well as someone who appreciates the thrill of scoring a last minute travel bargain. If you don’t necessarily fall into either of these profiles, how do you know when you should book in advance or wait until the last minute? You will first need to take a look at your current lifestyle and consider what type of vacation you are after.
Here are the most helpful things to keep in mind as you decide when to book your next vacation:
What is Your Personal Situation?
Your current personal situation is undoubtedly the single most important thing to consider when booking a getaway. If you only have certain dates off from work, are determined to take a specific trip or have children who are school-aged, booking your trip in advance is wise. You will be able to choose from a much larger selection of everything from hotel suites to plane seats. If you are flexible in regards to when and where you will be traveling, on the other hand, booking a trip at the last minute may help you secure some mind-blowing deals to far-flung international hotspots you might not otherwise be able to afford. One exception to this, however, is booking travel during busy times such as holiday periods. Reservations are usually booked up months in advance since these peak times are so popular, which means last minute travelers will have limited options which could end up being far more expensive than they usually are.
The Deals When You Book in Advance or Last Minute
It might seem that all of the deals are only found when you book travel at the last minute, but booking in advance has its benefits, too. Hotels often reward guests for booking their travel in advance with incentives such as room upgrades, one night free, discounts for single travelers, or discounts on meals and spa services, for example. This can help make travel way more affordable. That being said, waiting until the last minute to book travel may help you save even more of your hard-earned cash if you are open-minded about your vacation details. No matter when you decide to book your travel, it is a great idea to sign up with your preferred travel companies so they can send you alerts that will allow you to see their most spectacular deals before everyone else.
Take a Risk or Play it Safe?
If you have been dreaming of a stay at a particular hotel, would it upset you if it was booked during your chosen travel dates? Are you and your friends planning a group vacation during which you would all travel on the same flights and stay in the same hotel? Answering yes to these questions makes booking in advance for you an obvious choice. Instead of ending up disappointed and regretful, you will have plenty of time to book the exact trip you want. However, if you love the thrill of the hunt, searching for incredible last minute deals may help you book a vacation of a lifetime at an unbelievable price.
Remember these tips the next time you are trying to decide whether to book your travel in advance or wait until the last minute.