Monday, September 5, 2011

When I should book my Vacation?

This is a question you probably have heard or even have asked yourself. As a Family Travel Specialist is a question I've been asked a lot. I know how hard is to take decision, but there are factors on the specific details of your vacation that can help tremendously to help you choose the best time to book your vacation.

First, I suggest you make a list of the details of your vacation. Actually you should make two different lists, one that includes everything that you want and you're not able to negotiate and other that includes things that might be or you are more flexible.  Let's say you have specific dates for your vacation because your children, who will be traveling with you must be out of school, the date you have chosen should go under the list of things you won't negotiate. When creating the lists you should consider the travel dates, if it's going to be a land or cruise vacation, your hotel preferences, how many people will be traveling and if are kids involved, are there payment options available, etc. Taking some time to plan and analyze all the do’s and don’ts will help you to have a better picture of what exactly you want to do. This way you won’t regret your decision, although this wasn't the outcome of Lisa.

A few months ago, Lisa Daniels* asked me to help her plan a Cruise Getaway to celebrate her 15th Anniversary.  After a wide search I found her cruise, she was very pleased with the itinerary and the Cruise Length, but instead of booking she decided to wait because she has heard that “closer the departure date the lower the fares”. By the way this wasn't planned 6 months in advance, she was only a month from the sailing date, and I couldn't stress her enough to book her cruise that day, because she was risking losing availability on the Ocean View Cabins she requested (which were only 4 available by that time). So I went directly to my "do list" plan. This way I could show her that celebrate her anniversary on a cruise for the dates indicated was a priority for her and waiting to book would put at risk she could make the trip or not. I also detailed her all the options she had, and the possible outcomes. Happily she made her booking that same day, and reduced her risk of losing it.

There are endless factors that can affect your decision, because each vacation is unique. Let me give you another example; let's say you want to spend New Year's Holiday in Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL with your family. One thing I can tell you right away is that these dates are peak season in ANY hotel. I will highly recommend you to book as soon as possible once you have agreed the fares and availability for your family vacation. Another advantage is if you book in advance (3-6 months) Disney Resorts allow you to make a down payment and pay your full balance on a later date or on installments. (This option is also available in cruises; you can even book a cruise 2 years in advance in some cases, which is smoother to your pocket.) If your traveling party is 5 or more, availability is something you need to secure. I have a family of 5, and not always I find room for us, that's why I usually book 6-10 months in advance.

Summarizing, whatever I could recommend you to do, will depend on the factors and/or details of your unique and special vacation. although you should not wait if, in fact, are 100% sure of what you want, and when you want it. Do you need help deciding? Please give me a call, so we can start planning your next vacation and the options available you may have to book now or later.

Leila Reyes
Family Travel Specialist

*Names have been changed for Privacy Purposes. 

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