One question I am often asked..."How soon is too soon to start planning my...(vacation, honeymoon, wedding etc...)? Although there is always enough time to plan and create your ideal journey, the real answer varies depending on the kind of adventure you want to plan. However, sooner is better in order to get the best flights (which you can book 10-months +/- prior to departure), best perks & possibly prices, and the best accommodations.
For more specific information read on...
Cruises-You should begin the planning and booking stages as far out as 24-months. Why? Most cruise lines will make special offerings for early bookings as soon as the voyage has been released. Offerings may include special pricing, added perks and on-board credits. In addition, specialty cruises are highly sought after and fill up quickly. For Example: Alaska-because there is a short sailing season, these cruises fill up very quickly. Same can be said for River Cruises in Europe and Asia.
Holiday Season Travel-Planning and booking any travel during the Holiday Season should take place 12-18 months in advance. This is THE BUSIEST time of the year for travel and the pricing reflects it. Hotels, tours etc...expect to sell out so the prices will only increase over time. Booking as early as possible is essential in securing a fair price, great accommodations and flights.
High Travel Season-As soon as you are confident of your destination and/or dates of travel, it is imperative that you determine when the high travel season is for that destination. The high travel season will vary based on the destination. Planning 8-16 months prior to departure will be key in securing great rates, accommodations, tours and excursions. By the way...this is where a Travel Advisor is essential for planning. We are an encyclopedia of travel knowledge.
Weekend Get-Aways-Something that should happen throughout the year to reconnect and rekindle with your partner. 1-6 months in advance is an ideal time to begin the booking process. Depending on where you want to go, you can always find something that will meet your needs for a quick Romantic Escape.
Honeymoons-A good rule of thumb.....as soon as you lock down a wedding date, contact your Romance Travel Advisor (that's me) to begin the planning stage for your honeymoon. Even if you do not know where you want to go. Your Honeymoon Advisor will help you narrow down a destination based on your needs, wishes, desires and dreams. We will also help match you and your partner to a destination that is best suited for you! A word of advice-whatever you do, do not try to plan a wedding AND a honeymoon without assistance from a professional. Planning a wedding is complicated, can be stressful and lengthy, save yourself the time, stress and worry by hiring a Honeymoon Advisor to do all the work for you.
Destination Weddings-Best advice.....as soon as you know WHEN you want to get married contact your Destination Wedding Expert! Your personal Destination Wedding Expert (that's me again) will design your dream wedding based on your specifications in a destination and location that best suits your wishes and desires. Do not try to work with a resort or location without hiring your personal Destination Wedding Planner. Your Destination Wedding Planner knows all the ins/outs of how to create a beautiful, seamless and stress free wedding and reception for you and all your guests. We will help you work through all the details and finer points of creating an exotic and unique wedding.
As you can see...there is not a '1-size fits all' timeline you can follow. As a general rule, as soon as you have dates and a possible destination, contact your Travel Advisor (me again) to begin the planning process. The more time you provide prior to departure could save you money, stress and headaches. Creating a beautiful and stress free journey for all. In addition, planning your journey further out allows for more time to make payments along the way instead of having to pay for the entire trip upfront.