Probably like everyone else with access to magazines, books, and the Internet, I have read articles from experts advising consumers on when exactly is the best time of year to travel. Some say fly during off-peak seasons and avoid school breaks, including the summer. Others say that it is dependent on the destination while others advise following their complex algorithm to determine the best time of year for you to take your vacation.
When it comes to the right time for you to travel, consider all the factors that work best for you and your vacation. Not everyone has eight weeks of vacation time yearly and quite often, coordinating vacation time with a spouse or a friend is hard and complicated work. I say begin here and work forward from this point. Without an idea on dates, it will be impossible to determine where you will ultimately take your vacation.
Alternatively, if you have a specific destination in mind and are looking for a certain feel from that destination, you might have to look at the calendar first. For example, if you were excited about seeing the tulips blooming in Holland, you would have to schedule a vacation during the Spring and not late October.
What you will find is that the highest pricing tends to be on vacations taken during school breaks and that does include the summer. However, this does not have to exclude all summer vacations. Perhaps you have a dream trip to Italy in mind. Why not consider visiting Italy during the year and choosing an alternate and maybe closer destination for your summer vacation? You’ll avoid the huge crowds there full of tourists and your wallet will thank you.
Never discount a vacation close to home such as one in the state you live or a state nearby. Alternatively, I am huge fan of cruising and there are plenty of cruises that leave from ports other than the big ones in Florida. Did you know that you could cruise from Boston, New York, Baltimore, Charleston, New Orleans, or Galveston? By not having to pay for airfare, your trip costs are immediately reduced. Additionally, the cost of cruising includes your accommodations, food, and entertainment.
It is most important to be extremely realistic about your budget. If you aren’t good about saving up money for vacations, don’t be surprised at how much it will hurt to have to pay up all at once. If you can plan in advance, you can take some of the sting off an otherwise financially painful investment. Of course, once you are there, you’ll enjoy your vacation and it will hurt far less.
Try to bundle your trip if you can. What I mean is that if you are able to buy your airfare and hotel/resort with the same supplier, you might be able to see a significant cost savings. Bundle and book in advance and you might only have to pay a deposit to secure your next vacation.
While some people say the best day of the week to buy airline tickets is Tuesday, others say Saturday or Sunday. Who knows? Only you do on that particular day that you’re buying your tickets. Some say that the best time to buy international airline tickets is about 11-12 weeks in advance while domestic airline tickets is about six weeks in advance to get the best deal. I say sign up for emails from the airlines and keep your eyes open for sales.
Don’t think you can’t take a vacation? With enough planning and strategy, you might find yourself sipping on a frosty beverage on a beach soon enough.
Marian Krueger is the Founder of the Travel Shop Girl blog, a blog that simply states, “Travel musings by a girl who loves to write and travel the world.” Functioning on high-octane coffee most days, her straightforward and honest approach has resulted in a worldwide following and a desire for global domination. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.