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How far out do you plan your trips?

Internationally Known

How far out do you plan your trips?

Just curious how far out everyone plans their trips. We just booked Portugal in April 2019, and our one friend who books international trips at the very last minute said we were insane for booking so far out. But half of the fun, for us at least, is having an international trip to look forward to. For domestic trips, we usually book a few months out.

15 Replies
City Slicker

Re: How far out do you plan your trips?

2-3 months out on average I'd say. But depends on the flight deal :)

Internationally Known

Re: How far out do you plan your trips?

I'm with you markr867, the further out the better for me. I like to have at least 6 months to have plenty of time to explore all the options for the area we are traveling to,  so as to find those little out of the way gems that you might not find in a hasty, thrown together trip. I've been forced into more impulsive, less researched planning on a couple of trips lately, and it gives me the hives to think I'm settling for the easy, usual path when a true, once in a lifetime out of the way place might be just around the corner. Can't research too long or too much for me! Portugal is on my radar for next year as well!

Internationally Known

Re: How far out do you plan your trips?

Totally agree Ed4000. I love being able to research and plan instead of taking the typical touristy route. 

 

Let me know if you find out any hidden gems in Portugal! We are doing Lisbon and Porto for sure, but always up for suggestions :)

Internationally Known

Re: How far out do you plan your trips?

Will do markr867, let's stay in touch on it. Don't know if you're a Rick Steves fan (mixed feelings here), but noticed this morning that he's doing a big series on Portugal on his facebook page. I bookmarked it to return to later, but he was saying "My favorite beach in Europe? Salema, on the Algarve — the south coast of Portugal. " and what I skimmed sounded worth researching from some of the comments etc. Might want to check his page out since he's there now doing some vlogging. https://www.facebook.com/ricksteves/?hc_ref=ARSSFmQSSF-qP4dnHS4XGIyh7U3cM2oRwgd0B2dmcTpBcX_wn2Re8G17...

Nationally Recognized

Re: How far out do you plan your trips?

We are taking our granddaughter to England in June to meet her English cousins. We've thought about doing this trip for a long time but made the decision in January and started mapping the details. I booked the flights in February and have added transportation, London  Passes and Airbnbs along the way. I agree that the planning and dreaming is half the fun. 

Happy Travels. ~

Internationally Known

Re: How far out do you plan your trips?

The only downside to extensive planning far in advance I've found, is that sometimes by the time to go, I already feel kind of tired of the place I'm going to! lol

Nationally Recognized

Re: How far out do you plan your trips?

I know what you mean. I'm feeling like I've already been, especially with Google maps.

Stately Explorer

Re: How far out do you plan your trips?

I've done both very short notice as well as a year out. Sometimes on short notice I just search affordable locations I haven't been to and if any deals pop up I grab them and run. When I plan far in advance It's typically because a great flight popped up or there are places I want to stay or things I want to do that I'm not willing to be flexible on. I eqully love to over plan as much as I love spontaneity, so I'm just usually happy if I'm headed somewhere. 

City Slicker

Re: How far out do you plan your trips?

I'm so exicted for you to visit Portugal! I lived in Lisbon for a month this year, and it's one beautiful place with plenty to see and do. For international trips, I typically plan 3-6 months in advance. The biggest expense most of the time are the flights, so I'll keep on eye on places like Skyscanner Alerts to see if there are spikes or drops for specific destinations. However if visiting in "high season" it's worth planning a bit further to ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck. For domestic travel, a few weeks are all I take to pull together plans- sometimes the last minute plans actually end up saving money.