Spontaneous travel can be great fun. Throwing caution to the winds and booking the cheapest flight available before heading off to somewhere surprising is a very exciting way of seeing the world. However, there is a lot to be said for planning trips in advance, and being smart and organized with your vacations will often result in truly rewarding experiences. If you are thinking of heading off on a safari or looking to take a cruise in 2021, it might be worth starting your planning now.
Some seriously organized travelers will begin planning their trips a year or even more in advance, and reap a load of benefits from this approach. Indeed, there are many types of trips that really need careful, long-term planning. But planning a trip that is over a year away does have its own challenges, and there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Read on for some tips on how to plan a trip a year or more in advance.
Credit Card Points
Collecting credit card and loyalty points for vacations can be a bit of a false economy in the long term, but it is a perfect plan if you are organizing your trip with loads of time to spare. If you’ve got the time to select your destination and plan flights, accommodation, and activities, you can also work out exactly what you need in terms of points, and put together a credit card strategy to achieve the right number of points, or free nights and discounted flights.
Keep An Eye On National Holidays
When making plans for over a year away, it is often hard to work out exactly what is going to be happening when you arrive. Not everyone is going to be as organized as you! Luckily, most national holidays happen at the same time every year, so you can get an idea of how busy a place is going to be at those times.
Ensure Your Passport Is Valid
Plenty of destinations in the world require a passport valid for more than six months to allow entry. As a result, when you are planning a trip over a year away it can be incredibly easy to miss that your passport might be due for renewal! Check the entry regulations for your destination, and make sure your passport will be fine when you are traveling.
Do Your Weather Research
Again, when looking ahead to the future it can be hard to judge what the weather is going to be like, and what to pack for! It is really important to remember that seasons can be different in other parts of the world, and that summer in one place might mean rain and humidity, or even be at a different time of the year!
Remember Things Can Change
The biggest issue with planning so far in advance is that things can change. Festivals can be canceled, attractions can close, even roads and infrastructure can be rebuilt! When planning for a trip over a year away, just be aware that not everything can be set in stone, and try and build a little wiggle room into your itinerary.
Don’t Book Everything Immediately
Even though planning in advance can help you score big discounts and other great benefits, it is also important to know what not to book so far in advance. Some of the specifics are best left until nearer the time. In particular, hotel bookings are usually worth making about six months in advance, or even closer to your trip, to ensure you don’t fall foul of cancellation policies, changes of plans, or even hotels going out of business!
There are many advantages to planning a trip with plenty of time to spare. The key to planning a trip well in advance is taking advantage of the money-saving tips for booking early while remaining flexible. It’s important to remember your plans might change and not everything can be planned a year in advance.