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  • Starr Wlodarski

8 Trips You Should Book at Least a Year Out

While you can always find a last-minute deals, there are trips that require a lot more thought and planning. When I say we need to book early, it's because I understand that certain suppliers, destinations and cruises are popular, have limited seasons and limited capacity.

If any of these 8 are a future travel goal for you, we need to start the discussion now.

Short season destinations- This would be Alaska, Antarctica and Canada/New England cruises Also tour companies that only schedule departures during part of the year, Australia/New Zealand. East Africa Safaris, while the Great Migration runs all year long, if you want to see the wildebeest cross the Mara River that’s June-August usually. World Cruises from any cruise line usually depart in January.

Holiday Travel- cruises especially on family friendly lines, like Disney. If you need staterooms that hold 4 waiting to the last minute isn’t going to work or want to have staterooms near each other get those on deposit. Some resorts require at least a 7-night stay and some of the smaller resorts do book up early

Luxury cruise lines-Since they have fewer staterooms and many one-off itineraries, they aren’t usually doing the 7-night roundtrip itineraries over and over like a mass market cruise line like Royal Caribbean. Viking’s Mississippi River ship was booked out for 2022 by summer 2020.

New Ships-fans of a given cruise line will be ready to book the first sailing. My advice, unless you like to do inaugural sailings (where they may be working on the ship version of a punch list) is to give the new ship time to get to the line’s usually standard of service. But if you want to see the newest ship it’s best to book early.

Expedition ships- while built for polar regions and the Galapagos, they range from 100-300 passengers, so if you want to do Antarctica, Greenland/Arctic you need to book ahead. Not an “explorer” type. Majority of these ships do other itineraries, like Europe. Smaller ships can go to ports that are off the beaten track and offer a more authentic experience.

Small Group Tours-any tour with 24 passengers or less needs to be booked early. Also, certain tours from Tauck and Abercrombie & Kent will be sold out if you look at the beginning of the year when you think about your annual vacation.

Special Events- Anything involving once a year events, like Cannes Film Festival, Monaco Grand Prix or British Open. This could be tours or cruises. Cunard offers Event Voyages, usually on the Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic crossings. The Literature Festival at Sea in partnership with the Cheltenham Literature festival or sailing with the UK National Symphony Orchestra.

Suites- Whether we are talking the Star Class suites on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships to Queen Mary 2’s Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites any line in between since there are so few of them. Suites do book quickly sometimes sold out as soon as the first day of bookings. Also any of the sexy Butler Suites at Sandals Resorts fit in this category too.

As a travel professional, my job is to make sure you get the vacation that you want not the one you must settle for or worse get stuck at home. So, let’s start planning. When you are ready give me a call.

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