Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Thu November 03 2016

When Is The Best Time To Book A Vacation?

Features & Advice | Lisa Iannucci | November 03, 2016

When Is The Best Time To Book A Vacation?

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When is the best time to book a vacation? Is it as far ahead as possible so you have time to save up some money and plan everything you want to do? Is it as close as possible to when you want to leave so that you can take advantage of last-minute vacation deals? We asked travel agents and experts to weigh in on whether or not there really is a perfect time to book a vacation:

Lynn Clark, Vice President of Engagement at Trisept Solutions said that there is no one size fits all answer to the question because when you should book can vary by destination and type of a vacation that someone wants to book.

“For example, Alaskan cruises are typically booked 8 to 12 months prior to their departure because the window for when the cruises run is limited to between June and September,” she explained. “However, vacation packages are typically booked three to six months out.”

Depending on when you actually book your flights, air fare may be cheaper. Your rates can also depend on the time of day when you want to fly as well. Clark said that starting a vacation search early can give travelers the best and most flexible choices of flights, hotel categories, cruise cabins, and excursions. “In fact, many companies provide agents and consumers incentives for booking earlier rather than later,” she said.

Now that the leaves are changing and the air is getting a little nippier in parts of the country, it’s the perfect time to think about traveling during the upcoming holiday season. Even though a trip can be put together at any time, if you are planning an end of the year vacation, you might be a little late. “For holidays – now called the Festive Season – it’s best to book your accommodations in March or April for the next December,” said Pam Walker of Walker Adventures Limited and an affiliate of Travel Experts, Inc. “Any other holiday dates, you should be booking your travel at least three to four months prior in order to get the accommodations and/or cruise cabins of your choice.”

READ MORE: Avoiding Travel Stress: Travel Agents Share Their Secrets

Booking a vacation depends on many factors and the right time, according to R. D. Gavel, CTC, Travel Repertoire, an affiliate of Travel Experts, Inc., might actually depend on how well the destination is doing. “Choosing to visit a destination that is suffering a downturn almost guarantees a once-in-lifetime experience,” said Gavel.

Gavel said that it’s at this time that visitors are greatly valued and treated with enormous kindness, friendliness, and generosity. “Unheard-of pricing is offered and luxury options are readily available at deep discounts,” said Gavel. “For the thoughtful and adventurous traveler, challenging times can represent an opportunity for rich rewards.”

The advice that a vacationer can take from these experts is that the best time to book a vacation depends on the vacation and the destination. By learning about the travel industry, you can recognize when there are sales and know when there has been a considerable drop in price. At that time, you can enjoy your next vacation.

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