It’s a real struggle. It’s not easy to get excited about booking your trip, but you think that you have enough time. You think, “I’ll look at it later.” But then days turn into weeks, and before long, you’re scrambling for a hotel (they are mostly booked) or a flight (only red-eyes and 2+ stop options are available within your budget). As you drink your coffee and book your last option, you think about what you could have done to avoid this.
Well. It’s possible to book in advance. Do you already know the deal? Start your travel search.
These are five benefits of planning.
You will get the best choices.
Popular cities are like busy restaurants. Our When To Fly recommendations are a great way to help you plan your trip. This will give you a better idea of the best time to book your flight. The time you book your hotel room depends on the destination. Smaller cities and more popular destinations tend to have a higher demand for accommodations. You can search for hotels with free cancellations (we filter that) and then set a price alert ( how) for all the hotels you are interested in. You can track the prices and cancel your accommodation if there is a substantial price drop. You are also safe if hotel prices rise because your room is already booked.
It will take you time to determine what is a good deal.
That feeling you get when you wait to book your flight only to find out that the prices have gone up hundreds? It’s like getting a punch in your gut. Plan to avoid that sinking feeling. You can set up a flight price alert to keep track of airfare prices so you know when they go up or down. If you feel you have found a great deal, book it. The Anywhere tool will help you determine what a “good deal” is for your destination from your home airport.
You have the option to change your itinerary.
You’ll have more time to plan what to do once you arrive in the city. It will be easy to know when you arrive in the city and how long it will take to get there. You can also find out where your hotel is within your destination. You can add events such as restaurant reservations and tours to your itinerary or manually enter things you would like to do. Depending on what works best, it can be scheduled by the hour or by the day.
Enjoy that pre-travel buzz.
The excitement of planning a vacation? You’re healthier because of it. Studies have shown that planning a vacation can make you happier and improve your outlook. Don’t delay the euphoria. Even a weekend trip can be enough to get the dopamine flowing.
You will be ready from the beginning.
Planning your trip will not only increase the excitement, but it will also help you to plan for other important things. You’ll likely be able to work on that huge project before you leave Maui, knowing you’ll arrive in just a few weeks. You can also finish your bathroom renovations before you pack up. Even better, you’ll have the time to remind loved ones where you are, make arrangements for pet- and house-sitting arrangements, and tell your credit card and debit card companies that it’s in another city.
You’re more likely not to remember the basics or to check in on projects while you’re gone if everything is done late. It’s also more likely that you won’t be prepared to handle minor setbacks on your trip. You can weather unexpected budget changes and lose your ID (thanks to 2 am tequila shots) better if you plan.
You will feel more secure about your next trip if you plan. Get started planning your next vacation by choosing the best flight, hotel, vacation rental, and other options.