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Old 09-22-2011, 05:30 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
Reputation: 13245

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vichel View Post
I'm the same. I love researching the places we're going to, especially the history.

We start planning our trips as soon as we know we're going to take one. I like to know what's there to see and do (and eat) at the destinations. I make up a list of options then when we're there, we do whatever we feel like at the time. I don't like rigid schedules though, we keep it pretty open. Works great for us.
This is just about *exactly* what I do.

My planning begins right away, but usually is not that intensive until after we have plane tickets. Usually I buy tickets about 4 months in advance. This year I bought them even earlier because we are doing open jaw over the Christmas holidays.

The more information I have, the more options there are, thus the more flexible we can be once we're there.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,677 posts, read 8,592,236 times
Reputation: 5769
so, for a 2 week trip that I intend to take in May 2012 it could make sense starting right now? SWEET! First I have to decide where to go LOL!
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:17 AM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,142,337 times
Reputation: 1976
Ours are mixed but mostly now very far out ahead of time. Sometimes even a year ahead of time. We do alot of home exchanges and sometimes we will travel 2 or 3 months in Europe so we want to be as prepared as possible matching up everything.

We just got back from a 4.5 month trip traveling around the world and we started planning for it well a year ahead of time. We just finished and all went perfect due to great planning.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,819,132 times
Reputation: 11318
Funny, I have a week off next week. I planned on a week in France, mostly museums in Paris.
Now I'm debating a trip to Morocco or Turkey instead.
I read travel books all the time and can sometimes get great last minute deals,
I'm looking for one this weekend.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,224,622 times
Reputation: 16496
Just totally depends, I planned my trip to Texas a week in Advance and my return trip to India in December is already booked. It completely depends on when and the price of where I'm going. It's a lot easier to book a short domestic trip quickly on the fly, but when you are flying overseas to a different country in December, you have plan ahead to get a good deal on your ticket.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:15 PM
 
14,258 posts, read 23,979,216 times
Reputation: 20051
I book pleasure trips like they vote in Chicago. BOOK EARLY, BOOK OFTEN.

Once we decide on a destination, I try to book the BEST available flight up to six months in advance. We prefer Southwest Airlines as we can cancel any ticket anytime and use it within a year WITHOUT a penalty. This allows us to lock in a decent fare as well as leaving us open to taking advantage of 1) better sales fares and 2) alternative airports.

Ditto for rental cars. You lock in the best rate the day that you book your tickets. Then look for better fares. For example, the best rental rate I could get on a Dallas rental car was $256 for eight days. Last week, I saw a great deal for $127 for the same date and times. We also look to see if there are deals for off-site rentals. For example, a recent weekly rental at SeaTac was priced at $575. Instead, we took a train into the city ($7 pp) yielded a $256 rental. And remember that Alamo and Enterprise will deliver a car to your hotel.

For hotels, it really depends on the destination. We look for screaming good deals in advance. If we find one, we book immediately IF it is cancelable with no penalty. Then, several days prior to the start of the trip, we check to see if Priceline/Hotwire can beat it. Most of the time, it will.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:11 AM
 
Location: NC
4,112 posts, read 3,821,469 times
Reputation: 1331
Planning's half the fun
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:40 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,787,241 times
Reputation: 5565
For work, I've booked international flights as short as 1 week in advance, and North American (including Canada) flights on the day of departure (booked in the morning, left in the afternoon).

For personal trips, some I've booked several months in advance (e.g. trips to Asia where flights fill up quickly, or known trips like family Christmas gatherings). Others I've booked with very little notice, e.g. only a week or two in advance. For a recent last-minute Europe trip (London, Paris, Italy), booked trans-Atlantic flights 2 weeks before departure (price wasn't any more expensive than booking earlier, since I'd looked casually before), finalized hotels, trains, and intra-European flights 1 week before departure.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Frankfort, IN
111 posts, read 399,340 times
Reputation: 52
I don't travel internationally so I can't answer in regards to that specifically, but I start researching the trip as soon as I have a range of dates that I could possibly go. I'll usually know the exact dates I can go 3-4 months in advance and then I'll start to seriously look to start booking. If I find airfare that I feel I can't pass up, I go ahead and book. Sometimes I wait a little longer to book the hotel, sometimes I don't. It depends on if I feel I can do better in terms of price.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:51 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,039,367 times
Reputation: 986
We usually take one major trip a year, and as soon as we get back I start researching where the next one should be. Our family vacation took 2 years of planning to get everyone together. We decided last winter to hike to the bottom of Grand Canyon, so I made our reservation at the bottom on May 1 2011 for May of 2012. The whole month sold out in 1 1/2 hours. Othertimes, we have done last minute cruises with only a couple months notice. It totally depends on the situation. But I enjoy the research and planning,it keeps the anticipation up and helps me get through the winter!
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