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Old 09-20-2011, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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Especially an international trip, weeks, months? When do you start your research and create an itinerary and when do you start actually making your reservations and buying airline tickets?

Personally, I start doing my research on a place about 3 months ahead and start making my reservations about 6 weeks ahead...but I have read others who start the process sometimes 18 months ahead, wow!
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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International airline tickets are about the only thing I'll do pretty far ahead, usually at least 3 months sometimes as much as 6 months.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackjaw View Post
International airline tickets are about the only thing I'll do pretty far ahead, usually at least 3 months sometimes as much as 6 months.
Same here, tho I have been known to jump on an international flight with a few hrs planning (like cheap fares / urgent need to 'get out of Dodge')

I scour the travel sites for deals and get weekly emails from carriers on specials. (like LA Tokyo for $300)

My son nabbed a trip to Iceland from west coast USA for $600 all inclusive, he's on his way.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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Most of my international travel is usually "last minute". Fortunatly it is always business related so I do not have to pay out of pocket for the high last minute fares.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:14 AM
 
Location: SoCal
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When we travel, it usually involves work/holiday schedules on both ends of the trip. So we find ourselves planning from six months to a year in advance.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:21 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
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i generally book my flights within 48 hours of departure. usually decide where i am going to go within 72 hours of departure.

the reason i do it this way is cuz i never know when the job i am working on is going to end. so only book when it does, then try to leave immediately.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
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The real answer is probably a bit of a mix. You may need to book airline or hotels depending on demand for that trip. So you'll need to be aware of conditions and events at your destination.

I had planned a bicycling week in Holland, with a group, signed up and paid deposit. I then started watching for airline rates. Also began checking out a hotel for arrival day, made a selection and reservation. This was more than six months before the biking week.

Friends advised getting a room that weekend would be difficult as Amsterdam was a destination. But no real specifics. A few months before the trip I contacted the hotel to confirm my reservation, but they reported there was none. Turns out, my CCard had expired January of the new year - it auto renewed but the hotel did not know that. I was able to arrange a lesser accommodation but took some effort.

The flight from Dallas to Frankfurt was uneventful but a good one. The flight from Frankfurt to AMS was packed. The train from AMS to Centraal Station was packed. I walked out of the train station into a sea of people. All streets were shut down, no taxi's, no buses. I had to walk thru the throngs of revelers in search of my hotel.

Turns out my arrival day was a holiday in The Netherlands... Queen's Day. Thousands of people converge on Amsterdam that day for a MAJOR party.

So, start your research early, take your best opportunity to book rates. Verify your work, follow up to confirm.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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I can happily spend MONTHS planning a trip. Almost as much fun as the trip itself!
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:43 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
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Ours travel is a mixed bag of planned ahead trips, drastically extended trips, impulse trips, last-minute-deal trips, and change-our-minds-two-days-before-the-departure-let's-go-somewhere-else trips.

But not one of our trips was planned more than six months in advance. We've changed our minds too often to do that. Our next trip, in three weeks, was planned six months ago (changed our minds twice during the planning) and tickets were bought five months ago. Guess what? We'll still leave on that date, but not to the same destination. The new one is 3000 miles away from the one shown on the tickets.

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 09-20-2011 at 12:51 PM..
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
I can happily spend MONTHS planning a trip. Almost as much fun as the trip itself!
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.
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