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Old 03-04-2018, 01:19 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,373 posts, read 1,660,383 times
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I think I'm rather unusual in that respect. I typically suddenly decide I want to go in a certain direction, and spend may be two weeks researching all the prospects, and then book the tickets abut six weeks out. So, from first inception of a destination area, Ill be on the plane within two months.

With freedom to go whenever I please, I can do that, because my travel doesn't have to be shoehorned into a job vacation.
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:47 AM
 
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I start thinking about the planning perhaps a month in advance most of the time. But for some trips I decide as little as a week in advance.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:05 AM
 
Location: North State (California)
39,372 posts, read 2,970,878 times
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I start thinking about a year out & I like to have an idea of the trips 2 & 3 years down the road ( international trips) It is all part of the fun for me, dreaming about it & researching the areas. Right now I am trying to decide on whether to visit Utah in May or not.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:02 AM
 
5,269 posts, read 3,311,295 times
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For me it all depends on what kind of trip, domestic vs. international, and how long am I going to be gone for, what time of year and am I redeeming frequent flyer miles or not. If I know I'm going during the "peak" season and want to do a specific tour that might sell out very quickly, like say hiking the historic Inca trail to Machu Picchu which is highly regulated, then I will plan far in advance.

And you bring up a great point about a "job vacation" where people only have x amount of weeks per year. If I was independently wealthy and didn't need to work for a living anymore, and can hop on and off a plane (or have my own plane!) at a moment's notice, then I would probably do very little to no planning if money and time were not an issue.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,188 posts, read 13,347,698 times
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As soon as we know where we might go, I start "planning"...which includes research if we're not familiar with the area. I start checking airfare (if flying is required) right away, but seldom book until about 60-45 day out. I book hotel as long as it's refundable.....no downside to doing that!
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:11 AM
 
4,448 posts, read 7,188,883 times
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We spitball ideas for major trips about 2 years out. Firm plans start about a year out (by necessity), getting housing sorted since we're too old and too picky to do hotels or hostels. Since these vacations tend to be 6~8 weeks long, it also takes that long to build up time off.

We also take a *LOT* of shorter vacations as I don't have scheduled work and my wife only works 3 days a week. Those can be as short as waking up and saying "lets go here" (driving distance) and rarely those are planned more than a month out. Helps that we have a conversion van/rolling bed so there's no need to look for lodging. In a pinch, I can park on any side street and sleep for the night.

So we're split personalities. Big trips get major planning, small/simple trips tend to happen within 1 month. There are a few in the middle, but they're mostly an exception.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:02 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,901 posts, read 1,582,286 times
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I become interested in certain countries or regions & spend months or years researching & reading about them. Before I retired I would have to have enough $$ saved plus I had to limit a trip to around a 2-3 weeks max. The last 10+ years of working I was interested in SE Asia & read all sorts of materials & watched documentaries to get info & motivation. Whenever a cheap fare appeared I would grab it & go, after 12 or so years I got tired of the heat & humidity, even as a winter break.

I'm retired now & have spent the last 2 years looking at places in Europe to visit or revisit using frequent flier miles I've accrued so I don't have to plan around fares or be back in a couple of weeks. I've been collecting info on Spain, Mexico & Portugal mostly & only need to book a flight there, a week would be plenty of time to organize my notes for any of them. I solo travel & typically don't do tours, I also prefer to stay in 1-2 places & "go native" than hit several places 2-3 days each. Spent a month in Ireland & Lisbon last year.

But I may consider doing a train "tour" of Spain for an extended period since I've never been there & it's so many different regions & cultures & the train may actually be easier than dealing with airports or cars.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,302 posts, read 4,148,032 times
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I start planning my vacations at least a year in advance, because itís the only way I can be sure of getting the time off. Not having to work around a job schedule is one of the things Iím looking forward to when I retire.
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:06 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,721 posts, read 9,018,166 times
Reputation: 11083
I start at least a year out sometimes even a little longer.
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,094 posts, read 45,594,679 times
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We’re planning a big trip in May, so narrowed down the particulars around last November in order to receive the maximum discounts. Now everything is paid, and I am packing in my head to make sure we have everything we need.
A lot of list making will happen about a week before.
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