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Your Vacation-Planning Timeline: A Guide on What to Book When

As with all industries, there are ideal timelines for making sure to get your preferences, and also for getting your money’s worth, too. It’s common knowledge that selling your house in the spring yields the best results, while buying a house in the fall will usually get you a better deal. There are ideal time frames for buying cars, having home repairs done, and yes, there are also ideal times for booking vacations, too, which depend mostly on when you’ll be traveling. 

Beach

What Travel Plans Should You Be Making Now?

Right now, we are about six months away from Spring Break season (which takes place in March or April, depending on your location), and that is what you should be setting your sights on in terms of travel plans, if you haven’t done so already. Planning for Spring Break now will help ensure you are able to reserve your top preference at reasonable prices. 

In the busyness of the Fall and Holiday Season, many people often push off planning for Spring Break Vacations until after the Holidays, and only start thinking about where to go at the start of the New Year. DON’T make this mistake! By then, availability will be lower, flight prices will be higher, and you’ll likely be wishing you had booked around now instead of waiting. 

Tourist in Italy

Where To Go On Spring Break

Maybe with thoughts of who’s being what for Halloween and chipping away at those Christmas Lists, you’re just too overwhelmed to research where to go for Spring Break, and that’s why you’re putting off planning it. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Here’s the short list of places you might want to consider for your upcoming Spring Break Vacation.

Passport plane and suitcase

If You HAVE a Passport:

Passport processing times have been up and down for the last few years, and unfortunately, the Passport application process, and even renewing your old passports, are averaging on the longer side again (about 6-9 months). So if you HAVE passports for everyone in your family (or traveling party), consider yourself lucky, since the world, as they say, is your oyster when it comes to choosing your travel destination! Here are a few top Spring Break options if you have a passport:

Aruba

1. Caribbean

The Caribbean is always one of the most popular Spring Destinations because of its perfect weather and variety of options. After the long winters in much of the United States, by March and April, many of us are understandably craving the warmth of the sun, and the relaxation of the beach. And whether you’re looking for the beach and nightlife, or the beach and rich culture, or the beach and adventure, or everything all at once in an All-Inclusive, the Caribbean has an island and a resort that will be perfect for you! 

Bonus: While most islands are separate countries that require passports, if you really have your heart set on a Caribbean Spring Break Vacation, you can visit Puerto Rico from the United States WITHOUT a passport! 

Greece

2. Europe

Europe presents SO MANY possibilities when it comes to traveling that you can pretty much take whatever you are interested in, and find a place in Europe that will bring it to life for you. Looking to see some of the most famous artwork and architecture in the world? Head to Paris, France! Want to learn how to make authentic Italian pizza? I think you know where to go! Looking for some live Shakespeare? Set your sights on London, England! 

Whether you want to focus on visiting one country abroad, or several at once, there are tours and cruises to fit every time frame and budget, and as always, your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor is ready to help you figure out what European destination is best for your preferences. 

VV Boat

3. Cruise

Cruises are perfect for pretty much everyone because of all the options available to suit practically every preference imaginable. Ships range in design from refined to what are essentially theme parks at sea, with itineraries that span the entire globe. Certain Cruise Lines are also known for their fantastic kids’ clubs, which many kids love so much that they often never want to leave (hello Parental Relaxation Time!). In addition, many Cruise Lines are very accommodating when it comes to accessibility needs, too, with flexible onboard options for those who need them. 

Cruises are incredibly popular right now, with many of the big name Cruise Lines expanding their fleets with new and improved ships to meet the ever-growing demand, so talk to your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor about which cruise options are best for you!

Departures

If You DON’T Have a Passport:

While at first it may feel restrictive to not have the whole world to choose from, when you really start to think about just how many amazing places there are to visit within our home country, you  realize just how much the US has to offer, and remember places you’ve always wanted to visit that are right here, without having to travel too far (mostly). Rediscovering (or even discovering for the first time) the beauty and majesty of America is as breathtaking as it is heartwarming. So, here are a few Spring Break options if you Don’t have a current passport:

Mesa Verde National Park

1. National Parks

No doubt if you have to stay within the United States, traveling to a National Park is one of the most amazing options you have, since National Parks combine history, nature and breathtaking beauty all in one trip. There’s no question that a visit to a National Park is one of the most adventurous and educational trips you can take. However, some of the most popular parks, like Grand Canyon especially, require at least a year of planning in advance to secure your Park Passes AND adequate accommodations. 

BUT, not to worry, there’s a whole blog detailing a dozen National Parks you can visit (that don’t all require such advance planning), which you can find here. AND, as a bonus, March and April are actually some of the best times to visit National Parks because they are considered “shoulder season” months, with traditionally lower crowds and lower prices, too.

Flower and Garden Festival Topiaries

2. Theme Parks

If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know that we at Love of the Magic Vacations are some of the greatest Disney Enthusiasts around, and that all of us know exactly how to craft the perfect Disney (and Universal) vacation for your family. No matter how old you are, Disney and Universal vacations are always Magical, and part of why is because these Theme Parks bring out the kid in all of us, inspiring wonder and awe in the form of rides that Soar and characters who come to life before you.

Pro-Tip: Spring Breaks are some of the busiest times at Theme Parks, so you definitely DON’T want to wait much longer to book for a Disney or Universal Vacation in the Spring; booking now gives you the best chances of getting your preferences when it comes to resorts and room types. 

Bixby Creek Bridge

3. California

While listing “California” may seem like the most specific option on the list, the amount of vacation-types that California offers is pretty remarkable. Looking to explore a new city? Visit LA or San Francisco! Want to explore Wine Country? Napa and Sonoma are world-renowned for their vineyards and the caliber of their wine. Hoping to combine the first two options of National Park and Theme Park? Disneyland is within driving distance of multiple National and State Parks! 

And speaking of driving, California is one of the best places for an Epic Road Trip, especially along the famous Pacific Coast Highway (you can find a full California Road Trip Inspiring Itinerary here). Once you really start exploring California, you’ll be amazed by how diverse it truly is, and how many different kinds of vacations are possible just within this one West Coast State. 

Globe

A Full Year’s Guide of What to Book When

While it’s clear that right now is when you should be booking your Spring Break Travel, you might be wondering what are the ideal times for booking other vacations throughout the year. To help you with your planning, here is a general guide on when you should reach out to your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor based on what time of year you plan to travel:

When You Want to Travel When to PLAN Your Trip
Spring Break Right NOW! September/October
Memorial Day Weekend December
Summer January/February
Labor Day (September) March
Indigenous People’s Day (October) April
Holiday Travel (Thanksgiving & Christmas Break) May/June
Winter Break (February) July/August

Travel Desk

Vacation-Planning Timeline

In addition to WHEN you want to travel, you should also consider the TYPE of travel you are interested in as well, since some vacations require an extra amount of advance planning to really ensure your preferences. Below are some Types of vacations you need to plan further in advance, and how far out you should begin planning.

TYPE of Travel How Far In Advance To Plan
Cruise (Ocean or River) 1-2 Years (yes years) ahead
National Parks (to the most popular Parks, such as Grand Canyon and Yellowstone) 1-1 ½  Years ahead
Holiday Theme Park Travel 9 months – 1 Year ahead

 

Halfway to Spring Break

Spring Break Bonus

Because right now is the best time to plan for your Spring Break Vacation, October’s Travel Promotion at Love of the Magic Vacations is all about Spring Break! When you book your Spring Break Vacation (minimum of 5 nights traveling in March or April of 2024) during the month of October with your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor, you’ll be entered to win a $250 gift card! That really makes now the PERFECT time to plan!

Map and Compass

Ready to Plan?

Now that you know all about the ideal Vacation-Planning Timeline, and that you should be planning for Spring Break now, are you ready to choose your destination for March or April of 2024? Wherever and whenever you’d like to travel, I would love to help you choose and plan the perfect adventure (for Spring Break or any other time)! Email me today at gina@lotmv.com to get started planning, or click here for a free quote from me or your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor! 

Vacation Planning Timeline

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