Believe it or not, the holidays are upon us. Actually, they are always upon us and it is never too early to plan for holiday travel. Any holiday travel.
1. Plan early: Good holiday travel takes good planning. Many people plan at least 9 months to a year ahead. Cruises, air fares, lodging reservations; all of these are extremely popular at holiday times. Sometimes, you can get a good rate if you book early. In fact, there may be some package deals, sales or rewards during holiday times. If you are booking on your own, here are our tips.
2. Plan the itinerary: There is a lot to do during holidays. Holiday time is one of the peak tourist seasons and local businesses depend on these times for their profits. Once you have decided on your location, start looking at activities. With almost everything online, it is easier to plan effectively within your budget and to make a rough timetable for activities. Keep in mind some inside info. For example, some major theme parks will allow you to make restaurant reservations without a ticket. Or, your hotel or resort might offer an activity similar to an outside excursion. Look carefully at packages, such as resorts that may be all-inclusive: sometimes the items are cheaper together, and sometimes not. Check out our tips here.
3. Plan downtime. Holidays are the time to relax. Allow yourself some time to enjoy the lodging or area. A simple drive, lounging at a lodge, hanging out by the pool; these help to make a holiday vacation enjoyable.
4. Plan your shopping: If you are going to an opposite season, such as a warm climate when you are normally in a cold one, shop for your clothes early. End of season sales are great for that. For example, I needed a white outfit in December, which is hard to find in New York at that time of the year. I bought the clothes in June. Also, shop a little at a time. Buy your personal items throughout the year so that you always have supplies on hand. Last minute shopping can be stressful.
5. Finally, plan for the alternative: Two weeks before you leave, check the weather. Then check it again at least 3-5 days before you leave, so that you have the right gear. If you are going to or leaving from a location that is known to have unpredictable weather, read your travel insurance carefully and your cancellation/postponement fine print for travel and lodging. Don't make a dining reservations for arrival day in case it has to be cancelled. Always be prepared for Plan B so that you are not overly disappointed.
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