The Best Time of the Year to Plan a Luxury Vacation is NOW!

Sometimes when you travel is just as important as where to travel. This is especially true when planning a vacation to popular luxury destinations. People often ask, “When is the best time to travel to a popular destination?” wondering how far in advance they should plan, but the answer isn’t always obvious. 

The purpose of this blog is to help you determine when to book vacations to the most popular destinations around the globe. (We also offer a handy A-Z guide of when to book top destinations that you can download here.)

The world is a big place, and you want to enjoy every minute of your vacation, whether traveling alone, with family or with a group. 

Obviously, great vacations are built on a foundation of preparation. For many of the most popular and exclusive destinations, savvy travelers plan well ahead to ensure an optimal experience.

Wherever you decide to travel, there is a strategy for when to visit and how far in advance to secure tickets and accommodations. Are you ready to plan your next luxury vacation experience? Let’s get started. 

Why Do Luxury Vacations Need to Be Booked in Advance?

Booking your vacation early means you have choices — the best chance at securing a spot in luxury hotels with the most ideal flight itinerary. The longer you wait to book your luxury vacation, the greater chance you will have to make compromises, and you’ve worked too hard to compromise your dream vacation. 

Once your flights and accommodations are secured, you will have more time to plan the details:

  • Which attractions will you visit?
  • What shows will you choose to see?
  • Where would you like to explore? 

By taking time to plan well in advance, you have the luxury of tailoring your vacation experience however you desire.

Air, Rail and Sea Travel

A qualified luxury vacation travel agent will work with you to take the guesswork out of securing flights, trains or cruises when planning your dream destination. Scheduling air travel can be complicated, especially when traveling to exotic locales like Africa. Putting together the puzzle of connecting flights can make the difference between seamless travel or sleeping on the floor of an airport terminal. 

Experienced luxury travel agencies constantly monitor travel trends and know how to optimize flight itineraries. This makes it possible for you to snag the perfect flight with the best layover options and times to fit your schedule. 

Luxury Accommodation

The travel industry constantly evolves and changes with the times, especially in this day and age. Prices go up one day, and down the next. Travel experts understand and can interpret these trends because it’s a part of their daily life. Predicting the most advantageous time to secure accommodations at high-demand properties all over the world is a key part of their job. 

You may be surprised to learn that top-tier luxury hotels are getting quite popular. Booking as far in advance as possible not only secures your reservation, but may also mean better pricing, and who doesn’t love to save money?

Luxury travel experts consistently monitor the most exclusive hotels and villas around the world. Some of the top properties require booking at least a year in advance, if not longer. Sometimes, six months in advance will do just fine, but advance booking is all about demand.

The best luxury travel agents have proprietary tools that meticulously outline how far in advance to book accommodations, based on locale and season.

Planning Luxury Vacations — An A to Z Breakdown

Let’s take a brief look at some of the most popular luxury travel destinations so that you get a better idea of why planning is so important. Keep in mind that every town and city in every country of the world has “festival days” where large groups of locals and visitors gather to celebrate. Examples could include spring break in Cancun or Carnival in Rio De Janeiro. 

Depending on your travel preference, you may want to visit a destination during one of its festival days or stay as far away as possible. Not only do you need to know when the festival days are taking place, but you also need to understand that it’s necessary to secure lodging during these celebrations as far in advance as possible.

Gorilla Trekking in Africa is an unforgettable experience, but one that requires detailed planning. If you’re traveling to Rwanda, you can go anytime throughout the year and only need to book between nine and 12 months in advance. However, if you’re traveling to South Africa over the winter holiday break so that your children can enjoy the experience, you may need to book up to two years in advance. Trips to Kenya or Tanzania to see the Great Gorilla Migration should be booked a year in advance.

Antarctica becomes more popular as a luxury destination every year. These trips take place from October through February, and if you want the best cruise accommodations (or even a reservation) you should try to book a year and a half in advance.

Asia luxury destinations include exotic locations like the Maldives and Seychelles, or just about anywhere else you can dream of on the planet’s largest continent. If you’re traveling to the islands during the winter holiday break, you can book your trip 10 to 12 months in advance. Trips to Japan to see the cherry blossoms blooming in late April or early May should be booked a year in advance. Luxury vacations to China to experience the New Year must be made nine months before the trip if you want to secure the best accommodations.

Aurora Borealis (northern lights) experiences are on everyone’s bucket list. The best northern lights-themed vacations feature trips to Alaska, Iceland, Canada or Scandinavia between December and February. To get the best possible accommodations, vacations to see the northern lights should be booked up to a year in advance.

Caribbean vacations are always popular, but this is especially true during spring break and during holidays in the United States. To visit any of the Caribbean islands during the winter holidays, book up to a year in advance. Travelers interested in spring break should plan by the previous August or September. For those who prefer a quieter Caribbean experience, Thanksgiving is a popular time to visit, but still requires seven to nine months of advance planning.

Central and South America luxury vacations often feature Costa Rica during the winter holiday break. The best villas sell out quickly, so you want to secure yours a year or more in advance. Luxury hotels and resorts should be booked at least 10 months ahead of time.

European travel is popular and often complex. There are a variety of destinations that become exceedingly popular during festivals and special events. For example, Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, requires advance planning of at least nine months. If you want to secure your own tent, they become available to book in April or May, so you want to work with a luxury travel agent who knows what they’re doing. 

Traveling to Cannes in France for the famous film festival requires plenty of planning at least a year ahead of time. August is the most popular time to visit Greece, so if you want to find the best accommodations and get the most out of your trip, start planning anywhere from 8 to 12 months in advance. Colder locations like Scandinavia and Iceland are popular during the summer months, and their popularity means you need to plan well ahead of time.

North America luxury vacations get more popular every year. Cruises to Alaska aboard luxury vessels from UnCruise and Lindblad should be booked a year ahead of time. Florida and Mexico have a lot in common because they’re warm and extremely popular with spring breakers. Whether traveling to these destinations for spring break or just to enjoy the beach and sunshine, you should start working with your luxury travel agent well in advance.

Trips to the U.S. and Canadian National Parks should be made a year in advance, especially if you desire quality accommodations. Ski enthusiasts should plan a trip to their favorite resort around six months ahead of time. 

Pacific vacations to Hawaii, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand are wildly popular during the winter holiday break. However, each has its own level of popularity with visitors. Luxury travelers should book Australia/New Zealand and Hawaii a year in advance and Fiji up to 10 months ahead of time. If you’re traveling to Fiji during the popular wedding season from June through September, you’re going to need a few extra months of lead time to plan.

South American luxury vacations include destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Brazil and Uruguay. The Galapagos are wildly popular and guest numbers are limited, so discerning travelers plan their trip up to 12 months in advance. During the spring and winter holiday breaks, trips to the Galapagos become even more popular and require planning up to two years in advance of departure. 

Machu Picchu in Peru is a very popular destination with European travelers from June through September, so tickets may be difficult to obtain on certain dates. Smart travelers will book their trips up to a year ahead of time. Beach lovers hoping to enjoy Uruguay or Brazil need nine to 12 months of advance planning. 

Back to A – Anywhere

If you’re traveling anywhere for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, there is no possible way to plan too early. Some of the most exclusive New Year’s parties and events are in high demand with discerning travelers, and it’s not uncommon to book accommodations years in advance. 

Get Expert Help With Your Next Luxury Vacation

Obviously, luxury travelers have a lot to consider when planning any trip to a high-demand destination. If you’re planning your next trip, it makes sense to get help from a qualified and experienced luxury travel expert who will help you get the most out of your well-deserved vacation.

Schedule a discovery call today and start planning your next trip of a lifetime with the help of one of our qualified luxury travel planners.

You can also download our exclusive guide — Your Best Travel Year Ever — to get a full A-Z list of when to book the most popular luxury destinations around the globe.

We know you care how you spend your time. When traveling the world with Cerulean, your itinerary is specifically designed around you and your loved ones’ travel needs. Our exclusive connections and partnerships around the world get you VIP perks and upgrades to ensure that the actual experience exceeds what you imagined it to be. 

Discover places you never knew existed and experiences you never imagined possible. Schedule a call with one of our award-winning luxury travel advisors today, and we can guarantee that you will get three new experiences or place ideas that you haven’t thought of before.


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