It really is the ideal time, right now, to be planning your Summer 2019 trips. I'm sure it will mildly annoy you to know that we have our own travel plans pretty much laid out for the whole of next year with our summer flights already booked, including a European river cruise flying in to Munich and back from Budapest, and a SE Asia trip in to Bangkok and back from Singapore. Below I will lay out 5 compelling reasons to plan well ahead. Would it also make our job easier? Absolutely, but that is not what this is about. There are many genuine reasons you should be looking further ahead with your travel planning that you may have not considered previously. Here's the Top 5.
Around the world ,and in the US especially, stock markets and economies are performing extremely well. People feel good and they are more inclined to travel. The Chinese have gone from 10 million annual international trips to 156 million such trips in the space of just 15 years. This outbound tourism boom is expected to continue (see graph). During peak months now in many locations around the world, accommodation and flights fill up well ahead of time. It is more important than ever to be ahead of the rush and secure the trip you really want.
2. Flights with points
As a self-appointed points geek, it is already towards the end of the prime booking season for next summer, if you are to be successful with saver level awards. If you have a stack of airline miles or credit card points and have in mind you want to use them for Summer 2019 flights, look into it immediately. Maybe you could join us next July for the world's longest flight (below) from Singapore to Newark booked with Singapore Air Krisflyer points, transferred from our Chase Ultimate Rewards.
3. Flights with cash
Possibly the biggest savings tip I can give our clients is to ask you to let us know, however vague, where and when you might want to travel. I'll take Europe as an example. From here in Charlotte, summer 2018 flights to Europe were stubbornly expensive from January to June leading up to the summer itself, mostly at $1,500+. Oil prices have moved higher and we expect average fares to be even higher for the coming year. However, between now and the end of 2018 there will likely be early bird offers that may or may not fit in with your plans. These can save thousands of dollars, but we can't let you know unless we have your ideas ahead of time.
Photo by Tom Cleary on Unsplash
4. The Good Stuff sells out
Here's a non-comprehensive list of those special trips that often sell out months ahead of time and that would benefit from early planning.
*** Alaska cruises for Summer 2019, especially those on family friendly cruise lines.
*** Caribbean for Spring Break 2019
*** Costa Rica is incredibly popular & we have encountered availability issues already for Spring 2019.
*** Specialist family African safaris (below) during school holidays.
*** Christmas Market European river cruises. Already pretty sold out for 2018, and for the few weeks prior to Christmas 2019 should be looked at now.
Many of our clients wish to visit Europe in the summer. We virtually always recommend that they try to do this in June. July and August are European school holidays (later than USA) and everything is more expensive and more crowded. If your timeframe though is in the 2 peak summer months, it is essential to start that planning early to avoid disappointment.
5. Zero Stress
Imagine having your 10-day Italy adventure for June 2019 all planned and booked before Thanksgiving. All that would be left is adding restaurant recommendations and maybe a cooking or photography class nearer your travel dates. I'm pretty sure that feels something like the photo below. Try your travel advisor now for ideas for next year before you get into holiday season, because once that starts, let's be honest, nothing else occurs until mid-January.
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