Arranging the European vacation of a lifetime doesn’t just happen two weeks before you depart.
It can take months to get all the details in order and properly prepare for your trip.
In fact, the best time to start planning your trip to Europe is up to a year before you take your trip.
Why? Here are 10 surprising reasons to book ahead:
1. Get the best possible discounts by booking your tour up to 17 months in advance.
It’s no secret that if you wait until the last minute to purchase a tour to Europe, you’ll probably not get any early booking savings. In order to avoid steep costs for your international flights, buy the tour with air several months in advance.
While research shows that domestic flights are best priced around 54 days in prior to departure, for foreign flights, the earlier you reserve your seats the better.
Generally, international flights are available for booking 11 months in advance, and escorted trips can be booked up to 17 months in advance which means in June, you can schedule your trip through October of the following year.
If you are already planning to travel in 2018 then why not lock in your price, getting the best deal in the process? And when you want us to take care of your flight just book the tour with air inclusive and we will take care of finding the best flight that will match up with your escorted Europe trip. We always offer the best prices to those clients who book the earliest.
2. Plan your Pre- and Post-Tour Extensions when and where you want.
By booking escorted Europe tours months prior to your trip, you have a better choice of extensions.
European travel is incredibly popular, especially during the summer months. With a little advance planning, you can create great extensions — maybe even stop over in a city you’ve always wanted to explore for a few days after the tour is complete.
Popular extension cities like London are perfect for a short visit before or after your tour—but it takes time to do the additional planning.
Wouldn’t you love to see more of Big Ben or the Tower of London after your British Isles tour? That’s the beauty of planning your escorted Europe tour booking months in advance - with a little advance planning, you can see even more places on your bucket list.
3. Avoid sitting in the dreaded center seat at all costs.
Let’s be honest for a second: no one likes the center seat.
At some point during your transatlantic flight, you are both the “disrupted” and “disruptee.” Doesn’t it always happen that when you’ve just reached the best part of your book, the person at the window needs to stretch their legs? Or perhaps when you need to do the same, the passenger on the aisle has reached REM sleep?
Avoid the center seat dilemma by booking in advance. Then the only problem will be deciding between more leg room on the aisle or getting to see beautiful landscapes from the window!
4. Ensure your spot on the tour of your dreams.
Not only do seats on a plane fill up quickly, so do spots on a tour. Why wait, risking that the tour you’ve always dreamed of will be sold out? And if you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, you won’t want to compromise with your second or third choice.
If you book ahead, you are virtually guaranteed to get a spot on the tour and departure date that works best for you.
Check out our 2018 tour dates to see what’s available.
5. Get your ducks in a row before you go.
There are lots of details involved in international travel—give yourself plenty of time so there’s no last-minute stress.
For example: Your passport. Do you have one? If not, you’ll need a couple of months between applying for it and receiving it.
If you already have a passport, double-check that it’s valid at least six months from the date of your return flight or you’ll need a new one.
How’s your luggage situation? If it’s been awhile since you took a long trip, you may want to shop around for a new set of luggage with a good quality carry-on bag meeting today’s FAA regulations. Planning ahead means you can wait for a good sale!
Pick up a guide book and do some research about the places you are visiting. Make a list of the things you absolutely want to see while you’re in Europe.
Finally, go over your packing list to make sure you have everything you need for stress-free international travel—don’t forget comfortable walking shoes.
Talk with your cell phone service provider about international plans to save you expensive minutes. Buy outlet adapters so that you can charge digital cameras, cell phones, laptops, and other electronics.
6. Learn a few foreign phrases and enhance your experience.
Learning simple words and phrases may come in handy while traveling abroad. For instance, you may want to grab a taxi back to your hotel after a night at the Vienna Opera House.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know a few German phrases for tourists?
A little foreign language also makes for a great conversation starter when getting to know your fellow tour mates. Exchange the phrases you acquired before the trip with others, picking up some new conversation starters for your language rolodex. When in Rome, as they say!
7. Pick a time of year that best suits your schedule and best suits the weather.
Vacations provide an escape from our busy, busy lives—and sometimes, it’s hard to find two or three weeks to spend on yourself unless you plan many months in advance.
And of course, once you find your vacation sweet spot, you want to make sure the weather will be pleasant in your dream destination. A trip to Spain and Portugal, for instance, would be a completely different experience in October than in July.
The smart thing about reserving your tour well in advance is that you can see your favorite cities when they are at their best.
Haven’t you heard? You’ll love Paris in the springtime. And for that matter, London and Rome aren’t half-bad, either.
8. Organizing a trip abroad can be time consuming - take time to plan around everyday life!
Life never stops, it never slows down. Summer months are full of vacations, weddings, sporting events, and more. As you move into fall, holiday activities pack your schedule, and before you know it, it’s a new year.
Arranging your European tour a year in advance lets you work vacation-planning around all of life’s activities.
Take time between school events, sports activities, business trips - you name it - to research all the sights you want to see and foods you’d love to try.
9. The kids are back in school, so you have more time to focus on your dream trip.
September is back-to-school season for your children and grand kids. And that means you have a little more to spend on yourself and planning your bucket-list tour of Europe.
And if you’re planning a family adventure together, you’ll have everyone’s school schedule for the following year so you’ll know the best times to book.
10. And finally, planning a trip to Europe is just plain exciting! Why wait to get started?
The joy of a lifetime adventure to Europe goes beyond just the day you climb on the plane until the day you return to home base—the whole planning process before you go is packed with anticipation and excitement.
Who doesn’t love having something to look forward to? (And the sooner you book, the more time you have to dream about your journey and plan for each bucket-list experience you’ll check off your list.)
See yourself in Europe next year? Contact us today to get the planning process started.