Best timelines for booking travel

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Spring Break may be on the mind, but Jen Maki with Divine Destinations says people should be thinking about booking travel much further out.

“I always tell people the best time to book a vacation was yesterday. And although it is kind of a cheeky answer, the truth is that the sooner you can book, the better because as the flight begins to fill up, as the hotel or cruise ship fills up, the prices go up,” Maki said.

She said she really isn’t seeing many last-minute Spring Break deals these days and people are already booking for Spring Break 2024.

“So now is the time to be looking at holiday travel. In fact, I would tell people that if you’re looking for a date that’s a holiday or kids are getting out of school, definitely 6-9 months at a minimum is how far in advance you should be booking,” Maki said.

According to Maki, a lot has changed since the pandemic travel stoppage.

“I call it a feeding frenzy because truthfully, we’ve been basically forced to stay at home and watch Netflix for the last 2-3 years, right? So now that borders are open and restrictions have lifted for the most part, people want to travel. So with that brings all that extra demand. And it’s really something that has messed around with a whole lot of things from flights to cruise lines to transportation in general. So it is definitely something that’s new,” she said. “We have never seen the demand like this – at least, I haven’t in my 17 years. I’ve never seen demand like this. But the good news is there are a lot of options as long as you plan in advance.”

One of the best resources she recommends is Google Flights.

“If you have no idea where you’d like to go, they offer you suggestions,” Maki said. “But more importantly, with those suggestions, they also give you an idea of what the airfare will cost.”

She said the other advantage with booking early is you may be able to set up a payment plan to cover the costs.