Have you been brooding over your year-end holiday travel? Why not plan it now? Here are the four reasons you need to plan them right away.
If you haven't started planning your next trip, consider this your official notice to start immediately. The past few years were difficult and continue to be challenging. People are, therefore, ready to escape and even more ready to start traveling again; they are also willing to pay more than ever to compensate for the lost time, which is why travel companies struggle to maintain the demands.
Additionally, inflation is hitting every traveler's budget to some degree. In such a state of affairs, you might wonder, what can you do to stay ahead? Well, you guessed it, plan far far ahead.
Many of us make the mistake of delaying planning till the very last minute, thinking it wouldn't make a difference. This article brings four reasons to convince you otherwise. Without delaying it further, let's dive in.
Reason#1: Transportation is a Challenge
One reason you need to start planning your trip now is that transportation is straight-up challenging. Flights are delayed or even canceled last minute due to staffing, weather, or increased demand.
According to the Washington Post, domestic airfare averaged $330 for a round trip, the international trip averaged around $810 at the beginning of the year, and they're expected to keep rising. Overall, airfare was up 28% just for the summer months.
As many people find it more difficult to afford the increased cost of a flight, they're hitting the road instead, which seems a viable option. Rental car prices are up 40% because supply has not met demand, and more people are turning to rent-a-car services to get around.
You might also have noticed a sharp increase in gas prices that are up from a year ago. Going into inflation's detail highlights that planning now versus later can mean building a Plan B just in case one of these delays or shortages happen to you.
Reason#2: Reduced Availability
With enhanced cleaning measures, housing staff takes longer to clean the rooms, sometimes up to 24 hours between guests. Accommodations can reduce the availability or limit the inventory of how many rooms can be sold, thus, driving up the price as demand increases.
In addition, the hours and availability of specific amenities like pool access, gym access, Spa services, and on-site restaurant services can be significantly reduced or even removed altogether.
Airbnb's no different. Prices have increased by 35% over the last year, costing more than hotel stays, as people scramble to book whatever is available. An increase in chores, a decrease in availability, and a price increase have led to many challenges for travelers around the globe.
Reduced availability means less staff and reduced service, operating hours, and seating capacity for restaurants. More restaurants are taking reservations. So, reservations are encouraged and may even be mandatory in some places. Look at the restaurant menus before you go or make a reservation where possible.
You don't want to fail to experience a delicious meal at a place you so desperately waited for, only to get to your destination to find out that you can't go in because you didn't make that reservation when you had the chance.
Reason#3: Planning Can Save You Money
The third reason you need to plan now is that it can save you money, which is the biggest reason. Advanced planning allows you to learn a typical fair to your destination. For those who enjoy traveling, you know that those travel fares and discounts typically don't last long.
Some of the perks of planning early include taking advantage of cost-cutting savings, premium economy tickets for basic economy prices, reduced prices for a higher tier hotel, and bundle packages like flight and hotel, hotel and flight for less than the cost of the hotel.
Cost savings all add up and look like extra legroom in a flight with additional storage, priority boarding, extra bags, expedited processing, and no change fees. When you plan, you can pick your preferred destination, dates, and accommodations, with full availability of activities. If your budget allows, this also helps you attack an extra day or two, even up to a week.
It's never too late to work out the details for a trip, even when it's last minute.
Reason#4: Positively impacts your Mental Health
According to Harvard Business Review, research shows that the stress of a poorly planned vacation can eliminate the positive benefits of time off. Planning a month early and focusing on those details in advance versus trying to figure things out while you're on vacation has resulted in a better vacation experience with more positive outcomes for your mental well-being.
Planning out at least a vague itinerary, like where to visit and what to do, is a great start. And if the experience of planning gets you a little bit stressed out, take a break and then start again when your mind is clear.
With the world slowly returning to normal, we're all itching to travel and attend events, and prices have skyrocketed. So, the only way to make the most of your trip is to plan, plan, and plan people.