Let’s Get Planning!

The holidays are just around the corner.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, Friday is Black Friday, then Small Business Saturday followed by Cyber Monday.  Wait, those aren’t true “holidays”, except for Thanksgiving, right?

When coming up with gift ideas for holidays – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas – we typically turn to travel plans first.  Let’s face it, if I want a new toaster, sweater, wii game, whatever, I go out and buy it.  I’ve never been one for giving my relatives a list of what I wanted for a holiday and then waiting until that holiday.  Usually, if I put it on a list, I want it now.  So that brought us to the gift of travel.  Travel takes a little time to plan (though I’ve had a few clients do it only a day prior).  Sure, when it’s travel for my husband and me, it’s not a surprise, but that’s ok.  I’m not big on surprises anyway.

January starts what the travel industry calls “the wave”.  This is when it seems like people do a lot of planning for their future vacations.  I see an increase in activity starting Christmas night.  I think this is because over the course of the next 4-5 weeks, people are getting together with friends and family, celebrating the season and discussing the upcoming year (or more).  Some jobs require you to request time off for the year at the start of the year.

So why is now a good time to start planning your trips?  To save money!  The cruise lines and tour companies know that you are going to start planning in January.  Things are going to be very busy for them then.  Many of you will find the best deal at the time and book your travel.  You’re all too busy to plan something now.  It’s the holidays after all!  The travel companies don’t like that you are busy and want you to book now, so many of them offer some incredible deals if you book before the end of the year.  I am getting email after email of Black Friday/Cyber Monday/End of the Year sales right now from cruise lines, tour companies, hotels.

What’s that?  You’re too busy to do this now?  Now is the perfect time for you to go to your trusted travel agent.  Take a few minutes to tell them what you are looking for — what your ideal trip would be.  Don’t leave out any details as this can make it more stressful for you.  Then sit back, or better yet, run to your holiday parties, get your shopping done, bake your cookies while your travel agent pulls together a quote or two for your vacation.  You’ll be glad you did!

To kick off the holiday season, we are starting our 12 Days of ToaD-mas blog series.  We will highlight vacation destinations over the course of the next four weeks leading to Christmas.  Not only will we talk about a destination, we will also select a tour/cruise company and price out a sample package so you can get a idea of what that could cost you.  This can help give you a jump start into planning your dream vacation for 2012 and beyond.  We hope you’ll join us!

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