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You look forward to your vacation all year long, but should you actually plan it that far in advance?

When it comes to booking a vacation, it can be tricky deciding the right time. Sometimes it can be cheaper to book in advance, but then you never know what is going to happen or if prices will suddenly drop later. There are many factors that go in to getting the best deals for your vacation, including the days you decide to depart and return, the times of the flight, and where you are going.

Regardless of the destination, leaving in the middle of the day during the middle of the week, usually will result in the cheapest airfare and hotel prices. On the weekends, prices are hiked up worldwide.

Now, to figure out how far in advance you should book your flight and lodging for your vacation can be decided by where you are going, here are some easy guidelines to follow based on the location you intend to visit:

Domestic Vacation

If you are staying in the country, the best time to find the cheapest prices is about a month before your vacation. This is when rates will be the cheapest all around. While you might think it would be smarter to book your hotel prior in advance, rates tend to decline at this point in time and you will save a lot more on your plane tickets.

Central American Vacation

The best time to plan a trip to Central America is just a little over a month out from the time you intend to leave. Airfare and resort fees will be cheaper because people tend to book these trips further in advance than they need, and end up paying more money. The people who wait will find better deals that are offered after the initial sales.

South American Vacation

While too many people seem to associate these trips with those to Central America, trips to South America should be planned much further in advance. Six months in advance is the best time to book your trip because it will take more time to plan and get your things in order for the trip. Also, there are not always a lot of flights here, depending on the area of the continent in which you are traveling, so to make sure you can get a flight and hotel when and where you want, you’re going to want to give yourself some time in advance to plan it out.

Asian Vacation

Planning a vacation to Asia takes the most time in advance to travel. Between getting your passport updated, sufficient luggage and necessities, it can be better to look at your lodging and flight choices far in advance. For the best deals, you should plan a trip to Asia about ten months out. This is when you’ll find the best sales and it will help give you plenty of time to map out your travels in this foreign land.

Caribbean Vacation

If you’re looking for an easy vacation to plan that you can take sooner, a trip to the Caribbean might just be the perfect fit for you. The best deals on airfare come at about two weeks before you intend to travel. By saving money on your flight, finding a reasonably priced hotel to stay at will be easy. Just make sure you have a passport and you are ready to go!

European Vacation

A trip across the pond will take quite a bit of time to plan and should be done in advance to accommodate your budget and planning needs. The best time to plan a vacation within Europe is about eight months ahead of time. This way you’ll be able to save money on the flight, which can be quite pricey regardless of when you travel. By saving as much as you can on your flight, you’ll be able to spend more money while exploring all the wonderful places once you get there.

African Vacation

While this may be surprising, a trip to Africa should be booked just a around a month in advance. This gives you enough time to plan, and you will have a good deal for your flight, which will be the priciest part of your trip. By having that squared off a month in advance, you will have time to prepare the rest of you vacation plans before you head out.

Lastly, remember that different airlines and resorts can change process based on deals, so it is best to have a plan in advance and be flexible with your travel times and plans. Also, if you intend to travel around the holidays, you will most likely see an unavoidable rise in prices, no matter when you book the trip. Keep these tips in mind when booking your next vacation.

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