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  • Writer's pictureJenny Lou Faber

Plan Your Travel Early

Updated: Jul 1, 2023

I am currently working with a client who is married with no children (yet), has an older brother who is married with 4 children, and a sister that is also married with 3 children. These three families want to go to Southern California to do a Disneyland trip. One of my client’s biggest frustrations right now is that neither of her siblings seems to want to plan this early for a trip that is still 5 months away. To be honest, it’s frustrating me as well. I want to make sure that my clients are getting the best deals out there. The whole structure of my business is for someone to go on the trip they want for the least amount of money possible. Here’s the long and the short of it – the closer your trip is, the more money it’s going to cost and the greater the chance of it not happening altogether.

Planning your travel early is especially true for a Disney trip. Disney trips require planning. It might be possible to fly by the seat of your pants, but you’re probably not going to get to do a lot of the things you want to do. For example, you have to get up super early the day you’re going to Star Wars Galaxies Edge to get a spot in the virtual queue if you want to ride Rise of the Resistance. You have to wake up early 60 days before the start of your trip to start booking dining reservations. You have to make sure you have your park tickets and park reservations (if you’re reading this before January 9, 2024) no more than 120 days before your trip. And the list goes on. If you’re already going to be spending this much money on a trip, you want to make sure you’re doing what you actually want to do, right? You want to eat where you want to eat and ride what you want to ride. You don’t want to get stuck settling for something that you’re not excited about because you didn’t make the plans early enough.

I’m not saying that not planning doesn’t always work out. I recently went to Orlando and wasn’t planning on going to any theme parks. I was just going to Disney Springs and Universal CityWalk. I didn’t make any reservations. When looking at My Disney Experience (ask me in the comments if you don’t know what that is), the restaurant I most wanted to eat at didn’t have any available reservations and I was unsure if I wanted to eat at some of the ones that had availability. Well, my cousin, that met up with us there, was able to walk up to Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and got us a table for 8 people in 20 minutes! However, the next night we went to Universal’s CityWalk and we wanted to eat at CowFish. We took our chances to see if we could do the same thing. No luck. We ended up eating at Bubba Gump’s (it was still delicious, btw).

This holds true for more than just Disney and Universal. Scheduling Royal Caribbean cruises can be the same way. You might not get the type of cabin you want in the location you would like. You might not be quick enough for that excursion you really wanted to go on. Maybe you’re visiting New York City and the restaurant you really wanted to go to has no more reservations for the night you’re there. The flight you wanted is either booked up or is extremely expensive now.

If it’s at all possible, put together the bucket list items for your vacation as early as you can. Let’s say you want to go to Hawaii, but you don’t even have a realistic timeline for it yet. Write down what you want to do there anyway. Maybe an ad, reel, or YouTube video inspired you to want to snorkel with turtles. Write it down somewhere, even in the notes on your phone. When the time comes to start planning your trip, these are the first things you can start looking into or telling your travel agent that you want to do so that they can start researching it for you.

These bucket list items are the inspiration for even wanting to go on your trip. My husband is a huge history buff. His favorites are World War II and the American Revolution. A trip we are actually planning on taking in the next 3 years is a history tour in New England. We’re starting with all of the spots he wants to make sure we hit, we add in some of the top food spots we want to try, and as the travel agent, I’ll fill in the rest.

Yes, of course, things might change when you’re planning early, but it’s much better to be ready and have to change course than it is to miss out altogether, don’t you think? As for my client and her siblings, hopefully, they’ll start making some decisions soon and we can at least book the big things for them. I’ll keep you posted if you want to know what they got to do or didn’t get to do.

So tell me – what are some of your bucket list items you want to do or see? Tell me in the comments or find me on socials and let me know there. Thanks for reading!! 😊️ I appreciate you!! 💕

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