Why Now Is The Perfect Time To Book Your Spring Break Vacation

As the Christmas season nears, the last thing you might be thinking of is preparing for a spring break vacation. With the holidays known for taking a toll on your wallet, it's easy to push vacation plans to the back burner. Not to mention, the thought of lying on a beach might be cruel to think of, as there is snow falling outside. But now is actually the perfect time to start planning your spring break vacation.

With the cost of an average trip rising nearly 10% in the spring of 2023, booking now can potentially save you hundreds of dollars next spring. Frontier Airlines CEO told CNBC that demand was "probably the best we've ever seen." And if you're planning to fly next spring break, the post-pandemic airline congestion is expected to continue into 2024, so booking your flight ahead of time isn't just a good idea. It's a must!

Planning ahead ensures you don't miss out on any must-see attractions or experiences. It also gives you time to research and book popular tours and activities. In 2023 alone, Vicasa noted that 36% of Americans planned a destination-based trip to popular attractions like Disneyland in the spring. Booking early for popular spring break destinations in 2024 will provide you with peace of mind, but that isn't even the biggest perk to planning your trip during the winter: It's the savings!

Early bird gets the best flight deals

Airlines allow you to book around 11 months in advance, but that's not to say you need to plan your trip almost a year ahead of time. Those who are intense organizers may find that thrilling, but the sweet spot for booking domestic flights is around three months prior. Not only do you have the opportunity to secure lower prices when booking in that time frame, but you also have more options regarding payment plans and cancellation policies.

International travel should be planned at least two to eight months before leaving. According to AAA, international travel during Spring Break 2023 was up an estimated 30% from the previous year. With the top destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe, it's no surprise that demand for international travel is high across the board. Luckily, booking your flights in advance can save a good chunk of money.

Forbes highlights a study conducted by Expedia that found booking international travel at least six months prior gave travelers an average savings of at least 10%. Securing your flight in advance allows you to choose longer payment plans to spread out your vacation expenses or just have additional time to budget, making your trip ultimately easier on your wallet. You also have the advantage of comparing prices and choosing your preferred airline, flight times, and layovers without as much competition or pressure to book immediately.

Reserving accommodations early guarantees your spot

Booking accommodations and activities ahead of time can save you money, unnecessary stress, and last-minute disappointment. When it comes to cost, hotel room prices saw a nearly 20% hike from the end of 2022 to spring 2023, so booking at the right moment is important for 2024. However, hotel prices fluctuate based mostly on supply and demand, so booking far in advance can be hit or miss.

Booking hotels at the last minute can occasionally give you a small break on the cost of a room, but in such a busy travel season, it can also leave you with limited options. The trick is to reserve your ideal hotel room in advance, as it guarantees your spot and helps avoid any last-minute scrambling. Then, around 15 days before your trip, keep your eye open for a deal on hotel rooms. Pay attention to cancellation policies when making reservations, but most hotels will allow you to cancel your reservation two to three days before your arrival.

Booking shows, excursions, and tours in advance also secures your preferred time slot and gives you ample time to plan. Because these activities often have limited availability, booking in December for spring break allows you to plan your itinerary without any last-minute changes or disappointments. From potential discounts to giving yourself the time to research the area and make any necessary changes, booking these activities earlier is best for getting the most out of your trip.