Washington, D.C. – The weather outside is frightful … with heat! Cold temperatures may seem far off in the distance, but in the travel world, now is the time to think about those cooler days and year-end holidays.
AAA travel advisors say even though most people book holiday travel in September and October, summer is the best time to make holiday plans. They explain why it pays to plan ahead and share which destinations are the most popular.
Nonstop Flights Fill Up Quickly
Most travelers want to skip layovers and get right to their destination. That means nonstop flights, especially those going cross-country and internationally, will fill up fast.
“Sometimes travelers wait to book airline tickets to get a better deal, but prices fluctuate, and the longer they wait, the fewer options they’ll have for nonstop flights and premium seats,” said Jodi Abata, AAA travel advisor, who frequently books international trips for AAA members.
Book Now Before Most Families Do
With summer vacations and camps in full swing, most families aren’t thinking about the holidays. That’s why you should be!
“Beat the rush and start planning for the holidays now! Many families with kids wait to book until early fall, when schools resume and they’re back into their routine,” said Cady DeBlois, AAA travel advisor, who books many theme park vacations for AAA members. “But ideally, they should start getting their holiday trips on the books now to get the best selection.”
More People are Gifting Experiences Instead of Presents
AAA travel advisors say they’re seeing more people gift travel experiences to loved ones instead of presents. That means those people are already thinking about the holidays.
“I just booked travel for one family who’s surprising their children on Christmas morning with a trip to Disney World, leaving later that same day! That family was sure to book early to get exactly what they wanted,” DeBlois shared.
YOLO (You Only Live Once) is Replacing Bucket Lists
After three years of a pandemic, many travelers are tackling their bucket lists now! “I’ve had travelers tell me, I don’t know what my health will be in 5 or 10 years, let’s go abroad this year,” Abata said. “There seems to be a sense of adventure from more people now. They don’t want to delay travel any longer.”
Europe, Cruises, and Theme Parks Sell Out in Advance
European travel is booming this year, and the holidays will be no exception. AAA travel advisors say touring Christmas markets in Europe is extremely popular and itineraries sell out in advance. River cruises are also in high demand during the holidays, along with Caribbean cruises.
Theme parks are a holiday favorite among families with kids when students are on winter break. DeBlois added, “I’ve already booked theme park vacations for Christmas 2024! That’s how eager many families are to get their holiday plans on the books.”
For holiday travel ideas and vacation bookings, reach out to a AAA travel advisor or browse Trip Canvas for inspiration and top trending destinations. Check out AAA Diamond hotels and restaurants for the best places to stay and dine during your trip.