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4 Trips You Should Plan at Least a Year in Advance

What’s the one thing we all have on our hands right now? Time! So, if you are thinking about your next vacation, and perhaps starting to do some research, now is the time to start planning your next adventure.

Travel plans that include certain destinations or complex itineraries need to be planned at least a year in advance. Factors that influence this are remote destinations with capacity restrictions and limited flight offerings, as well as places where the weather restricts the time of year to visit.

Below I share with you 4 trips you need to plan at least a year in advance…

Pool in the Serengeti overlooking the elephants.
Four Seasons Lodge Serengeti


Planning this once in a lifetime trip will involve coordinating multiple long-haul flights, reserving a stay in a remote lodge (there is not an unlimited amount of these available), arranging Visas, and getting vaccinations. Transferring between regions in Africa can be complicated and local flights do not operate daily. You may also be interested in seeing certain types of animals or experiencing the Great Migration. Now this means traveling to a very specific region during a certain time of year.


This bucket list destination is only accessible on an expedition cruise. These cruises have limited departure dates during a very specific time of year and only have 50 to 100 cabins on each sailing. And the most desirable cabins (middle of the ship), sell out up to two years in advance. You will also take long flights to your departure city (most cruises depart from South America), where you may be spending a few nights before boarding your expedition cruise.


Whether it’s a multigenerational trip (grandparents, children, grandchildren), or a vacation where several families are getting together, availability and scheduling logistics will take time to figure out. Planing this type of trip early is key… families need to look into school vacations and holidays, sports schedules for the kids, and work schedules. Once the travel dates are agreed upon now it’s time to think about the ideal destination, thinking about all the travelers and what would work for the group. Securing multiple rooms at hotels or a large villa to accommodate the group is best done at least a year in advance.


As the kids get older and enter high school and college this may become the only time of year where the whole family is available for a vacation. This means limited availability and the highest prices of the year. Many of my clients need to take their annual family vacations from late December to early January as school and internships no longer allow for summer vacations. Planning early, especially if traveling to warm destinations or to famous cities for European Christmas markets, becomes super important. You may not be able to totally escape the high prices this time of year but planning early will ensure you have the best options available.

These are some examples of trips that should be planned at least a year in advance. Any trip with a certain level of complexity and limited availability needs advance planning in order to ensure you are getting the experience you’ve been dreaming about.

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Working with Distinct Vacations in reserving at any of our preferred properties, you may have access to flexible cancellation policies and special amenities (such as a spa credit, complimentary breakfast, and room upgrades).


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