Three big reasons you should book your next vacation… yesterday!

September 12, 2022
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When I’m not DJing on Cincinnati’s Mix 94.9, you can find me traveling the world and sharing my journeys here.

Three big reasons you should book your next vacation… yesterday!

My wife, bosses, and every teacher I’ve ever had have all politely pointed out one personality trait I possess: If a task is not interesting to me at that very moment, I’m definitely going to put it off.

Fellow procrastinators unite! In this edition of Jet with Jay, I want to provide the motivation you need to book your next vacation tonight. (Spoiler alert: it’s going to save you a bunch of money too!)

This is especially important since the holidays are coming up fast, and flight prices generally rise around heavier travel times like Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve.

The hustle and bustle of Christmas in Budapest is magical.

So why should you book early?

Reason #1: It’s less stressful.

For some people (like us), we have no problem being on vacation in a city in Europe and not having hotel reservations booked in the next city we’re going to until the night before.

For others, especially those traveling with families or larger groups, it can cause headaches, arguments, and time wasted when everyone can’t agree on the next place to visit.

We got to experience one of the top-rated Christmas Markets in Europe at St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest.

Planning ahead also allows you to potentially get better seats to events, concerts, and shows. You may be able to tour a castle or ride a zip line that is sold out on the day you decided to make last-minute plans. Advance reservations are often required at high-end or very popular restaurants. It also prevents you from sleeping in your car at a grocery store parking lot for the night because every hotel you called when you arrived in town at the last minute was booked up for an off-road rally. (True story.)

Pure and simple, planning ahead is usually a stress-saver.

Stress-free is the way to be on vacation

Reason #2: It can save you cash… sometimes a lot of cash!

We’ve booked plane tickets nine months ahead of a trip and also locked in a last-minute deal the night before. Is there a right or wrong way? Nope!

The reason we booked the tickets nine months out was that we found excellent flight deals for both a Thanksgiving and Christmas trip while searching for flights for a late spring trip. While it’s a little hard to get in the holiday spirit in the hot summer we’ve had, booking November and December travel now can sometimes save your family hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

If you’re considering visiting a popular holiday tourist spot like New York City or Florida, you should book sooner than later. Those flights can fill up fast and end up costing you more.

Pure and simple, planning ahead is usually a stress-saver.

It almost looks like a painting, right? Thanksgiving time in the Provence region of France is amazing.

Reason #3: You get 24 hours to change your mind

A fellow travel enthusiast named Cameron offered a suggestion a decade ago as I was debating if I should book a trip: “when you see a low fare that you know is a great deal, buy it now!”

It’s good advice and so true. It’s easy to spend a lot of time figuring out how to save the most money on flights—or debating if the fare might drop later—or if you can get time off work for that vacation.

But here’s something many people don’t know. If you change your mind and don’t want to keep that reservation, Federal law allows you to get a 100% refund as long as you cancel within 24 hours.

Bratislava, Slovakia’s Christmas Market is cozy and welcoming.

So how do you find those really great deals?

Here are some of the best ways I’ve found low fares.

  • Some people like to manually check airline websites daily. This is the most basic but can also be the most time consuming method. You may also miss out on hearing about a new deal if you forget to check back often.

  • Use a booking site that compares multiple airlines on the dates and times you want to travel. Or pick a month or time frame you’d like to travel and find the best price available. Google Flights is my personal favorite.

  • Get alerts on your favorite booking site so you know when fares drop. If you have a Google or Gmail account already, Google Flights has a great fare notification tool.
You don’t have to fly to Napa Valley; just a quick hop up to Traverse City, MI, lets you sip wine on a hill.
  • Subscribe to promotional emails from every airline and travel company that departs from CVG. If you find your inbox is getting a bit overwhelmed, create a separate folder in your email box and direct all of the messages to it.
    • Alaska Air
      Yes, they fly to Alaska, but their non-stop service to Seattle often goes on sale.
    • Air Canada
      Not just for trips to Canada, we’ve also scored great deals for European flights as well.
    • Allegiant
      It’s the trusty friend who gets you where you need to go without all the frills.
    • American
      Their emails will give you heads up about non-airline reward partners as well.
We booked this Thanksgiving flight to London nine months in advance and got to see The Tower of London.
  • Delta
    Keep an eye out for flight deals and extra benefits when you join their SkyMiles program.
  • Frontier
    They often have some of the best prices and most fun names for their flash sales.
  • Southwest
    Southwest doesn’t appear in Google Flight searches, so it’s a good way to learn about their deals.
  • Sun Country
    If you need to get to Minneapolis or surrounding states, keep an eye on them.
  • United
    It’s great for both domestic and international travel. They also codeshare with many airlines. (We’ve booked with United and had a wonderful codeshare flight on Lufthansa.)
  • Viva Aerobus
    Viva is offering awesome deals to Mexico with or without a vacation package!
  • Don’t forget to keep an eye on Vacation Express and Apple Vacations for really good all-inclusive options.
One-stop service to Belize let us enjoy a long Thanksgiving weekend with tropical weather.

By the way, my absolute favorite flight from CVG is back!

Non-stop Delta Air Lines service to Paris lets you depart CVG around 6pm, have a nice dinner on-board, watch a movie, have a quick snooze, and wake up in Paris the next morning! It is currently running three times per week with flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

How do you find great deals on flights? Share your tips! I’m at @JayKruzOfficial on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I’ll see you in flip-flops… in December!
-Jay

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