Whether you’re getting ready for spring break, planning a festive holiday getaway, or booking a summer vacation house rental, organizing a vacation can involve a lot of moving parts. That’s why planning ahead can help ensure your trip is as affordable and fun as possible. Below are a few tips about when to book to give you a little guidance.

How Far in Advance Should You Plan a Vacation?

1. Give Yourself Time to Plan

To start, set aside a specific time to map out your vacation plan, especially if you want to include the whole family. Figure out the basics, like the number of people in your party, the amount of time you have to travel, the types of activities each traveler enjoys, and your budget. Finding a vacation rental and booking airfare will be easier when everyone is on the same page about these details.

2. Secure Vacation House Rentals Well in Advance

vacation house rentalBecause there are a limited number of vacation rentals available at a given time, you’ll get the best deal—and have more options to choose from—when you book in advance. Aim to secure a place several months out, especially if you plan to travel during popular vacation times such as spring break, the July 4th holiday, Memorial Day or Labor Day, and Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you’re looking for a vacation rental for the week of Independence Day, for example, start looking for available properties around the first of the year.

3. Don’t Book Airfare Too Early 

Plane tickets should not be booked too far in advance if you’re traveling domestically. Otherwise, you may end up paying a higher fare. Instead, take advantage of an airline’s prime booking window, which can fall anywhere from four months to three weeks before a booking date. Monitor fares regularly during this time and sign up for email alerts, so you can reserve your ticket when the price drops. But don’t wait until the last minute—fares almost always rise two weeks before a departure date.

**Did you know online travel agencies (OTA) charge their users a Service Fee of up to 20% of the total cost of the reservation?  When you #BookDirect you not only avoid paying 3rd party fees, but you get the benefit of dealing directly with the local property manager or owner, someone who knows the area and can help you find the rental that works best for your travel goals. 

If you’re interested in booking a vacation rental, get in touch with Gulf Shores Rentals in Gulf Shores, AL. For more than 30 years, this company has been helping travelers find the perfect  beachfront vacation rentals for fun, affordable, and unforgettable getaways. Visit their website to browse some of their beach houses for rent, and call (251) 948-7000 to start planning your trip with a helpful representative today.