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Counting Down to Plan For Vacation Day 2022

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National Plan for Vacation Day is January 25, 2022.

Last month was rather strange around here. One one hand, we had as many guests traveling in December as we ever have – a great business month, and excellent guest experiences across the board (at least based on the feedback we’ve gotten so far). But nearly 60% of those guests booked their travel within 60 days of departure – almost twice as many guests who booked that close to departure as in 2019, when we had a similar number of guests traveling. I understand where this trend came from. Traveling in the pandemic era means dealing with continuously shifting conditions, requirements, and circumstances. But I still feel like so many of those guests are cheating themselves out of their full vacation experience, especially since just about every reason to wait to book can be mitigated with the help of a travel professional.

A 2020 study by the Institute for Applied Positive Research reported that 97% of survey respondents said that having a trip planned made them happier. 82% of respondents said that actually having a trip booked made them either “moderately” or “significantly” happier. What’s notable is that they reported those feelings of happiness based solely on the anticipation of future vacation travel. Further research found that planning six months ahead brought National Plan for Vacation Day - January 25, 2022happiness to eight out of ten respondents, and nearly 3/4 of respondents said that planning travel gave them a feeling of control amidst uncertainty. But what does that have to do with feeling like the shorter-term travelers are missing out?

It’s simple. The data is overwhelming. Planners are happier. Planners are 25% happier while on vacation. They’re nearly 20% happier with their jobs, and more than 20% happier anticipating their upcoming vacation travel. People who plan use almost twice as many of their paid vacation days traveling, and are much less likely to be among the fully 1/3 of Americans who leave paid time off “on the table” at the end of the year (for many employees, leaving paid time off unused at the end of the year is basically the equivalent of working those hours for free). Bottom line – people who wait to plan a vacation until 60 days before they travel are missing out on the happiness bump that they could be enjoying for at least another four months (and probably more – I just don’t have the data to prove it).

How Do We Help You Plan for Vacation Farther In Advance?

  1. We apply our knowledge and experience to help you sift through the ever-increasing level of “noise” in the world of travel information. The Internet has proven to be a double-edged sword on this front. Sure, there’s LOTS of information out there that you could use to research on your own. But how reliable is the source? Is the information current? It’s our job to know those things. I can’t even count how many guests I’ve helped plan vacations who came to me with one idea about a vacation supplier or destination, but ended up booking something entirely different when they discovered that the information they were relying on was no longer accurate.
  2. We keep track of the ever-changing rules and conditions, so you don’t have to. We think it’s great that so many of our guests like to read about the destinations they’re going to visit before they travel there. But it’s a lot easier for them to focus on the content that will help them get the most enjoyment out of their vacation with us monitoring the not-so-fun stuff for them, like vaccination and testing requirements and booking windows.
  3. Now, more than ever, booking farther in advance gives you the best chance of getting the best pricing possible. The days of last-minute “deals” are mostly gone. Suppliers and destinations have gotten smarter about their capacity planning and revenue management. What do we know that most travelers don’t? The least expensive rates are almost always those available as close to the opening of booking as possible. Prices ratchet up as capacity fills. By the time that “last-minute deal” is advertised, the price has already gone up so much that the discount is still more expensive than the original price.
  4. If you need to make adjustments, we can help with those too. Sure, we can help minimize any penalties or other additional costs. But the bigger bonus is that you get to leverage our TIME to get the changes made. With almost every travel supplier these days still significantly under-staffed, it’s not unusual for a change to require 2 hours of telephone hold time (or more). You just need to contact us, and I can virtually guarantee that none of us will make you wait on hold for 2 hours.
  5. We’re skilled and experienced at helping friend groups and extended families work to plan a vacation together. If the only thing holding you back from planning a family reunion in a tropical location is that you dread trying to coordinate plans that will keep BOTH Cousin Craig AND Aunt Annabelle happy, what are you waiting for? Let us handle the coordination! We can help you find a solution that works for everyone, and you don’t have to be caught in the middle.

The clock is ticking. Let us help you plan a fantastic family vacation, and give yourself and your family plenty of time to experience the happiness and joy of planning and anticipation.

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