2023 is officially less than 4 months away. Have a few places on your bucket list that you plan on crossing off next year? Planning to take a big family trip next summer? Here are 5 tips to consider when planning.
1) Start tracking flight prices
It’s never a bad time to start tracking flight prices, but app like Google flights and Hopper have automated the process. Pick your routes and these apps will notify you of price changes and help compare prices over time. I usually use Hopper and Google Flights, but pick your favorite app and track prices. Even if you plan on using points for an award redemption, you might find a great deal and move your points for another redemption.
2) Find Hotels You want to stay at
I prefer to stay at Hyatt properties due to my Hyatt Globalist status and their partnership with Chase. As a result, I always try to find new and exciting Hyatt properties to visit when traveling, especially when I’m looking for a retreat/resort type of excursion. In addition to planning out which spots to stay at, this also helps you budget cash or points. I find that understanding how much I should expect to pay per night can go a long way in the planning process.
3) Research Typical Weather for Expected Travel Months
If you’re planning to travel in the Summer to Asia or Winter to Iceland, always research typical weather during those time periods. You never want to be hit with an unexpected summer monsoon in Asia or freezing dreary weather elsewhere. While off peak traveling is often cheaper, always research expected weather conditions! This could help determine if a flight deal is even worth taking and what activities you can expect to do.
4) Start Accumulating Credit Card Points
While, Miles and hotel points are great, flexible and transferable currencies such as Chase or Amex points are extremely valuable. Building your stash of miles and points ahead of time allows you more flexibility when it’s booking time. Not only will you be able to have a plethora options through numerous partnerships, if all else fails you can still redeem points for at least 1 cent per point.
Rather than grabbing as many points or signup offers available, do some research and find which programs have sweet spots to the region you plan on traveling. Wether it’s Japan via ANA or Hawaii from US via Turkish, having a clear of the airlines of choice allows you to better tailor your credit card earning strategy!
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5) Plan Some Work PTO
Ahh, the last and final piece. Sometimes even when all things align, you may not be able to take the time off work. If you’re looking to plan a vacation months in advance, why not lock in your PTO days while looking at awards. This helps you narrow down your search as you can take the necessary time off once you have a rough idea of when you would like to take your trip. As a rule of thumb, I try to book trips 3-6 months in advance so that I can plan out PTO or move my PTO if needed. This added flexibility allows me to clear my schedule and leave my work at home when traveling. You don’t want to be stuck in meetings while traveling!
Overall these are just 5 tips I try to use when planning my next trip. Having a sound plan(something I tend to overlook more often than not) can really help you plan the perfect trip or save money! Do you employ any of these strategies? Let me know or comment below with any questions and I’d be happy to chat.