Who doesn’t love a last-minute, spontaneous holiday? There certainly is something exciting about impulsively booking an adventure at the last possible minute with no expectations. However, some of the best travel adventures do require you to book a year in advance to avoid missing out. Here are five trips we suggest booking a year in advance to avoid disappointment.
Hiking the Classic Inca Trail that Hiram Bingham took in 1911 to discover the ‘lost’ city of the Incas is on many people’s bucket lists. As such, there is a limit as to how many people can be on the Inca Trail every day, and these spots are allocated via permits, that often sell out 12 months in advance during the peak season. There are hundreds of hiking trails in and around this part of the world that can be tied in with Machu Picchu, but if you’ve got your heart set on the Classic Inca, you best book ASAP!
A White Christmas for us Aussies is a bit of a novelty, and something many want to do once in our lives. Going sledding and seeing the Northern Lights above the Arctic Circle are not just popular with us, but the rest of the world too – meaning if you’re dreaming of a White Christmas, you need to book at least 12 months in advance. This goes for Lapland in Northern Finland, parts of Canada and skiing areas around the world.
This one might come as a surprise to some, but trust us, there’s a very good reason to book your African safari 12 months in advance. To limit the human impact and provide an exclusive, almost private wildlife viewing experience, many lodges in the African wilderness are very small – often 6-12 rooms. These are usually the lodges in the best spots too, so if prime wildlife viewing is high on your list of priorities for Africa, you need to book as soon as you can. This applies for many destinations on this list, but especially in Africa where there are limited lodges – the earlier you book, the more choice you have as well.
Your Facebook feed is probably full every June, July and August with friends and family enjoying the European summer aboard a river cruise or small ship in the Adriatic Sea. What you won’t see from these social posts is how far in advance they had to secure their spot because these cruises sell out 12 months in advance – many even sooner than that! If you’re tossing around the idea of cruising in Croatia, Greece, Italy or along the Danube, Rhine or other European rivers, you best not think too long! Often the best value cabins go first.
If you’re wanting to attend the Nada ‘am Festival in Mongolia, Holi in India or Easter in Rome, you will need to book this as soon as you can! This goes for festivals that run each and every year as well as one-off events, such as the Solar Eclipse in Antarctica in 2021 (which is already selling out on some voyages!).
Popular destinations with limited accommodation are not the only reason to book over a year in advance. If you’re travelling in a group of more than four people or you’ve got strict travel dates, you also need to book ASAP!