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How early do u like to make your important reservations?

Mil,WI
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155 posts
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How early do u like to make your important reservations?

Im just curious. We plan on going in October of 2015 and plan on making reservations for the plane, hotel, and car in October of 2014. I know its far off still, but would like to know the small details before my group comes together to discuss things.

Anyway, a years sounds about right. Correct? If not, when do you usually like to make the reservations for the big things on your trip? And I dont know if traveling domestically or internationally affect your choice time when making reservations.

Dont mind my errors. Using my cell. So annoying. Lol

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Iowa
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40 reviews
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1. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

<<<<<Anyway, a years sounds about right. Correct?

No, incorrect.

You can make hotel reservations when you find a rate that is acceptable to you. If that is a year in advance, fine. Make sure that reservation can be cancelled, changed, or refunded. Do not prepay this far in advance. A year is a long time. Anything may happen.

What airlines serve your airport? Southwest is a good place to start if they serve your area. Each passenger gets 2 free checked bags. Tickets are changeable without a change fee. If the price goes down you can rebook and get a credit for the difference. Most other airlines do not offer this.

Rental car rates change daily, sometimes. I wouldn't look at booking a car until next summer. Again, do not prepay. You can book and rebook as many times as you want to get the best car and the best rate. No credit card needed to make a car reservation.

Valley Stream, NY
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2. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

We make reservations about 6 months ahead. We use Jet Blue and they don't even have the flights out a year ahead. I'm going in December and haven't bought the airfare yet (I will in the next week or so). When our friends have come with us they made their reservations about 2 months ahead.

Destination Expert
for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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3. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

A year sounds like a really long time to prebook anything. WE make plane reservations 4-6 weeks ahead of time unless it is for a holiday period. We make hotel reservations 2-4 weeks ahead. We make restaurant reservations the day before. And we book a rental car at the same time as our plane but not with anything we have to prepay,just to make sure we have something in place.We buy theme park tickets at least a year in advance with a no expiration option since the price of these only goes up. When we travel internationally,we book hotel and plane about 8 weeks in advance. Unless I saw a fare or a hotel rate that was incredibly low, I can't see the advantage of booking a year in advance

South Dakota
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4. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

I make hotel reservations about a year out, but, as previously posted, I never go with any of the cheaper "advance purchase" options that are non-refundable. You never know what's going to happen. If the hotel does not have an option to cancel 24 hours or less in advance, I keep searching. When I do book far out, I check about six weeks before my arrival date to make sure nothing has happened to my reservation.

Most airlines no longer let you make reservations a year out. Seems to be more like ten months. Some of the cheaper and/or charter airlines only let you book about 3 months out. I think 4-5 months is good for airlines. They'll keep changing your departure times, planes, etc. about a billion times after you book, anyway, so you may not get exactly what you originally selected.

I agree that it is not necessary to book a rental car that far in advance.

Mil,WI
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155 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

Thanks for the info. I wasnt sure and now it sounds like a better idea to wait longer. We will be going with Airtran, unless something changes that!. I heard that Southwest and Airtran have the cheapest domestic flights. :)

San Francisco...
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6. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

I tend to have an idea on dates and then get flights as soon as good prices become available. If you watch certain websites and this forum you'll get to know what's good. With regards to things like Disney dining, you can do this 180 days in advance. Best to do it sooner rather than later to get your first choice.

Boxborough...
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7. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

I'd make hotel & car reservation whenever you wish, assuming you can cancel. How big is your group? Perhaps you can check with the airlines for group discounts. I'm completely unfamiliar with this, but it strikes me as a possibility if your group is large enough.

Graysville...
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8. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

I like to book our room about 6 months ahead and the airline about 3-6 months ahead. AirTran and Southwest change the prices of their flights daily sometimes, so as soon as you see a price you like, book it. And you do not have to book roundtrip, you can book one way if the price of that flight is what you are looking for. I like to put in dummy dates and watch the prices for a while before it is time to put in my dates and book so that I have an idea of what the prices might be and that way I know what is a good deal and what is not. AirTran charges for baggage and to reserve your seat where Southwest does not. With Southwest you have to print your boarding pass 24 hours ahead to get a decent boarding position as they do not assign seats, it is first come, first serve. Southwest is taking over AirTran so you can book some of their flights on Southwest's website now. You can buy your Disney tickets whenever you want as the prices only go up each year, not by much though, and they do not expire until you have activated them and they are good for 14 days after that.

Mil,WI
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155 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

Very true about them changing the flight. For our honeymoon last year, we reserved a nonstop flight. A week later they changed it to a 1 stop. Checked online and yep no nonstop flights anymore. I was going to call them about it, but figured it wouldnt matter.

Boy was I wrong. When my husband and I got to the airport, we saw a nonstop to Orlando!! Then when we got to the airport in Orlando to go back hom, we saw a nonstop flight!!! What the heck?!? It didnt show these nonstop flights online. I KNEW I should have called.

Oh well. Live and learn. Lol

Nashville, Tennessee
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177 posts
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10. Re: How early do u like to make your important reservations?

Well we booked 6 months out and got the last room of our type out of 8 Disney hotels, so I'd book the room at least 6 months. Flights - I'd just watch for deals. Dining - I try to do 180 days out because if not, it becomes a nightmare trying to get what I want to fit my schedule.