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If you hope to take a summer trip, there’s no better time then the present to start planning. While some globetrotters opt to fly by the seat of their pants, cutting it perilously close to their travel time to plan everything out, undoubtedly the best, easiest and cheapest way to go is to think far ahead.
Not only will planning in advance net you the best flight and accommodation deals, but it will give you ample time to get the right travel gear and research the best experiences. Summer is peak season most places in the world. It’s warm, dry and travel industries kick into high gear, offering a plurality of experiences you just don’t find at other times.
What that means is that you’re essentially competing with a lot of other travelers – competing for the best flights, the finest accommodation and the hottest experiences. If you’re traveling with family, it’s especially important, but even solo travelers would be advised to start their summer planning now. Here’s how to do it.
Booking Flights & Accommodation
There’s some debate on when the best time to book flights is. This Mental Floss article advocates for booking roughly two months in advance for summer flights, but others push that estimate more to three or four months. At the very least, right now you should be starting to track flight costs. Go to Google Flights or Flighthub, and set up notifications for when the prices drop.
As for hotels, it’s the sooner the better. You may be able to shave a few dollars off if you get a last-minute deal, but the trade-off there is that, if hotels book up, you’re out of luck. 9 times out of 10, it’s wiser just to book accommodation ASAP.
Getting the Right Travel Gear
Plan ahead, and you won’t be scrambling last minute to buy clothing and travel accessories. For travel clothing, there’s no better material than merino wool. It’s a breathable material that wicks sweat, meaning that you’ll stay cool and dry under the punishing summer sun. It’s also, remarkably, antimicrobial, so it doesn’t stink like other materials (ahem, polyester), even after a few days of wear.
And don’t worry, it’s not the rough wool you might be accustomed to – just check out these Unbound Merino wool socks and shirts, made specifically with travelers in mind.
Travel guides are written in earnest, by people who are experts in the particular locale, but they come with a caveat. Whatever makes its way into a travel guide book is going to be overrun with tourists. They also offer an incomplete picture.
Take Paris, for instance. There are literally tens of thousands of experiences in the city, and only the tip of the iceberg makes its way into guidebooks. For restaurant recommendations, sightseeing recommendations and experiential tips, head to forums like the local “subreddit” (in this example r/Paris) or use the local review sites (i.e. don’t just rely on Tripadvisor, which solicits its reviews from other tourists).
With flights and accommodation booked, clothing bought and an experience itinerary set, you can just sit back, relax and start daydreaming about your fantastic summer vacation.