Zen and the Art of Booking Early
Let’s face it—planning a big trip can be a bit challenging. There are so many things to decide, details to plan, and reservations to make. Even though you know Country Walkers is going to take care of all the little details for you—including hotel reservations, flights, transportation, walks, sightseeing, and many meals—deciding where and when to go can be a weight on your mind. Will there be space left on your preferred departure date? What if the most direct flights are sold out? Can I get my passport renewed in time? If these are the questions that keep you up at night, we have some great suggestions for taking the stress of travel planning off your plate so you can find some peace of mind.
Snag the Best Flights Before They Sell Out
That’s right—direct flights and convenient flight itineraries are in high demand, and they get snapped up quickly. Most airlines open up flights for booking about 11 months in advance of departure—so if you book your travel early enough, you get the pick of the litter. Veteran Country Walkers travelers Charles and Winslow Umberger have been taking Country Walkers trips since 2006, and they appreciate the convenience of early booking. “We often book a year or more in advance,” says Charles. “If we book our tour before the flights open up, our Tour Consultant will make a note to reach out to us once they do. A few weeks later, we’ll get a call from the Country Walkers flight department and we’ll pick our flights. It’s a huge relief—the one-stop shopping makes it easy!” Wait too long, and you might find yourself wasting unreasonable amounts of time hanging around the Baltimore airport—or worse.
Planning Ahead Gives You the Leisure to Ask Questions
Ever had to make a big decision in a rush? You have a few top choices, but supplies are dwindling, and you feel pressured to make a decision before the inventory flies out the door. So what do you do? You stay up all night researching, you drink too much coffee then stay awake half the night with your head spinning, and inevitably face the next morning bleary-eyed and second-guessing yourself. It’s easy to avoid that stressful situation by speaking with a Country Walkers Tour Consultant early on in your decision-making process.
When Charles and Winslow were planning their recent Country Walkers tour, they called up their long-time Country Walkers Tour Consultant, Terri Erdelyi, to ask her advice. As they discussed their options, they discovered Terri had firsthand knowledge of one of their top trips. Since Terri had personally traveled on the England: The Lake District Guided Tour, she was able to offer very specific details about the tour and answer the Umberger’s questions with ease. “Terri helped us weigh our options—for example, would it be better to travel in spring or fall?” says Charles. “Terri took the time to walk us through it, which was really helpful because she had actually done the trip herself and she had all the details at her fingertips.” When you give yourself a little breathing room, you can take the time to have those conversations and weigh your options without scrambling around to make a decision at the last minute.
Get The First Pick of Popular Tours and Departure Dates
It’s no secret—popular Country Walkers tours sell out early every year. And while travel trends vary and tours that are popular one year might not be so popular the next, one thing remains a constant: travelers who delay booking may not get their first choice. If you have your heart set on a particular itinerary or departure date, it pays to make that reservation early. Then, you can rest easy knowing that you have your dream trip to look forward to—without scrambling around at the last minute for a second-best option.
Planning Ahead Makes It Possible to Dream Big
Ever had a dream about going somewhere just a little outside of your comfort zone? Maybe it’s a trip to see the Holy Land—like in our Israel: Galilee, the Dead Sea & Jerusalem Guided Tour. Or perhaps you’re dreaming of visiting the Southern Hemisphere with a trip to our New Zealand: The South Island Guided Tour or a Country Walkers Chile & Argentina: Patagonia & Torres del Paine National Park Guided Tour. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to see the deserts and medinas of North Africa, as in our Morocco: Marrakech, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira Guided Tour. No matter your preference, a trip to a far-flung destination can sometimes have a few extra steps to meet the country’s entry requirements—and applying to the embassy for any required entry visas can take some extra time. Booking that ambitious trip of a lifetime well in advance gives you all the time you need to read up on your destination, clear any red tape, and gear up for an exciting multicultural experience.
Sheild Your Time from Mundane Obligations
If you’re like most of us, your spare time gets gobbled up pretty quickly. Between the select board meetings, business mixers, and neighborhood bunco nights, it takes vigilance to avoid having one’s calendar cluttered with obligations. By booking that trip early, you can claim some precious time for yourself. Picture yourself saying: “Host the next HOA meeting? Gosh, no I can’t—I’ll be on a walking tour of Europe that week,” and watch the face of the next likely host or hostess turn green with envy.