“Be Flexible“are the resounding words of wisdom from the travel experts when asked for holiday travel planning tips.

But if you have your heart set on a special destination or your travel dates are firm, then you could be out of luck.

Consumers are tantalized by special offers, last minute deals from the discount booking and auction websites.


Remember… a savings can be simply perception.

You know the story. How many times have you made a purchase based on a promotional price or packaging.

Rule #1 – know what you want.

Followed by rule #2 – know what you are willing to pay.

And, most importantly, rule #3 – know how much you are willing to risk.

I spent a few hours digging up advice online; most information and tips were inconsistent.

Exception: In terms of air travel, experts and enthusiasts feel that mid-week travel is always your best bet.

Advanced bookings are always advised.  Yet, the lead time is cloudy. Is it 6 months, 3 months or 45 days?

In reviewing research and travel stats, the travel economic climate varies year by year.

But, the remainder of the 2015 could be a very busy travel year if it mimics the last five months of activity.

Julie Hall of AAA Travel shared some advice:

Although last minute discounts can definitely be found, the best availability and pricing is generally available to those who plan ahead.

AAA TRAVEL also recommends booking vacations through a travel agent. In addition to having in-depth expertise about destinations across the globe, agents have relationships with cruise lines, hotels and tour operators. They often have access to special rates and added benefits that are not available elsewhere.

Based on the recent  AAA Travel 2015 Memorial Day Holiday Travel report forecast, travel is top-of-mind with consumers.

Fast Facts:

The 4.7 percent increase over Memorial Day 2014 is the highest forecast growth rate for any of the holidays tracked by AAA since Independence Day 2012.

Travelers will encounter higher lodging costs this year, while airfares are down slightly compared to Memorial Day 2014.

Sadly, I learned a travel lesson first hand. I had hoped to visit Iceland over the summer. Unfortunately, the trip is no longer within my budget.

Who knew? Surely, Iceland is not on everyone’s bucket list. But the new reality has set in; popularity has soared for this destination. The demand has driven up room rates and air fares. Ignoring Rule #3 was a costly mistake shaking up my dream vacation plans. So I am back to square one – working on locking in my Iceland adventure for 2016 before the end of this year.

Wishing you happy planning for your holiday season!

For more expert travel advice and planning tips, visit AAA Travel online.