Getting ready to plan a vacation? If you're eager to head out on a meaningful adventure but have questions about when to book, where to go, and what to wear, you're not alone. Thousands of people ask the same questions every year before planning a cruise or destination vacation. Fortunately, there are tips that can help you plan your dream getaway. Here are answers to five of the most frequently asked questions about travel and cruising:
1. How Far in Advance Should I Book?
There's no simple answer to the question of when to book your vacation. That's because it depends on multiple variables, ranging from your destination and chosen type of travel, to airfare prices and the size of your group. If you're working with specific dates, plan ahead: Book international travel about four months early, and book about three months ahead of time for domestic travel. If you want to plan a vacation during a popular holiday or travel period, be sure to book even further in advance than that.
2. When Is the Best Time to Cruise?
The best time of year to cruise depends on your destination. If you plan to cruise Alaska, do so between May and September to avoid the extra chill. And while you can cruise the Caribbean throughout the year, the best months to travel are December through April, when the islands are dry and comfortably warm. Hawaiian cruises are best in spring, and if you're heading to Mexico, go between December and April if you want to avoid rainy days.
3. Do I Really Need to Purchase Travel Insurance?
Insurance is always a good idea if you have invested a lot of money in your ticket. After all, travel is unpredictable: There are trip interruptions, flight cancellations, baggage losses, and medical problems that can occur. So, while you don't need to purchase travel insurance, paying a bit extra to secure yourself, your belongings, and the money you paid for your ticket is a smart thing to do before you travel.
4. What Should I Wear?
First-time travelers and cruisers might wonder what to wear on vacation. For warm, land-based resorts and cruises, casual attire (such as shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, sandals, and sundresses) is perfect. For cruises that travel to colder destinations, be sure to pack long pants, a jacket, and a sweater. When it comes to evening wear, bring dress clothes with you — such as cocktail dresses, heels, dress pants, dress shoes, suit jackets, and button-down, long-sleeved shirts. Many cruise lines and resorts have mandatory dress codes for dining.
5. What Are the Best Travel Destinations?
The best travel destinations are those that are meaningful to you. If you love sunshine, you'll adore vacations to Mexico, the Caribbean, Asia, and South America. Those who enjoy history, landmarks, and museums may prefer exploring Alaska or Europe. The beauty of travel is that you get to decide where your next adventure will take you — so plan a vacation that speaks to your passions, and you'll come back new.