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If nothing else, I like this site to serve as the calendar pop-up reminder that you never had to program when it comes to travel and miles and points related actions. I know some of you don’t need those sort of reminders that you can now book flight awards through Thanksgiving or hotels through spring break, but for others life can get busy and it is easy to miss something like that. Along those lines, here is a reminder that will hopefully get your travel for the rest of 2017 and into 2018 headed in the right direction.
This week I sat down and outlined all of our planned 2017 family travel, and even started on 2018. I booked what I could, and am actively working on plugging in the few holes in the schedule that remain for this year. Last minute deals and award availability can be stellar, but much less so when you are date constricted and booking for an entire family. Advanced planning is often the key to maximizing miles and points for a family, and I find myself the most frustrated with miles and points when I don’t start planning my trips as far in advance as possible.
Look at Your Child’s 2017 – 2018 School Calendar
Along those lines, now is a great time to see if your child’s school calendar for the 2017 – 2018 year has been finalized, or at least get a feeling for when it will be released and what the draft versions may look like. Ours was just released this week, and it dramatically changes some dates from the current school year. They are starting close to two weeks earlier in August, winter break goes a week longer into January, they are ending the school year earlier, and we have a new long weekend in October. Assuming next school year will look like this year would have been a huge mistake. Thankfully the changes don’t impact anything we already had booked or even penciled in, but now I know for sure when our oldest is in school all the way until June 2018 and can plan accordingly…and hopefully get a jump on others who may not be thinking that far in advance quite yet.
In fact, I already have hotels booked on points for winter break 2017 – 2018 and spring break 2018, and I am just now waiting for the airline booking windows to go out that far. Fingers crossed something reasonable aligns with when/where we have hotels already secured on points!
After scrambling (and failing) this year to try and recreate a spring break trip close-in to the dates, I do not want to find myself in that situation again next year. I am not booking any more totally far flung family adventures until my youngest is older, but instead am focusing on quality destinations that are not too terribly difficult to reach for this phase of life. I’ve made the mistake of biting off more than we want to chew by booking trips too complicated or far away one too many times to (hopefully) ever make that mistake again!
Pencil in 2017 and 2018 Travel Plans Now
If you have time in the coming days, and you haven’t already done so, please do yourself a favor and get out a pencil and paper and map out your 2017 travel plans. See what you have booked, count your vacation days, look at the school calendar for long weekends, finish up booking what you can, and figure out when and where you want to travel this year. But, don’t stop there.
If you have school aged kids, look at that school calendar for the 2017 – 2018 year as well and keep the pencil and paper planning going into 2018. You don’t necessarily have to actually book those 2018 trips right now, but it doesn’t hurt to have your plans penciled in somewhere so you can focus on the trips you really want to take and give those the priority.
Has anyone else been going full-on planning mode on 2017 and 2018 with the school calendars starting to come out for next year?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.