The days of planning and booking a last-minute European trip are no more. In a post-Covid climate, the travel industry is still continuing to ramp up to meet the demand of pent–up travelers wanting to get back out and explore. While this is an extremely exciting time for many, it also is more important than ever to consider the time it takes to not only plan a trip but to logistically plan and secure your bookings.
That said, it’s never too early to start planning for a European vacation. With enough time, you can prepare and plan efficiently, secure your preferred hotels and attractions in advance, and save up money and vacation time. But how far in advance should you start seriously planning? In this blog post, we’ll walk you through our recommended timeline for planning a trip to Europe.
12+ Months Out
Start thinking about destinations
If you can’t decide on where you want to go, focus on your ‘why.’ Why are you looking to travel to Europe? What is it about Europe specifically that you want to see or do? Whether it’s family heritage, castles, cuisine, or perhaps witnessing the scenic locales of your favorite movies or TV shows, there is no wrong answer. Determining your ‘why’ will make the travel planning process much smoother and keep you both motivated and excited about moving forward.
9-11 Months Out
Contact Tenon Tours
Once you’ve decided where to travel, it’s time to set your plans into action. When booking a trip with Tenon Tours, our travel professionals recommend getting started 9 or more months ahead of your preferred departure date. This gives our specialists enough time to craft your itinerary around availability – and this all comes down to the type of trip you want to have. If you are looking for castle stays, we want to ensure that we are choosing the right dates as these accommodations are among the first to book up. If you are wanting to do day tours to off-the-beaten-path locales or trace your family ancestry, the more time we have the better. This allows us to do all the necessary research that goes into planning your personalized vacation package.
Once you have an initial consultation set up with one of our Personal Travel Specialists, we will ask you a series of questions to better understand you and what your dream trip looks like. Some of the topics we cover include:
- Accommodations: Specific styles, star ratings, bedding preferences
- Interests: Cooking, family-friendly, outdoor activities, history, etc.
- Tours & Attractions: Group settings, private guide, self-guided
- Your budget: It’s helpful for us to know what is within your expectations. This can include airfare.
- Other information: Food allergies, dietary restrictions, disabilities, etc.
Immediately After Booking
Our operations team will start to book and confirm your accommodations, tours, attractions, etc. in order to secure availability. It’s important to keep in mind that many of our overseas partners are still experiencing limited availability and incredibly high demand. For example, many hotels are still in the process of staffing back up so they cannot take on full capacity, which results in less availability for travelers.
8 Months Out
As we book everything on your behalf, you will have access to your online booking portal for information on your trip as well as our By-Your-Side Service℠ TEAM for questions and preparation tips. You’ll receive a series of emails to keep you excited about your upcoming trip as well, from our favorite movies filmed in the countries you’ll be traveling to as well as inspirational playlists inspired by our destinations.
1 Week Out
1 week prior to your departure date, you’ll have a consultation call with your dedicated By-Your-Side Service℠ TEAM Member. During this call, we’ll cover everything you need to know before traveling such as how to get in contact with a member of our team for emergencies as well as non-emergencies, how to navigate our mobile app which houses all your important travel documents including your itinerary, and more.
2 Days Out
Right before you travel, your Personal Travel Specialist will reach out to wish you a safe trip and to make sure you have all the resources you need, including how to book last-minute attractions and dinner reservations.
Finally, the day of traveling is here! We hope this timeline of planning a trip to Europe has helped you visualize the time and process required to plan such a special experience. Set off on your adventure of a lifetime feeling prepared, taken care of, and excited. Lastly, don’t forget to share your memories with us using #TravelWithTenon on your favorite social platform.