All the news from Destination D23 has me planning a few Disney trips ahead, hoping I might be able to snag a glimpse at any potential changes coming up in the next few years. One that I am looking forward to, which has been in the works for a while now, is attempting to be in Disneyland around the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Since I am deep into planning mode so far in advance, it occurred to me that planning my travels sometimes years in advance might seem crazy to some. It begs the question, are you a long-term Disney planner or a quick-decision maker for last-minute trips?
In my case, being so far away doesn’t lend itself to leaving your planning too close to departure. Making sure you get the right flight with the right seats for your family can easily see you booking a whole year ahead of your anticipated travel dates. Once you’ve done that, you might as well lock things down with the resort you would like and anything else that can be booked. I’ll take my rental car, restaurant bookings, tickets, basically, anything I can get my hands on sorted as soon as possible, allowing me to rest easy for the remainder of the wait, knowing everything is all set. The bonus of doing this is that I usually leave for my trips with everything pre-paid in advance, leaving me with only the daily expenses to cover when we arrive.
If you are a long-term planner like I am, I actually have a tip for coping with waiting through the painful countdown to your adventure: book one trip ahead. It’s hard to get started as everything feels like it should happen immediately; however, I like to plan a more significant trip like Disney further out and then a smaller vacation in between. It might only be a weekend away in the next city or a domestic trip for a few days away, but it will keep your travel rolling over nicely. From there, start planning each trip as you return from the last one. That way, no matter how far apart your adventures are, you always have one simmering away while the next one is being concocted.
Tell me how you do it. Are you planning months or years in advance like I am, or do you prefer to make those last-minute decisions and go? For the record, I am envious of those last-minute travelers, so tell me how you make it happen. What are the pros and cons of both methods, especially when it comes to Disney?
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.