As 2015 winds down, this is the perfect time to consider your travel plans for 2016. Here are 3 reasons that you should include travel in your 2016 New Year’s resolution:
1 – There are significant advantages to planning in advance: I always tell folks (and write about this in my Step 1: Strategy post) to plan their travel for the upcoming year in advance. Strategic planning will allow you to accumulate redeemable miles toward a fantastic trip and will you give you a shot at reaching elite status with an airline. Elite status on some airlines comes with free checked bags, seat selection, and domestic first-class upgrades. Redeemable miles can be used for round-trip flights to Europe (45,000 miles on American) or for a one-way, first-class ticket to the middle east on a plane with a shower (115,000 miles on American)! You’ll also have time to incorporate shopping portals, dining programs, and the proper travel credit card into your travel plan.
2 – Lower prices: you’ll have time to wait for ultra-cheap fares, that are only available for a day or two (I’ve blogged about two examples: business class fights to Paris and flights to Ireland), to appear online. Flexibility is the key as only a few travel dates will be available so you’ll have to book quickly. I used this strategy to find a round-trip flight from Washington DC to Rio de Janiero (Brazil) for $549 in February. I can combine this cheap fare with my Platinum elite status to upgrade to free exit row seats. The price of oil should remain low for the foreseeable future so airfare should decrease (or at least not increase!) throughout part of 2016.
3 – Cheaper destinations: the US dollar is fairly strong which means lower hotel and food prices at your destination. In particular, you should consider traveling to Europe (Euro-zone), Russia, and South America.
Don’t be fooled, London is not in the Euro-zone and it is fairly expensive. You can usually find sub-$700 round-trip tickets to the US though.
Please comment below if you have any questions about your plan for 2016 (admittedly mine is still a work in progress).