Stats: Long-Lead Travel Planning is Back

Long lead travel planning became pure risk during the pandemic, but previously, booking months in advance was key to ensuring access to the best flights, accommodations and experiences. The good news: Traveler booking hesitancy is finally dissipating, based on proprietary booking data from ToursByLocals.

Suggesting a busy summer in Europe, ToursByLocals’ data shows that 14 percent of tours booked in Italy, France, Spain, U.K. and Greece are for six to nine months out and 45 percent of tours in the same countries are booked for three to six months out, as compared to only 9 percent booked within the next 30 days.

Here ToursByLocals CEO and Co-Founder Paul Melhus' tips and tricks for planning ahead:

  • European Demand Persists: Travelers tend to prioritize flights and accommodations farther out but based on ToursByLocals’ proprietary data above, European summer demand calls for long-lead experiential booking as well—from tours, to reservations, to tickets. 
  • Tickets Go Fast: Whether looking to explore the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, The Last Supper in Milan, The Uffizi and Galleria d‘Academia (The David) in Florence, or Colosseum and Vatican in Rome, Melhus recommends booking in advance. 
  • Japan is Back: Travelers have wasted no time returning to this bucket-list destination so for those still planning to join them, waiting too long could mean missing out. ToursByLocals’ proprietary data shows the majority of bookings for cherry blossom season are now through April, leaving limited availability for travelers looking to book a “last minute” trip.

A Vancouver-based company with guides in nearly 200 countries world-wide, ToursByLocals’ mission is to connect travelers directly with local guides for fully customizable, private tours ranging from half day to multi-day.

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