Originally I had planned to have all of my bookings complete by early February. Alas, that did not work out as planned. However, I can confirm that I have completed booking the majority of the first three stages of the journey.
What Is Booked
In saying that I have booked these stages, what I mean is the hotels and transport are booked. These are the main things that I primarily care about. Having a bed to sleep in each night and knowing how I will be getting there.
The flights I have booked will take me from Brisbane > Seoul > London > Vienna > Berlin > Manchester > New York > Fort Lauderdale. With hotels booked as needed in each of these cities. Additionally, I have the cruise booked, which is one of the first bookings that I made.
What Is Not Booked
In my post “Europe 2012 Booking & Planning Outline” I mentioned that I would like to pre-book some tours. At this stage, I have not chosen or booked any tours, but still, would like to try and organise some before leaving. How possible this will be is going to depend on booking the last two segments of the trip first. But I feel confident that I will be able to organise some tours in advance.
The other thing I had considered trying to pre-book was airport transfers. In the end, I have decided to take the same approach as in the past and leave it until arrival. I might be able to do some research on what is available before leaving home. But it gets little complicated booking things in some cities. From what I can tell many European cities have good public transport anyway.
Benefits Of Booking Early
There are a couple of benefits that I have found from booking especially tours before leaving home. Booking tours for example before leaving home can help to limit the amount of cash you may need to carry. It also gives you a better idea of what the overall trip may end up costing.
Booking before leaving home can also help to ensure tour availability. In the past, I have tried to book tours when I arrive in a city with mixed results. In Las Vegas, I was able to book tours without a problem. However, in San Francisco a tour I would have liked to do was full and I had to miss it.
Finally especially when it comes to tours on the cruise ship availability is a big thing. Many of the tours that of interest often have limited availability. With everyone able to access booking online, some do book out before boarding.
I still have the two segments after the cruise to finish booking. Although, some of these are locked in I am still not certain on a couple of the destinations. The ideas are there, but I keep seeing alternatives and weighing up options.
I do still expect to have everything finalised before leaving home. The last thing I want to be doing is spending time in a city where I have already limited time booking hotels. I have faced this challenge in the past and I can tell you it is a real buzz killer. I hope to have the rest of the bookings finalised soon and will post when I do.