Travelers looking to book a vacation home this month are definitely not in the minority — turns out January is the busiest booking month of the year, according to new data released by home sharing site Vrbo.
And while the busiest (and often most expensive) travel times are usually around major school and work holidays, there are tricks to getting the best deal — with the main one being booking a vacation home before everyone else gets to it.
"Booking early means first dibs on vacation homes during peak travel seasons," Melanie Fish, a Vrbo family travel expert, told Travel + Leisure in an email. "If you get ahead of the curve, there is more selection available so you’re able to find a home in the right location with the amenities you need and a price that makes you happy.”
When it comes to spring break, for example, the site suggests travelers book no later than Feb. 10. Whether you’re planning on hitting up theme parks or taking in a little beach time, you definitely won’t be alone in wanting to travel during this peak time. Popular options this year include Breckenridge, Colo. and Gulf Shores, Ala., where there a plenty of beaches to be found, according to the study.
For Memorial Day Weekend -- the unofficial start of summer -- Vrbo suggests people book by April 20. And if you have your sights set on catching some waves or another trip during the summer (some popular choices include Panama City Beach, Fla. and Myrtle Beach, S.C.), the site suggests you give yourself even more leeway by booking no later than April 30.
Summer in general is one of the busiest times of the year to travel so it’s no surprise that for the Fourth of July, the study suggests people book by May 25, while those looking to celebrate the end of the season on Labor Day Weekend should book a place to stay by July 28 — especially if you want to go to Myrtle Beach since it’s the home booking site’s most popular destination for the holiday weekend.
If you plan on booking a home for Thanksgiving, you should snag one by Oct. 21, according to the study (though there’s always the option of traveling abroad that week to save money on a dream vacation).
And as the weather gets colder, Vrbo suggests people give themselves plenty of time to book a good vacation home for winter break — and decide on a place no later than Nov. 17. According to the study, popular choices include Park City, Utah, Kissimmee, Fla. (hello Disney!), and Sevierville, Tenn.