The Best Time to Book Holiday Family Trips

RIGHT NOW is definitely the best time to book holiday family trips to some of my favorite destinations.

As a busy Mom managing a hectic family schedule, staying 24 hours ahead of life often feels like a major win. So I totally understand that planning a trip 10 – 11 months out may seem completely impossible.

However, families who plan and book early will always end up with the best pricing and overall itinerary when traveling over peak holiday dates.

If you are thinking about taking a family trip over the Thanksgiving or festive holiday season this year – here are a few destinations you need to book right now. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan and book or you will get stuck paying more for an inferior trip.


When traveling to Belize, you’ll fly in and out of Belize City. From here you’ll transfer onward to the jungle or the coast (nothing to see in Belize City itself). These flights are generally affordable… but there are limited flights into Belize City so when they are gone, they are gone (or get really expensive!).

belize vacation ideas

Belize is also home to some of my favorite hotels in Central America – Blancaneaux Lodge in the jungle, Turtle Inn and Naia Resort at the coast. These are all boutique hotels with a limited number of rooms that have an ideal configuration for families, and they book well in advance.

Tahiti and Fiji

While November and December can bring patches of rain to the South Pacific, these months are popular for family travel to Tahiti and Fiji. With several direct flights from the West Coast, getting here is also easier than you may think.

The best time to book holiday family trips to Tahiti and Fiji is 9 to 11 months in advance. With enough time in advance you can score the best overwater bungalows with prime views in Tahiti and space at small, private island properties like Jean Michel Cousteau in Fiji.

East Africa

A safari in Africa is the créme de la créme of family trips. The stunning concentration and diversity of wildlife, the bright red sunsets, Acacia trees, and beautiful, vibrant cultures in Kenya and Tanzania make for a truly memorable travel experience.

kids on safari in africa

But again, the best, most environmentally conscious safari camps are small. In fact some only have 6 rooms or tents. Booking 12 to 18 months in advance is a must.


November and December, when both air and water temperatures are warm, are the best months to travel to the Galapagos.

Similar to Africa, the combination of wildlife, small, luxury accommodations and outstanding guiding make for a perfect family trip. There are several beautiful small vessels that cruise through the Galapagos islands. In order to reach the more remote, outer islands, booking a Galapagos cruise is a must.

The best time to book holiday family trips to the Galapagos is 10 to 12 months in advance.

The Caribbean 

Particularly on islands like St. Barths and in the Virgin Islands, where resorts have recently started to reopen following the devastating 2017 hurricane Irma, there is a lot of pent up demand. Here, entire resorts are sold out nearly a year in advance so booking early is a must.

In fact, many of the most in-demand properties allow guests who stay over the festive season to pre-book while they are on site for the following year.  Only once these return guests have been accommodated, the resorts will open to outside bookings.

If you have your heart set on a specific property, even if you’re not a return guest, I can get you on the list and work to get space cleared – but it’s critical to start working on this 10 – 12 months in advance.

So if any of these trips are in your family’s plan this year, please contact me asap. RIGHT NOW is definitely the best time to book holiday family trips to these destinations.

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