Eight amazing travel experiences to book in advance
Thinking of catching the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti? Or perhaps sailing Galapagos or tackling the Inca Trail.
If so, here are eight amazing travel experiences that need to be booked several months in advance due to popular demand.
Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru.
It’s no surprise that the Inca Trail is seriously popular, and, thankfully for those who want to gaze upon its greatness without the company of a million other people, trekking permits are limited to 500 per day.
500 may sound like a lot but it’s not. Those permits cover around 200 guides and porters, as well as trekkers! So if you want to explore this Peruvian wonder, particularly during the May-September dry season, book now.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda
This is without doubt one of the world’s most amazing travel experiences, and one of the hardest to book! Visits to each of the habituated groups of mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda is limited to one hour-long session per day, with a maximum of eight people. There are just seven or eight groups per country, so consequently, gaining a permit is something you need to do well in advance, particularly during the peak holiday months when demand always exceeds supply.
The system of tightly controlled visitor numbers is considered a great success on the map of wildlife tourism, so it’s actually something to be celebrated. Book early!
Witnessing the wildebeest migration, Tanzania & Kenya
The Great Migration is an annual pilgrimage of over two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle from Tanzania’s Serengeti plains to Kenya’s Masai Mara, all following the rain in search of freshly nourished grass. While you can follow the herds round the vast Serengeti throughout the year, the key crossing point at the Mara River takes place from June to mid October, with the biggest crowd of tourists thronging into the compact Masai Mara to witness the river crossing in July and August.
Watching thousands of wildebeest cross the crocodile-infested waterway is one of the world’s most sought-after wildlife viewing experiences. If you book too late, you’ll miss it.
Exploring Europe in summer
If you are planing to visit the United Kingdom or Europe for their summer, you need to get your skates on early in the year. Flights and hotel prices start to rise significantly as summer approaches and demand increases. And with the weaker Aussie dollar taking its toll, booking well in advance will help you get the most from your holiday budget.
Catching Cuba before it changes forever
This is one of the world’s most amazing travel experiences that should not be put off, as the thawing of diplomatic relations with the USA paves the way for incredible change in Cuba. While many Cubans are celebrating new freedoms, others are unsure of how the arrival of western goods and businesses and the relaxing of the travel ban by the US government will affect the so called 1950s time capsule.
If you do want to see one of the last strongholds of anti-capitalism before life there changes forever, now is the time to go.
Discovering the natural wonders of Galapagos
Unlike most other wildlife destinations, the animals of the Galapagos Islands can be seen year-round, so you can pretty much take your pick of dates to visit. However, for most people this usually means the standard holiday months of July-August and December-January. As most tours of the Galapagos are done by boat, which have limited passenger numbers, peak time trips get booked up very quickly.
So to ensure you get to waddle alongside penguins and dive with seal pups, book well ahead.
Whale-watching in Europe
Whales swim around the world all year – you just need to be sure you’re in the right place at the right time to spot them, so book well ahead for these short windows of whale-sized opportunity. Mid-year, try the gorgeous Azores Islands, a protectorate of Portugal, which is one of Europe’s most popular whale-watching destinations.
You’ll spot numerous species here, including blue whales from June to early October, but things book out fast in July and August.
Basking in the beauty of the Northern Lights
Booking a trip to see the Northern Lights, another of the world’s most amazing travel experiences, is something that should be done well in advance. In theory, they appear from late August to mid April, but you are much more likely to see them from late September to late March, when there is less light, with peak light shows around the equinoxes.
This is a pretty small window for such a big trip, so book early and rest assured you’ve given yourself the greatest chance to catch them at their bright and beautiful best. Popular destinations include Lapland, Iceland, Northern Canada and Alaska.
This post was provided by Responsible Travel and edited by The Big Bus tour and travel guide.