We are considering a My Way trip in Spain in September 2016, This would be our first RS tour. With being over a year away, I am wondering how early people start booking these trips?
Many people book before 12/1 to get the $100 early booking allowance. As long as you are locked in on your dates, book it. I will book in November for Sept of 16. You will start seeing full tours or filing fast which means about 4 spots left early next year.
I usually book as soon as I determine which tour I am interested. If you are not ready to commit, you are able to "watch" as your desired tour fills. I say "watch" because when it reaches "filling fast" stage, there are not many slots available and you may not be able to book tour. Supposedly, this information is automatically updated as tour is booked. I waited to reserve Best of Ireland and my date was at "filling fast" stage before I noticed. I am in process of selecting tour and reserving, and I haven't gone on this year's tour!!
Recently, there was some discussion about a tour being cancel due to lack of participants. Here is link to that discussion. This may help with your decision, if you are worried about cancellations.
Doesn't hurt to book early if you are fairly certain of your travel dates. Some of the just announced 2016 tour data already show a "filling fast" status!
One of the nice things about these tours is that they do let you change your selected date or even the tour itself if something comes up and you need to change (provided there is room on the tour you want to move to) up until your final payment is due. I have done that in the past and didn't even lose my early booking discount.
And you have until the end of this year to cancel and get a full refund, if previous rules apply.
I have taken 13 RS tours and lately have been booking each one before the Early Bird Discount expires which saves us each $100 plus we get an additional discount based upon how many RS tours we have taken. We are to the point of having taken so many RS tours that our "bucket list" of his tours we still want to take is down to 2.
We also take out travel insurance thru Travel Guard which covers pre-existing conditions if you apply for their policy as soon as you make any deposit (or payment) so as soon as we make a payment to RS or purchase our airline tickets, we take out one of their policies. Good luck and I certainly hope you enjoy your RS tour as much as we have enjoyed our 13.
I didn't see any early booking discount on the tour I was looking at for 2016 ( I may have overlooked it). We we booked a tour last December for this September, we received a discount a $100 each. If the discount isn't offered, I would definitely wait a while before signing up. They might offer it closer to the end of the year.
Thank you all for the advise. It looks like you do get the $100 discount, that was pointed out in the announcement of 2016 tours. It is unfortunate you only have 30 days to get a refund of your deposit. You never know what may happen in a 13 month time span, and its two of us so $800 deposit is a lot to loose. All that aside I have enjoyed reading everyone's experiences and feel this will be a great trip. Now to wait 13 months!
Thanks for the heads up David on the new deposit policy. That does make a difference with signing up early. I did find this though on the single supplement -"Single supplements are refundable if cancelled at least 60 days prior to tour departure; those cancelled later will be forfeited."
I have booked as early as 9 months out and as little as 5 months out. Somehow January is when I want to make decisions on these things!
I like the advice to watch your specific tour date to see if it gets to the "filling fast" point. To the OP, it looks like all the September dates for your tour filled this year!
I like to book as early as possible (usually within a month of the dates being released) because I always get a single supplement and I know those are limited on each tour. That way I get to pick my 1st choice of tour and dates. As others have mentioned you also get a $100 discount
I get excited, so we have been booking almost as soon as the new tour dates are released. We've been planning this trip since before we even went on the last one, so we've had plenty of time to think about it. We're a bit addicted to traveling the last few years and love having something to look forward to.
Thank you everyone for your comments. We have actually booked the full guided Spain 14 Day tour last night. Even though its just over a year away its very exciting.
Our fully guided RS Spain tour was one of our favorites ( we've taken 9 RS tours so far).
We had been to the big three in Spain, Madrid, Barcelona and Seville on our own previously but with all the guided tours on the RS tour we enjoyed those same places even more. You will be glad you took the guided tour.
I am not going to Spain, but Glad I already booked when they came out because my Belgium/Holland (3rd week and includes the gardens is full and waiting list). Woot Woot. The reason I book early is I have been wanting to do this one and go to the gardens and they are only offered at end of April and they fill up fast.