We like spontaneity just as much as the next person. There’s nothing more thrilling than a last minute getaway. But some trips require (and deserve!) more time to plan. Wildly popular, extremely exclusive, or difficult to get to destinations demand a little more forethought and expertise during the planning stages. Here are seven trips to book a year in advance – at least!


The tourist scene in Myanmar has changed dramatically since sanctions were lifted in 2012. With the massive increase in visitors comes a shortage of hotel rooms, especially in Yangon and Bagan, making it essential to book ahead. Even though there’s been an influx of visitors in the last few years, Myanmar is still a destination off the well-worn tourist path. As such, many of the stunning archaeological, architectural, and ancient wonders within the country still retain an air of mystery due to their isolation and lack of modernization.

Suggested Itinerary: Jewels of Myanmar | 10 days, 9 nights through Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, and Inle Lake

Trips to Book a Year in Advance - Luxury Travel - Ker Downey

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda or Uganda

Limited numbers of daily trekking permits make it imperative to book gorilla trekking journeys in both Rwanda and Uganda well in advance. There are only about 850 gorillas left in the world. You’ll find half of them in Rwanda, with the other half split between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Suggested Itineraries: Gorillas in the Mist | 4 days, 3 nights in Volcanoes National Park and Kigali (the perfect way to start or end a safari elsewhere in Africa) OR the Uganda Gorilla Safari | 11 days, 10 nights in Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Trips to Book a Year in Advance - Luxury Travel - Ker Downey


The southernmost continent is the final frontier for many travelers. An Antarctica cruise is one of the best ways to explore this untouched, rugged part of the earth. But because of the limited launches and remoteness of the destination, Antarctica is one of the top trips to book a year in advance. In 2019 Antarctica21 is launching their newest luxury vessel, the M/V Magellan Explorer. This new ship is the world’s first expedition ship custom designed for Antarctic air-cruise operations.

Note: In 2020 Antarctica will experience full eclipse totality and space is already filling up! If you’re thinking about seeing the eclipse in Antarctica, don’t hesitate. Contact us to start making your plans.

Trips to Book a Year in Advance - Luxury Travel - Ker Downey

The Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania

Following millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle as they make their annual migration from Kenya’s Masai Mara to Tanzania’s Serengeti is a bucket list item for many travelers. Because of its popularity, early planning is a must if you want to secure prime space to witness this thrilling spectacle.

Suggested Itinerary: The Great Migration Safari | 9 days, 8 nights through the Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park

Trips to Book a Year in Advance - Luxury Travel - Ker Downey

Ethiopian New Year

In Ethiopia, the yearly calendar begins in September, with New Year’s celebrations taking place on September 11 (or September 12 if it’s a leap year). There are a couple of different reasons why Ethiopians believe September should be celebrated as the new year, including blooming flowers that spring forth due to the many sunny days and pleasant weather after the rainy winter months. It’s a great time to travel there to discover one of the oldest countries in the world and its fascinating tribes.

Note: In 2019, Ethiopian New Year takes place on September 12. In 2020, it will be September 11.

Trips to Book a Year in Advance - Luxury Travel - Ker DowneyTrips to Book a Year in Advance - Luxury Travel - Ker Downey

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a popular travel destination for adventure travelers, families, and multigenerational travelers. Space onboard the vessels fills up pretty quickly, especially around the big school holidays and Ecuador’s festive season. Helping to ease the burden are two new luxury cruise ships. The first, the M/C Endemic, took its inaugural voyage this past July, and the M/V Theory is launching March 2019.

Note: The M/C Endemic is the newest luxury catamaran to cruise between the islands on four-to e-day itineraries. The luxury yacht is suited for 16 passengers with a top notch crew and expert naturalist guides who deepen your experience of the Galápagos Islands.

Trips to Book a Year in Advance - Luxury Travel - Ker Downey


Each year Japan shatters the previous year’s tourism numbers as more travelers head to the easternmost hem of the Silk Road. Hoteliers have struggled to keep up with the influx of visitors as hotel rooms and ryokan space is at capacity. But with a little extra planning time, you can have a wonderful journey to Japan, a country that straddles the line between modernity and its imperial roots.

Suggested Itinerary: Essence of Japan | 9 days, 10 nights through Tokyo, Hakone, and Kyoto

Trips to Book a Year in Advance - Luxury Travel - Ker Downey

If you’re thinking about a journey to any of these destinations, the time to start planning is now. Contact your designer today to start discussing your journey, and don’t miss out on these trips to book a year in advance.