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Blog > Asia > Planning Ahead: The Benefits of Booking Asia Early

Planning Ahead: The Benefits of Booking Asia Early

by Kate G
Colourful lanterns

Setting out on a long-awaited trip to Asia is an unbeatable feeling: you’re finally there, wandering through vibrant markets, drinking in panoramic views and immersing yourself in legendary landscapes as the late-afternoon light washes over you… There’s nothing like it.

Looking forward to these moments is all part of the enjoyment, and we recommend booking as early as you can for the best pick of everything from hotels to flights. Getting ahead of the game gives you plenty of time to daydream about where you’re going, research those unforgettable experiences and engage the gold-dust guides who turn a good day into a great one.

What are the benefits of booking early?

Whilst earlier booking undoubtedly remains favourable for the same reasons shared above, it’s fair to say that certain destinations are less time sensitive than others. Perennial favourites Vietnam and Cambodia can, when needed, usually weather bookings just 3 to 4 months in advance and still deliver phenomenal trips, but planning further ahead is an absolute must in many destinations in Asia. In Japan, Indonesia and Borneo, for example, it’s crucial to book as far in advance as possible to ensure you get your top pick of hotels, experiences, guides and flights.

Booking early can also offer better value - availability becomes scarcer the closer you get to departure day, and the price of remaining flights and accommodation starts to rise. You definitely get more ‘bang for your buck’ when booking ahead!

The early-bird’s ideal moment to lock in travel dates is around 11 to 12 months ahead of departure, as this is the furthest in advance that most flights can be booked. However, you can get stuck into researching where you’d like to go, the best time of year to visit, and which hidden highlights you’re keen to see long before then. More often than not, we can hold key lodges or hotels further in advance, just adding the flights when they come into booking range. Travel patterns vary between countries, so it’s crucial to check out the best times to travel to your chosen destinations. We’re big fans of travelling in shoulder season when the travel experience is enhanced by lower tourism footfall and the weather often still just as favourable.

Less well-known than peak travel season, but also worth bearing in mind, is peak booking season which runs from January to March; many of us beat those post-Christmas winter blues by planning our next adventure! However, we recommend going one step better and beating the booking rush too. Get next year’s plans in place during the quieter summer and autumn months so that, when the nights start drawing in, you already have an exhilarating trip on the horizon.

What are your top travel ‘must do’s’?

How do you choose which key highlights to include in your trip? Read as many accounts of journeys in your chosen destinations as possible - the more recent the better - and make a list of places and moments that catch your eye. Ask yourself some searching questions: are you after leisure, adventure or a combination of both? What are your ‘must see’ sights? Are you hankering after an experiential journey, by train or boat? Which dishes are you dying to try?

Compile your thoughts and ideas about what you’re looking for in your Asia holiday, and get in touch with our Destination Specialists to work them into your perfect trip.

Hotels worth waiting for…

What do you dream of seeing through your hotel window? Waves rolling over a seascape? A sheltered garden idyll? A rainforest wilderness? Or a bustling neon city skyline? We love mixing up our accommodation choices, staying in central boutiques for smooth sightseeing, sumptuous rural hideaways for peaceful reflection, and plenty of locally-run properties which offer a real cultural connection and plenty of character. As you’d imagine, these kinds of properties fill up fast, so getting in early gives you the widest choice of dates and rooms.

Get inspired to book early for…


Summer fireworks, winter snowscapes, island idylls and peaceful rural trails… Discover the best time to visit Japan, including our tips on travelling out of season.


Shoreline dragons, sunrise temples and rugged volcanoes. Read more about the best time to visit Indonesia


Ancient jungles, winding waterways, ‘old men of the forest’ and underwater worlds. Uncover the best time to visit Borneo

Speak to one of our Destination Specialists on +44 (0)1273 670 001, or send us your enquiry.

by Kate G on 22nd June 2024

Blog > Asia > Planning Ahead: The Benefits of Booking Asia Early