Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

The Best Trips to Book in February: What to Lock in Now

Brook Wilkinson | January 27, 2018

Whether your available travel window is just a few weeks out or you’re planning a year ahead, we’ve got a wide range of ideas for the best trips to book right now, in February. A yacht charter in the Aegean? Tickets to Wimbledon or the Mexico Grand Prix? Witnessing the great migration in a little-known corner of Africa? Use our Trusted Travel Experts to be sure that you get the trip of a lifetime.

(Don’t miss the rest of our series on what trips to book in each month of the year. If you prefer to know which destinations are ideal for traveling to in any given month, see our Where to Go When series, and don’t miss our comprehensive guide to the benefits of booking early.)

An East Africa Safari During Shoulder Season

Singita Grumeti reserve in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

Singita Grumeti reserve in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Photo: Nina Wennersten.

For: February and March

You often have to plan a safari a year or more in advance, but you can sometimes find last-minute deals in Kenya during shoulder season, or even in Tanzania during the birthing season of the Great Migration, before the “long rains” start in April.

Why book in February? It’s now or never: The sooner you nail down dates, the better your chances of finding a shoulder-season deal.

Wendy recommends: Nina Wennersten and Dan Saperstein, Trusted Travel Experts for East Africa. Contact Nina and Dan through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Scandinavia’s Season of Abundant Daylight

For: May and June

As the Northern Hemisphere approaches the summer solstice, Scandinavia enjoys extra-long days that last until 10pm. The countryside is filled with celebrations during the first weekend on or after June 21, and the outdoor cafes are made lively by locals soaking up the sun after months of darkness. It’s also a great time to enjoy the abundance of fresh seafood.

Why book in February? If you wait until March, many of the small boutique hotels in the countryside—some of which have only seven or eight rooms—will be booked up.

Contact Wendy to find the right travel specialist for your needs and to get the best possible trip.

Greece or Turkey via a Gulet Yacht Charter

view from a wooden gulet boat on Turkey's Aegean Coast

A wooden gulet is an enticing way to explore the hidden islands of the Aegean. Photo: Sea Song Tours

For: May to October

A wooden gulet is an enticing way to explore the hidden islands of the Aegean: While your captain sails between spots that cruise ships can’t access, your chef is preparing fresh-caught seafood, the deck hands are setting up your sunbeds, and the hostess is keeping your glass of Champagne full.

Why book in February? The most beautiful gulets with excellent crews are in high demand, but if you book four months or more before arrival, you can take advantage of early-booking discounts. (Visas to Turkey are now available online.)

Wendy recommends: Karen Fedorko Sefer, Trusted Travel Expert for the Aegean Coast of Turkey.  Contact Karen through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

London for the Championships at Wimbledon

For: July

The lottery for Wimbledon tickets is long over, but our Trusted Travel Expert can still get you the very best seats, even for the mens’ and womens’ finals.

Why book in February? The excitement of the tennis tourney means that London will be very busy in early July. Book now before the city’s most beloved hotels sell out—and while many of them are offering four nights for the price of three if you book in February.

Wendy recommends: Jonathan Epstein, Trusted Travel Expert for England, Ireland, and Scotland. Contact Jonathan through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Switzerland: An Authentic Farmstay Experience

For: July and August

Farmers bring their cows up into the Alps in summer, and you can join them for a night or two to experience this traditional way of life. Wake up to cowbells and help the farmer with the milking, then sit down together for a breakfast of homemade bread and dairy, and fruits from the region. You can even help make cheese over the fire, as the farmer’s ancestors have done for centuries.

Why book in February? A very limited number of farmers have the suitable space and attitude to invite travelers into their flock; book now to ensure your spot on the dates you want.

Contact Wendy to find the right travel specialist for your needs and to get the best possible trip.

The Pacific Northwest at the Height of Summer

The view from Kerry Park, Seattle. Courtesy Seattle Convention & Visitor's Bureau

The view from Kerry Park, Seattle. Courtesy Seattle Convention & Visitor’s Bureau

For: July and August

Summer brings the clearest skies to Washington and British Columbia; it’s prime time for those vistas from Seattle’s Space Needle and off the decks of the Olympic Peninsula’s ferries.

Why book in February? Summer is the most crowded time of year for the region. Many families don’t think to start planning their summer vacation until after spring break; get ahead of them and you won’t get shut out from the best hotel rooms, guides, and upgrades.

Wendy recommends: Sheri Doyle, Trusted Travel Expert for Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Contact Sheri through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Iceland’s Shoulder Season

For: August and September

Iceland is awash in tourists in high season, and the supply of hotel rooms, specialized vehicles, and the like hasn’t kept up with the skyrocketing demand. So it’s wise to arrive toward the end of August or in September, when the weather is still pleasant, the crowds fewer, and the prices a bit lower. There is even a chance of seeing the Northern Lights in September.

Why book in February? While there’s greater availability of hotel rooms and expert guides for the late summer and early fall, even those dates will sell out if you wait too much longer.

Contact Wendy to find the right travel specialist for your needs and to get the best possible trip.

French Polynesia’s Famous Overwater Bungalows

overwater bungalows in French Polynesia at the Conrad Hilton Bora Bora

Book early to get an overwater bungalow with the best ocean views. Photo: Conrad Hilton Bora Bora

For: September and October

These months fall during the Trade Wind season, when breezes keep temperatures in the low 80s and the humidity down as well. It still rains, but in 30- to 40-minute bursts. It’s quieter at the resorts, too, since families tend not to travel in the fall.

Why book in February? The overwater bungalows with the best views—not of the rest of the resort, but of the lagoon and the horizon—sell out first. Wait much longer and you’ll be stuck looking at another bungalow.

Wendy recommends: Kleon Howe, Trusted Travel Expert for French Polynesia and the Cook Islands. Contact Kleon through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

mongolian eagle hunters at the golden eagle festival

The annual Golden Eagle Festival protects and celebrates the ancient Mongolian tradition of eagle hunting. Photo: Michael Turek/Nomadic Expedtions

For: October

The Kazakh people of the remote and rugged Mongolian Altai Mountains have long hunted with golden eagles. However, the practice looked to be headed toward extinction, until the Golden Eagle Festival was founded nearly two decades ago by Jalsa Urubshurow, our Trusted Travel Expert for Mongolia. Today, the festival (takes place on October 6 to 7 this year) protects and celebrates this centuries-old tradition.

Why book in February? The festival—one of the country’s most popular—takes place in a remote part of Mongolia to which flights are infrequent. Tickets are also limited, so you need to book now to ensure that you’ll be part of the festivities come fall.

Wendy recommends: Jalsa Urubshurow, Trusted Travel Expert for Mongolia. Contact Jalsa through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Mexico City for the Formula One Race

For: October

The Mexico Grand Prix returned to the country in 2015 and has become one of the most popular events on Mexico City’s calendar.

Why book in February? Tickets for the Grand Prix (which in 2018 runs from October 26 to 28) go on sale in late February; if you get your travel plans in order early in the month, our Trusted Travel Expert can grab the best seats possible for the events you want—and keep his ears open for first-come, first-served insider access to other special events.

Wendy recommends: Zachary Rabinor, Trusted Travel Expert for Mexico. Contact Zach through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Southern China in Perfect Fall Weather

For: October

Late autumn is the perfect time to visit Xishuangbanna, the subtropical melting pot in southern China that borders Myanmar and Laos. October marks the transition from the rainy season to the dry, so you can hike through primeval forests, follow the mighty Mekong River without fear of getting caught in a monsoon, and explore the region’s tea-growing culture, which dates back more than 2,000 years. National Day is celebrated throughout the first week of the month and brings big crowds, so time your trip to arrive after that.

Why book in February? Since Xishuangbanna is off the beaten path, luxury hotels and expert guides are hard to come by; booking now assures that you’ll experience the best the region has to offer.

Wendy recommends: Mei Zhang, Trusted Travel Expert for China. Contact Mei through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Zambia’s Great Migration

King Lewanika Lodge is Liuwa’s first permanent camp. Photo: Photo: Time + Tide

For: October and November

Liuwa Plains National Park is one of Zambia’s most remote regions, and home to the second-largest wildebeest migration on the continent: Massive herds migrate over from the plains of Angola every year, peaking in October and November. You’ll also find spectacular birding, lions, endangered wild dogs, and a growing cheetah population. Untouched by crowds, it’s a great spot for a repeat safari-goer.

Why book in February? Liuwa’s first permanent camp, the King Lewanika Lodge, has just been built. With top-notch guides and a great setting for photography, it’s likely to fill up quickly for migration season.

Wendy recommends: Cherri Briggs, Trusted Travel Expert for Africa. Contact Cherri through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Chile’s Lakes District for Spring Adventures

For: November

The Lakes District isn’t as well known as Patagonia, but it’s arguably more beautiful, and certainly easier to get to. Here you’ll find a wide range of adventure activities—hiking, biking, sailing, fly fishing, and the like—a more vibrant example of contemporary Chilean life, and lower prices. In November, the rains have gone and everything is at its lushest, with blue skies and temperatures in the 70s.

Why book in February? Top-end accommodations in the region are limited, so book ahead to ensure the level of comfort you want.

Wendy recommends: Jordan Harvey, Trusted Travel Expert for Chile. Contact Jordan through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Sri Lanka in 2019, Before It Sells Out

For: January or March 2019

The second half of January and first half of March bring delightful weather to Sri Lanka (February is pleasant too, but very crowded due to the Chinese New Year holidays). It’s also safe to swim in the seas along the west and south coasts at this time of year, which is outside the period when monsoons cause dangerous currents and waves.

Why book in February? Tourism is booming on this tiny island nation but the infrastructure has yet to keep up, so you need to book about a year out to guarantee rooms in the most charming inns and the services of a top chauffeur-guide.

Wendy recommends: Miguel Cunat, Trusted Travel Expert for Sri Lanka. Contact Miguel through our site to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Be a smarter traveler: Use Wendy’s WOW List to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.

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