Best time to book a vacation for major travel holidays

In honor of National Plan for Vacation Day, here’s when to search for vacation rentals and beat the rush.

Published January 2023

The deck of a vacation rental in the mountains.
The back yard of a Palm Springs vacation rental with a pool

The beginning of the year is a popular time to start mapping out travel plans and how new adventures, visits to friends and family, and annual vacations will all fit together in the calendar—and budget. It’s only fitting then that National Plan for Vacation Day is celebrated the last Tuesday in January, as a reminder not to dally when it comes to booking your getaways.

Our experts always advise, particularly for holidays and peak travel periods, to book early in order to find the best selection of vacation homes and the best selection of rates. And that advice holds this year more than ever, with 40% of U.S. travelers planning to travel more frequently in 2023 than they did in 2022—and about 3 in 5 Millennials and Gen Z (58%) and nearly half of parents (46%) saying so—according to Vacasa’s 2022 Holiday and Winter Trend Report. But if you’re not prepared to book your full trip list just yet, we’re here to help guide you toward when is the best time to book a vacation in the year ahead. We dug into data to see when searches spiked for the major travel periods last year, so that you can aim to beat the curve*.

Spring Break

Book by: late January

While there is an initial uptick in December and early January, it’s not until late in January that searches for the week-long school break, typically in March or April, see a significant spike.

Based on searches for check-ins March 4 - April 24, 2022

Summer Vacations

Book by: early April

While you may have more runway for planning August trips, it’s a good rule of thumb to book your summer mid-spring—after that, search volume steadily climbs.

Based on searches for check-ins June 1 - August 30, 2022

Memorial Day Weekend

Book by: mid-April

Searches for this three-day weekend—recognized as the unofficial kick off to summer—get underway in early February, but booking by mid-April will still put you ahead of the pack.

Based on searches for check-ins May 26 - May 30, 2022

4th of July Weekend

Book by: mid-May

Searches for Independence Day getaways hold steady for the first part of the year, but see a sizable jump in late May, so best to book before most travelers are in a summer mindset.

Based on searches for check-ins June 29 - July 5, 2022

Labor Day Weekend

Book by: early July

Turns out, people start planning for summer’s sendoff around the midpoint of the season, so booking before 4th of July BBQs is the best bet for finding an ideal Labor Day vacation home.

Based on searches for check-ins September 1- 5, 2022

Breckenridge, CO skyline

Winter Break / Holidays

Book by: late August

While some get a jump start and book for the following year during the current holiday, the true surge comes at the end of summer, as people start preparing for the next travel rush.

Based on searches for check-ins December 16, 2022- January 1, 2023

Travel gifts for skiers: Vacation rentals in Park City, Utah

Ski Season

Book by: early September

Ski season is no stranger to last-minute bookings (especially if there’s a good snow dump), but most people start planning their winter or spring trips to the slopes just after Labor Day.

Based on searches for check-ins December 1 - April 30 in 2021 and 2022, as well as use of the ski-in-ski-out amenity filter

*Disclaimer: the "book by" dates for each holiday are based on historical search data from and may vary in 2023.

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