Cruising out of New York City aboard the MSC Poesia. ©2011 Jason HollandWhen should I make my travel reservations?

Make your reservations as soon after you plan the experience as possible. This goes for the lodging (hotel, B&B, treehouse, castle... or friend's couch), airfare and activities that you do not want to miss.

Why? In travel, you can plan all you want but until you make the actual reservation and pay it in full, both the availability and pricing is subject to change. You do not want to find the perfect place to spend your summer holiday only to find out that when you are ready to put the money down, it is no longer available. Going back to square 1 sucks.

In some cases when making your reservations ahead you will be able to put down an initial deposit and make payments until the final due date. Taxes are often estimates and can always change even if a reservation is paid in full.