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Trips That Are Worth Booking a Year in Advance

Some vacations are spontaneous and unplanned. A group of friends or family members pile into a car, drive to a destination a few hours away, and have a fun weekend together. But other trips are much more challenging. They require diligent planning and booking travel and accommodations a year ahead of time. Sometimes, the planning for these trips can be nearly as fun as going on the trip itself.

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01Alaska

Alaska cruise holiday woman relaxing on balcony Maridav / Shutterstock

A long trip to Alaska is a lifelong dream for millions of people around the world. Alaska is a home of natural beauty in nearly all possible forms. There are quaint towns, glaciers, mountains, and long expanses of tundra that stretch all the way to the Arctic Circle. It is the favorite destination for many Americans for a good reason.

A trip to Alaska is no small undertaking. You may have to secure cruise tickets as well as plane tickets. Some Alaskan trips require entry into Canada and a subsequent passport. Travelers should make sure to plan for snowy winter weather as well. These obstacles are small in order to experience what makes Alaska a global destination.

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02Siberia

Photographer on the background of a rocky cape on Lake Baikal in winter Anton Petrus / Getty Images

Siberia is similar to Alaska in that it's a vast expanse of natural beauty near the top of the world. Visitors can see the world's largest freshwater lake, view the site of a meteor impact, and experience hundreds of miles of Russian countryside on the Trans-Siberian Express.

A trip to Siberia requires a passport and a number of precautions. Make sure to become familiar with Russian and plan where you will stay. You certainly need to become familiar with conditions and be cognizant of the time of year you plan on visiting. Siberia is certainly not for poor planners, but the experience can be one-of-a-kind.

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03Papua New Guinea

Nipa bamboo Huts at the White Sand beach with palm attiarndt / Getty Images

Papua New Guinea is a tropical paradise located north of Australia with massive untouched jungles and a number of mountains and nature preserves. The country is a destination for anyone interested in rain forests and viewing species found nowhere else on the planet. Make sure your passport is up to date, and secure lodging long before arriving.  

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04Antarctica

tourist and penguin in Antarctica anyaberkut / Getty Images

Antarctica is a land of untouched beauty located at the South Pole. Visitors can spot penguins, towering glaciers, and life at the bottom of the earth. While it is a pristine area, Antarctica is also mostly closed off to tourists.

Anyone wanting to visit its icy shores and unique wildlife must reserve a spot on a cruise ship well in advance. You should also be aware of weather patterns and the time of year you want to visit to get the most out of this continental excursion.

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05The Azores

Diver and a giant grouper Bernard Radvaner / Getty Images

The Azores are a pristine set of islands located off the coast of Africa. They have historic Portuguese architecture, snorkeling, and a number of nature preserves.

Make sure to secure transportation, lodging, and scuba training well in advance of arriving at the islands. These factors are more important than weather since the Azores is a tropical paradise all months of the year.

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06Mount Everest

Hikers walk to Everest Base Camp during Everest Base Camp trekking in Nepal Kriangkrai Thitimakorn / Getty Images

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on earth and the ultimate accomplishment for any mountain-climber or outdoors enthusiast. Booking accommodations and a guide for the climb takes time and effort.

The most important planning step is building up your stamina through months of hiking and training. Anyone wanting to climb Everest needs to be physically fit. But the climber will receive a breathtaking award if they complete the trip.

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07Arizona Diamondbacks Pool

The city of Phoenix is a tourist destination all its own. But with enough friends and a little planning, a Phoenix trip can be transformed into the ultimate baseball experience. Arizona's team offers a swimming pool where visitors can take a dip between innings or during the game. You can have a once-in-a-lifetime day of fun and excitement with several of your closest friends during this trip.

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08The Swiss Alps

Hiker hiking in Swiss alps in the summer Ziga Plahutar / Getty Images

The Swiss Alps are some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. They're filled with idyllic towns and some of the best restaurants in all of Europe. They are also enormously popular in the winter months. Make sure to explore hotel and travel rates months in advance and remember the presence of crowds for when you want to visit.

With a little extra time, you can find an Alps adventure that is perfect for you.

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09Jerusalem

Girl looks at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem badahos / Getty Images

Jerusalem is a pilgrimage destination for both the religious and those interested in history, food, and culture. The city has buildings dating from the Roman period and a number of locations perfect for the interested traveler.

The most important aspect of the trip to consider is timing. Jerusalem swells with visitors during holy holidays, and visitors must be aware of the surge.

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10New York City on New Years' Eve

New years eve at New York Simon Dux Media / Shutterstock

NYC might seem like an uncommon choice since it's only a short drive or flight from the majority of Americans. But a visit on New Years' Eve requires some advance planning.

Times Square is full of hundreds of thousands of people packed close together and vying to watch the ball drop. Make sure to secure their hotels and flights well in advance so you can get the best rates and the best view for the ball drop.

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