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Do I Really Need to Book Years in Advance?

By RaftArizona • January 13, 2021

It is a common misconception that Grand Canyon river trips need to be booked years in advance. While it’s true that some trip types sell out faster than others, we can sometimes book people on trips just a few months ahead of time.

Things to consider when deciding how early to book your trip:

Which trip type interests you? We only offer a few Hiker’s Special trips and oar trips each season. Due to limited availability, these trip types tend to sell out first – sometimes on opening day! Our 6, 7 and 8-day motor trips are next to sell out. Our 7 day is offered the most frequently, so we usually have a few seats available during the season. Our 3 day escape is last to fill up. People usually don’t plan as far in advance for these shorter trips and we sometimes have space within a few weeks of the trip.

When do you want to go? Usually April, May, June, and September fill up the quickest but every year is different. Do you only have a specific week for your vacation? You’ll need to call early to get your desired dates. Reservations open for the next year in February prior to the season. For example, we will start taking reservations for 2023 in February of 2022.

How many people are traveling with you? If you are looking for 1-2 spaces and your schedule is flexible, it’s much easier for us to find a trip with space.

In sum, the larger your group and/or the more particular your dates the sooner you will want to book. If you want a Hiker’s Special trip or an oar trip you should plan to reserve your space(s) on opening day.

Cancellations and the waitlist:

If the trip you want is already sold out, contact our office to be added to the waitlist. Although we never know if or when cancellations might happen, we are most likely to receive notice about 4 months before the trip. The further in advance trips fill up, the more cancellations we tend to see. You’d be surprised how much life can happen between booking a trip and departure. Those who have the best chances of getting on a trip are typically open to several different trip types, have a wide date range, and only need 1-4 spaces.

When in doubt, give us a call! We’ll check things out to see if we can get you on the river!

No question too small!

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