Feeling like you need to schedule some time for yourself? The first month of the year is exciting, but getting back on track or busting out of a post-holiday slump can be tiring too. Since we love an affordable and well-timed escape just as much as the next gal, we hit up our friends at HomeAway to talk about the eight best times to book travel accommodations during the year. Read on for smart intel they shared with us based on their data, which will help you score the best selection of accommodations while saving some cash.

1. Spring Break: Looking to hit the beach with your besties or bae? The team at HomeAway tells us that spring-break planning typically peaks in January. Though you might’ve just missed the mark on this one, start searching soon to score a good selection and lower prices. It’s not entirely too late!

2. Memorial Day Weekend: “Book before March for the biggest range of home sizes, locations, and prices available,” the team advises. Are you able to make plans and commit even earlier? Go ahead and get on it ASAP.

3. Summer: “To get ahead of the demand for summer travel, book as early as you can,” the team tells us. “By April 1, most of the places on our site have already been booked for summer.” If you needed an excuse to lock down your dates and get everyone on board, we think this one should suffice.

4. Fourth of July Weekend: To stay ahead of the curve, book your hotel or rental for Independence Day before May 1. Depending on the location you’re looking for, you should be able to easily find something that’ll suit a solo traveler, couple, or group. Needless to say, trying to find the perfect place once summer officially arrives will prove to be pretty much impossible.

5. Labor Day Weekend: We hear that people tend to wait toward the end of August to plan their final warm-weather vacation. To beat demand and price surges, HomeAway tells us to book right after the Fourth of July. As an added bonus — having a fun trip to look forward to will help you beat the end-of-summer blues.

6. Ski Season: Whether you’re a bona fide snow bunny or the friend who loves lounging in the lodge, your best bet is to make your cold-weather digs official by mid-October. “Half of all in-season ski rentals on our site were snapped up by December,” the team shares. “For the best selection, book as soon as you can.”

7. Thanksgiving Break: Don’t fall into the trap of being a last-minute booker for one of America’s favorite holidays; it’ll cost you. According to HomeAway, the key date to add to your calendar for Thanksgiving travel is October 2. “The demand surge will follow quickly after,” the team explains.

8. Christmas: To score the perfect seasonal accommodations (hello, snowy cabin and twinkly lights), book your Christmas trip three months prior. “For most people, this will be at the end of October,” the team clarifies. “You’ll get the best selection for celebrating your holiday.”

Do you plan in advance or try to score last-minute accommodations when you take a vacation? Tell us about your travel style on Twitter @BritandCo or share your best shots with us on Instagram!

(Featured photo via Getty)