I think it is worth sharing some of the planning and research I did for our recent Europe trip. Most of this info can also be used for other international destinations.
The weather: This is the most important factor for any vacation that I plan. There’s nothing like being away when most of the days are sunny and the temperatures are in 60-80 degrees. That’s the reason I pin down the final destination only 4-6 weeks ahead of the actual trip. Surprised?? 🙂
It is not only the weather but mood factor as well. I usually have few destinations in mind but will know for sure which tempts me the most only before a month or two. Such short timeframe gets me excited and focused. This strategy has worked very well so far. For example, France and the surrounding countries had bad Summer this year but the Fall weather was beautiful.