Since we’ve already busted common myths hindering most people from travelling to Bhutan in a previous post (here if you haven’t read it, we've been told it's worth the read ¯\_(ツ)_/¯), we thought we’d follow that up with a little something on how you can plan your trip and when you should get started. Got your pen and paper?
1) Consider what you want to do while you’re in Bhutan
If you know what you want to do when you’re in Bhutan (for example: trekking, attending festivals, catching a glimpse of the black-necked crane, joining a marathon or challenging mountain bike race etc) then *thumbs up* This will help you decide on the right season to experience your desired activity.
If you have no itinerary in mind and just want a general cultural experience or to seek solace/happiness/possible enlightenment, then the 12 months of the year are your oyster.
Something all travellers should take note of (If you don’t already know. Bear with us if you’re already aware) is that Bhutan has peak and non-peak tourist seasons.
Peak season: March, April, May, September, October (THE most popular month for visiting Bhutan), November. Daily tariff US$250
Peak season perks: optimal time for trekking, best time to witness grand festivals, flora in full bloom
Non-peak season: December, January, February, June, July, August. Daily tariff US$200
Non-peak season perks: lower daily tariff, fewer tourists, smaller scale festivals for a more intimate experience
Click here for a more thorough guide to get you started on when you should visit Bhutan for specific activities and here for the 2017 festival calendar.
2) Know your dates
Now that you’ve decided the activities you would like to pursue while you’re there, this will indicate the precise season during which you should travel, hence helping to narrow down your travel dates. We usually recommend a 7-day itinerary (at least) as that’s just about enough time to visit the main valleys of Bhutan.
Do add some flexibility to your schedule, as DrukAir (Royal Bhutan Airlines) only flies to limited destinations (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore) and some sectors do not have daily flights.
Have a look at DrukAir’s flight schedule here
3) If your travel dates fall during the peak seasons
If you want to visit Bhutan during the peak tourist seasons falling between March to May (Spring) and September to October (Fall) we recommend you try to book at least 3 months in advance especially if you’re aiming to see one of the grand festivals such as the Paro or Thimphu Tshechu.
Reservations tend to fill up quickly as it’s the high tourist season and capacity for flights and hotels are relatively limited. Just remember that as long as you intend to travel during the peak season: the earlier you book, the better.
Consider our trekking, festival and adventure packages here
4) If your travel dates fall during the non-peak seasons
If you’re travelling during the non-peak seasons of June – August and December - February, congratulations! The daily tariff drops to US$200 during this time. You also won’t need to book as far ahead as you do during the peak periods so you can live a little dangerously and book later. We’ll need at least 2 weeks’ notice to organize everything as well as prepare your visa.
Check out our best-selling 7-Days Essential Bhutan package that’s good year round here
5) How to get started with booking
Once you have your dates, a general idea of any festival/trek/activity you want to pursue or better yet, if you already know which package you want, drop us an email with your details and we can do a Drukair ticketing reservation (free of charge) to hold your seat(s) for up to 30 days. If you're not sure exactly what you want, not to worry! We can customize an itinerary suited to your preference.
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