When is the best time to book a cruise? In the not so distance past, one could comfortably say six months prior to departure on most itineraries, but this is no longer the case. Popular itineraries and ships are being booked as far as 12-15 months in advance, with group bookings even further out to ensure availability.
The longer you travel, the better you get at traveling light. You figure out what you really need, what you can do without, and what you can buy at the destination if you really need an item.
I remember one of my first trips back to Europe after graduating college. I was flying with my Grandmother and meeting up with my parents in Germany. My Grandmother and I each had 3 bags, and mind you, this was before luggage had wheels. We were supposed to drive, but my parent's flight was delayed by a day, so we had to get to our destination by train. Me - trying get 6 bags and a Grandmother (with jet lag) onto a train. I'm convinced I was being videoed for "America's Funniest Home Videos"!
You know the airport security routine. Take out your computer, liquids and anything in your pockets and put them in separate bins. Make sure you take off your shoes and belt. Go through the security scanner and hope you don't beep. And if you are part of the community with a metal knee or hip like I am, you may be subjected to extra pat downs. Yes, we have to deal with it.