things to do in salem, how far in advance to book salem ma vacation

This question is probably in the top ten most asked questions I get, so today I figured we could have a little chat about it!! How far in advance should things be booked for your Salem, MA vacation? The following is a little run down of my opinions on the matter. Feel free to comment below with your own thoughts!

Hotel and accommodations

  • During the fall or around Halloween:
    If you are visiting Salem in the fall, book ASAP. The sooner the better, and if you’re planning a Halloween visit or anywhere near Halloween I’d suggest booking your hotel in the beginning of the year. Yes, for real.
  • Other times of the year:
    If you’re coming into the city any other time of the year you’re probably okay booking within a few months of your trip.
  • Salem, MA festivals
    If you’re coming to Salem for a certain festival you might want to allow some extra wiggle room and book a tiny bit earlier, just to be safe.

Tickets for Halloween or Haunted Happenings events

Tickets for October events can go quickly depending on what they are, so I’d suggest purchasing as soon as they are available and you’re able. If you can pre-order or buy online and print ahead of time, I’d say do it. This way you know you’re going to be able to visit the attractions you want. Examples include the Hawthorne Hotel Halloween party, the official Salem Witches’ Halloween BallSalem Horror Fest panel tickets, etc.

Smaller scale Halloween events

In addition to the big name Halloween events, there are smaller ones all over the city. Tickets for these ones, in my opinion can be waited on a tiny bit. I still wouldn’t wait until the very end but I’d secure your hotel and other big ticket events first.

Salem, MA weddings

Just like a wedding in any other location, I’d secure your venue and vendors at least a year out. This will allow for time to plan logistics, have money for deposits, etc.

Non Halloween events other times of the year

These tickets are easier to wait on than Halloween ones. I still wouldn’t wait until the last second if you have the option to secure it ahead of time, but you have some more wiggle room when it’s not in the fall.

I hope this was helpful!! Feel free to comment below with your own thoughts. Enjoy!! <3


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  1. Thank you for an important post! I get so many last-minute requests at Salem Kids Tours and I hate to disappoint people. Buy tickets in advance it you can, folk!

    1. My pleasure…I hope it helps people book early and not wait until the last minute. Yeah, some things you can sort of wait a little bit on but it’s smart to just book now and know you’re all set.

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