Still a bit confused about Use Year. Which month is best for me?


Earning My Ears
Sep 13, 2019
So originally I thought we'd for sure usually travel between Nov-Feb but my husband pointed out that at the end of the month in September, our kids' school has two days off for parent-teacher conferences and that could be a good time to book future trips since they'd only have to miss 3 days of school and the crowds wouldn't be too crazy yet.

So with potential travel dates as big as Sep-Feb (with maybe an occasional summer/spring break trip to Aulani every 2-3 years) when is the best UY for us?

If I am understanding correctly, if I buy an Oct UY and book a trip for January 2020, I wouldn't then also be able to book a trip for September 2021 since that would be a month before our next set of points comes in, correct?

Please advise! I am trying to research the best decision possible before taking the plunge :)


Nov 15, 2008
I would suggest that Aug or Sept would work well for the travel times you listed. The goal is to try to get a UY that allows flexibility if changes need to occur. Traveling within the first 8 months allows you to still back points if you had to cancel 31 days or more...less than that the points are holding status which has different rules,

So, both of those would afford you that!

In terms of booking, you can book a trip for any time you want, It is just that with a Oct UY, a trip in Sept is very risky. If you had to cancel, you’d be well beyond your banking window, and there would be no time to reschedule a trip so any points would be lost.

So, trying to avoid late in UY travel gives you some protection to avoid that. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t travel then, just have to hope you don’t need to cancel that trip!


Glad to be a test subject
Mar 17, 2008
Have you read the thread Understanding UY? It can help to wrap your head around the UY concept.

I'd agree that August or Sept UY sound like it would work out the best for your travel plans. Getting a "good" UY is about having one that essentially provides some free "insurance" against last minute cancellations by allowing you the most time and flexibility to do somehting else with the points. As far as booking or using points any UY would work if you never had to cancel a reservation. However if you can get a UY that keeps your trips within the banking window that's one bit of insurnace against losing points because of unexpected cancellations. Also being able to travel at the very beginning of the UY provides a bit of free insurance because you could potentially have close to a full year to reschedule and try and use the points if you did have to cancel.

Regarding both a trip in Sept and another in February? Sure you could do that. That part only comes down to how many points you have to book with and you can always borrow from the next UY. So say you normally would do trips in Feb but one year (2020) you decide to skip the Feb trip and instead wait until September 2020 but then you want to jump back on the Feb (2021) trip just 5 months after Sept. Assuming a Sept UY in that case you would normally have used 2019 points for the Feb 2020 trip (Sept 2019 points would be good for trips from Sept 1, 2019 -Aug 30, 2020). So you could bank those 2019 points into your 2020 UY and use the banked 2019 points for the Sept 2020 trip and book the Feb 2021 trip with the 2020 points. Using banking and borrowing you can mix up the times of travel - up until you max out borrowing points.

Any of those times could be booked up to 11 months in advance at your home resort or 7 months in advance at any non-home resort if there is availability.
  • DSLRuser

    Age is a state of mind
    Feb 28, 2009
    I just took what they gave me. August. We travel mostly in March and June. Hindsight, I wish I had an April use year. But we make it work.

    Deb & Bill

    DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
    Mar 20, 2000
    We got what they gave us, too. Sept UY. And it has worked out okay for us. Our bigger trip is in late Sept/Oct, with a Dec and/or Jan and then a Flower and Garden trip. I think we took one July trip in 22 years of ownership. Summer is just too hot.

    Chuck S

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Feb 6, 2000
    Normally the best use years are those that start shortly before your normal travel patterns, up to 6 months before a second trip, if you take two trips per year.. We did not know this when we purchased, but got lucky that they assigned us a June use year. My normal travel patterns are first week of June and then sometime in November/December. I do rarely book trips for the very end of May, which could cause problems if I needed to cancel the trip in February or later. So far, it has worked out.

    MJ NH

    Earning My Ears
    Aug 13, 2019
    My use year is August and we travel in January and February. It seems the best for us.


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