The visa bulletin is issued annually to all travellers who need a visa and can be obtained from any embassy or consulate of the country you wish to visit. Most countries will issue visa certificates when required, but this isn't always the case. You need to check the visa bulletin for the visa requirements you need for your next trip before you leave.
You'll find that many airlines and hotels offer free travel alerts, and a Visa Bulletin can give you some advice on this service. You should check whether the airline you're flying with offers this service in the case of an emergency. They should have a link to the Visa Bulletin in their customer services area or website. If they don't have this option, then try checking with your agent.
If you are travelling in December, it is probably more difficult to get a visa than it would be during the summer months. The summer months tend to see many more visitors than the winter months do. People travelling in the summer have a better chance of getting a visa than people travelling in the winter months. The reason for this is that more countries recognise November as the start of the new year, and therefore visa applications increase in the months before Christmas.
If you are looking to book a hotel, look for a hotel with a link to the Visa Bulletin. A hotel in a destination that has a Visa Bulletin will normally offer a lower rate than a hotel in another country, especially if you are looking to spend less money during your holiday. Some hotels charge more during the holiday period, so it's worth contacting them and asking if there's a special deal for the holidays coming up. For example, you might find that they are offering a lower rate and a cheaper accommodation during the winter months, which can save you money in the long run.
It is also worth checking with your travel agent if they can help you book your tickets online or obtain an official copy of the Visa Bulletin. In the event that you are denied entry into a country you want to visit, the chances of being able to apply for a visa are higher. Many airlines and hotels offer online services, and . . . . . . this can be very useful if you know exactly where and when you want to go.
It is always advisable to check your visa status when applying for your visa in December. There will usually be a period of 90 days between the issue date of issue and the date you need to apply for a visa.