If you’re looking to book a holiday yourself, you might find it’s incredibly stressful. And when you finally close your laptop after ironing out all the details, you may even breathe a sigh of relief.
But to get to this point, you may think that you need to spend an eternity looking at reviews, visiting your travel agent, and browsing the web.
Luckily, there are certain things you can do to save yourself time, money, and stress. With that in mind, here are my top 7 tips on how to book a holiday yourself.
1. Plan Things In Advance
If you’re looking to book a holiday yourself, you need to decide on dates that are convenient for all travellers.
Once you’ve done that, it’s then time to check if you can all get the time off work. That means getting your holiday request forms handed into your manager as soon as possible!
Before booking your holiday, you’ll need to make sure that your passport is up to date and not close to its expiry date.
This is where a lot of people go wrong. And if you’re not careful, this can cause problems further down the line such as being restricting from entering a country.
You should also make sure that you buy the necessary things you will need for your holiday. This includes essential items such as clothes, luggage, importantly – travel insurance!
I’d suggest purchasing this immediately after booking for peace of mind. Many people leave it until the last minute, but I’d recommend not doing so just in case you can’t make your trip due to reasons beyond your control.
Also, if you are an EU citizen that is travelling in Europe, ensure that you have a valid EHIC card. This will enable you to get access to free healthcare should you need it. And if the locals don’t pay for it, then you shouldn’t have to either.
However, many people make the mistake of assuming that an EHIC card covers them in the event of injury or sickness. But this isn’t always the case. So, it is advisable that you also have travel insurance cover.
2. Tailor Your Search
Consider your budget, and make sure you know how you are going to pay for the holiday. Have the money upfront? Go for it. If not, many companies offer deposit schemes so you can pay in instalments.
With regard to your accommodation, consider your board basis and opt for the one which works best for you. Here are some that you can choose from:
- Full Board
- Half Board
- Breakfast Included
- Self Catering
If you prefer more freedom, then half board, self-catering, or B&B are your best options.
Each of these enables you to have more meals outside of your accommodation or perhaps cook your own meals if you prefer.
An all-inclusive booking, on the other hand, includes all your food and drink. So, you usually don’t need to worry about paying extra during your stay, just check the terms and conditions to be sure.
That being said, some people get fed up of eating in the same place. So, be sure to choose wisely!
Another consideration is what type of holiday you’d like to go on. Do you have kids? then you might want to read up on the facilities available both at your accommodation and in the local area.
Fancy somewhere more relaxed that you can enjoy as a couple? Then go for adults only accommodation, as these tend to be more suitable.
Or, maybe you fancy a short trip. In which case, city breaks might be exactly what you are looking for.
Visit the High Street
You can usually find the best deals from the comfort of your own home by browsing the internet.
But don’t rule out high street travel agents, as they may be able to offer you last-minute bargains. Either way, you should keep your options open.
Utilise Package Holiday Websites
By using package holiday sites, you can include all the aspects of a holiday in one booking.
For those who are less experienced booking holidays, this can save a lot of time and hassle, as more often than not, this covers your hotel, flights, and transfers.
You can even upgrade to a private transfer if you like – perfect for those who can’t bear the thought of going on a coach!
For those who are able to drive, you even have the option to include car hire as an extra.
But, there are often restrictions such as your age and how long you have had your driving licence for.
So, be sure to check up on the rules set out by your chosen car hire provider and the country you are travelling to.
Consider Booking Separately
Don’t assume that package holidays are cheaper. A lot of the time they can be. But, by searching around, you can sometimes save your hard-earned cash.
Here are some useful websites:
Consider Flight and Transfer Times
Choose a flight time convenient for all those travelling to keep things in order. Just bear in mind that choosing certain flight times can often add to the cost. So, you might need to make compromises, particularly if you are on a budget.
Selecting a later flight may mean losing out on a day at the start of your holiday. But, if you want to save yourself money, that’s the price you’ll have to pay!
Additionally, take into consideration how long the transfer to your accommodation will take.
Luckily, many websites will display transfer duration times. So, if you’d like to avoid a long journey after your flight, take this into consideration during the booking process.
When you’ve found some accommodation, it will help to read some reviews before booking. That way, you’ll know for sure whether it’ll live up to your expectations.
The most widely-used review site is Tripadvisor – a popular option amongst travellers. But you can also find reviews on other sites such as Booking.com and Google, too.
Either way, it’s worth writing your own review upon returning from your holiday. Other travellers who are looking to stay where you did will appreciate this. I know I would!
Well, there you have it! Your very own guide to making the holiday booking process as stress-free as possible. By following the tips included in this article, you’ll be well on your way to finding the ideal holiday for you.
Soon enough, you’ll be sipping cocktails, relaxing on the beach, or partying the night away. Whatever the case, happy travels folks!
I do hope you enjoyed this post and that it provided you with plenty of actionable tips. If so, feel free to check out other articles of mine over on my blog page.