It usually takes a lot of time to find the perfect holiday for you – having spent hours upon hours browsing the internet, visiting travel agents, and looking at reviews. With that in mind, the following article will share tips that will show you how to avoid losing the will to live throughout the holiday booking process. Along the way, it will perhaps save you time, money, and stress. So, read on to find out everything that you need to know.
Whether you are travelling alone, as a couple, or with family or friends, it is beneficial to decide on dates that are mutually convenient to all travellers. Booking time off work is the first step, as holidays are often on a first-come-first-served basis. So, it is highly recommended that you get your holiday forms handed into your manager as soon as possible!
Prior to booking your holiday, you’ll need to make sure that your passport is up to date and not close to expiry. This is where a lot of people go wrong and it can lead to a lot of stress upon realising that your passport is due to expire a week before you jet off. To avoid any potential embarrassment at the airport and receive your passport more efficiently, it is highly advisable that you use the ‘Check and Send’ service provided by the Post Office – available for a small additional fee on top of your passport cost.
You should also make sure that you purchase the necessary things you will need for your holiday – i.e. clothes, luggage, and most importantly travel insurance! This needs to be booked as soon as possible after booking as this covers you in the event you can’t make your holiday due to unforeseen circumstances. Many people leave it until the last minute but this is highly unadvisable.
Also, if you are 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 – if the locals don’t pay for it, then you shouldn’t have to either. Many people make the mistake of assuming that an EHIC card adequately covers them in the event of injury or sickness. However, it is highly advisable that you also have travel insurance cover.
Tailor Your Search
Consider your budget, and make sure you know how you are going to pay for the holiday. Have the money up front? Go for it. If not, many companies offer deposit schemes such as Jet2Holidays, who offer a deposit of £60pp with the remainder of the balance payable in instalments.
In terms of accommodation, consider your board basis (all-inclusive, half board, self-catering etc) – opting for the one which works best for you. If you prefer more freedom, then half board, self-catering, or B&B may be your best option. This enables you to have more meals outside of your hotel, or even cook your own meals in your hotel room if you prefer.
All-inclusive means that all of your meals and drinks are included. However, some people get fed up of eating in the same place – feeling that they are restricted to the using the hotel’s facilities to get their money’s worth. So, choose wisely folks!
You should also consider the type of holiday you want to go on, as well as the hotel’s suitability for your travelling party. Have kids? you might want to read up on the facilities available both at your hotel and in the local area. Fancy somewhere more relaxed as a couple? go for adults only as these tend to be more suitable. Or, perhaps you just fancy a short break. In which case, city breaks might just be exactly what you are looking for.
Visit the High Street
You can usually find the best deals on the internet from the comfort of your own home. However, you shouldn’t rule out visiting high street travel agents. This is because you can sometimes find excellent deals which are not available online – particularly last minute bargains. So, keep your options open and don’t restrict your search to the internet only.
Utilise Package Holiday Websites
By using package holiday sites such as TUI or Jet2Holidays, you can include all the aspects of a holiday in one booking. Particularly for those who are less experienced when it comes to booking holidays, this can save a lot of time and hassle – with your hotel, flights, and transfers included. Not only that, you can also choose flight times convenient to you, and even upgrade to a private transfer for an additional cost if you just 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. However, 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.
Consider Booking Separately
Don’t just assume that package holidays are cheaper. A lot of the time they can be. But, by searching around using separate sites, you can sometimes save some of your hard-earned cash. Visit the recommended sites below for booking separately:
• Accommodation – Hotels.com, Booking.com or Trivago.
• Car Hire – Skyscanner Car Hire
• Flights – Skyscanner
Consider Flight and Transfer Times
Choose a flight time convenient for all those travelling to keep things in order. However, choosing certain flight times can often add to the cost. Therefore, compromises may need to be made – particularly if you are on a budget. Choosing a later flight time for departure may mean losing out on a day at the start of your holiday. But, if you wish to save yourself money, that’s just the price you pay!
Additionally, take into consideration how long the transfer to your hotel will take. Throughout the booking process, many websites will display how long the transfer takes from the airport. So, if you prefer to keep transfer times to a minimum, take this into consideration when booking your hotel.
If you have found a hotel you particularly like the look of, it will really help to read some reviews before booking. This will give you more of an idea as to what the hotel is really like, and you can find several unbiased reviews published by people from all over the world who have shared their experience staying at a particular accommodation provider.
The most widely used review site is Tripadvisor – a hugely popular option amongst travellers. Consider writing your own review upon returning from your holiday as this can really help others who are looking to stay in the same place.
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, taking long, relaxing walks on the beach, or perhaps partying the night away. Whatever the case, happy travels folks!