Top tips for planning a holiday
When it comes to booking a holiday gone are the days when a visit to your high street travel agent is the only option. Or who remembers Teletext holidays? Waiting with baited breath for page 184 to come round again so you could “pause” the television and phone up… Perusing a physical brochure were flights, hotels, activities, a climate chart and local culture low down is, for many people, a blast from the past. In fact many travel agents no longer carry paper brochures. If you are playing at being your own travel agent, take a look at our top tips for planning a holiday.
You can now book your own flights, choose your preferred seats, luggage options and lunch. From airport transfers by train, public bus, private taxi or boat to hotels, apartments, hostels and yurts. You can plan your itinerary to the letter, book activities, tours and expeditions not forgetting reserving your table at the best restaurant in town. The world is your oyster!
Before you book your holiday you can view your destination via google maps, read reviews from worldwide fellow travellers, see photographs on Instagram and watch videos on YouTube. The internet has made planning and booking a holiday easy, right? What with all that knowledge and information, copious reviews and seemingly unlimited options and choice, it should be a doddle. But, for many people booking a holiday has become a minefield. Why? Analysis paralysis… that and of course, the added expectation of finding, booking and enjoying the “perfect” holiday… It’s easy to forget that much of the information available, especially with regard to reviews is based on opinion. Opinions may be a reflection of someone’s experience, age, upbringing, expectation or mood! So, should you dismiss 30 people who reported food poisoning or bed bugs? No, but use your common sense…
So, to follow are our top tips for planning a holiday.
With 195 countries to choose from, narrowing it down helps! Having an idea of where you want to travel to is a good place to start. Take into consideration culture, weather, cost, language, safety, political situation and how far you want to travel. If you are choosing an all-inclusive resort and do not intend on leaving the complex, perhaps the facilities are more important than the destination itself.
Will your holiday incorporate Mardi Grass in New Orleans, Spring blossoms in Japan, Carnival in Rio Octoberfest in Germany? Perhaps you want to spend Christmas in the Magic Kingdom or see the Monarch Butterfly’s migrating. If you are planning your holiday around a specific event, plan well ahead. Do you want to travel in peak or low season, is the weather relevant or a special celebration?
Set a budget and stick to it. A between? and? might be realistic. As you explore the realm of possibilities, options, add-ons and upgrades the prospect of doing and spending a bit more is tempting. It is, after all, a holiday… but it still needs to be paid for and unfortunately, you can’t always have and do it all. If you can, great!
What do you want to do on your holiday? Sunbath and relax, sightsee and party, explore and do or do absolutely nothing? Are you a thrill seeker, adrenaline junkie or prefer a sloth-like approach… it’s important to consider what you want to do on your holiday in order to get the best experience.
Who is going? Just you? bare in mind single supplements. Large parties may benefit from forward planning, particularly booking ahead for food/activities. Travelling with young children? A range of special considerations will come into play as will if travelling with people with limited mobility or additional/specific needs. Before you start planning, be aware of the needs of your party!
We hope you have found our top tips for planning a holiday useful. Being your own travel agent isn’t for everyone. Perhaps you would like someone else to organise your break, remember those high street travel agents are available for advice and support. Also, small group tours have become increasingly popular, whereby you travel with a tour guide and small group of like-minded people. Although you may not have control of the itinerary, you can choose a tour which suits you. Oh and finally, have you considered a cruise? A cruising holiday may tick many of your wish list boxes and suit large groups.
So, organising your holiday should be fun… hopefully our top tips for planning a holiday will help! Pin our handy checklist to help you get started.
Struggling for inspiration? Why not take a look at the Lonely Planet Guide To The World. We love ticking off places in the Ultimate Travelist.