It’s that time of the year, that special time when you get to dream, fantasise and get super excited – it’s time to start looking into your annual holiday. It’s one of the best possible activities you can do – planning two weeks of the year you look forward to for the other 50.
When it comes to this exciting planning, it is important you take the time to look in all the right places in order to gain the most information, select the right location and most importantly – bag the best deal.
Before You Start
Before you start doing any research:
- Set aside plenty of time – this is an important decision!
- Have an idea of the type of holiday you want, or your partner or family will want, which will help you refine your search.
- Get your budget set so you aren’t tempted to book something you can’t afford.
- Promise yourself to enjoy looking and not get stressed – you’re booking a holiday, it shouldn’t be stressful!
Here are some tips to help you look in all the right places when selecting a holiday:
Your Friends And Family
These are the first people you should be looking to for opinions and suggestions as they will be more than happy to tell you if they loved or hated a certain part of the world. Most adults have been to a fair few places on holiday, so every friend and family member will likely have at least 3 or 4 suggestions for you to consider. If the sound of somewhere inparticular takes your fancy, ask questions that relate to your particular holiday needs. So if you eat out a lot, ask about the local cuisine and recommended restaurants. If you’re an active family, ask about excursions and activities on offer in the area being discussed. It may well be that the person you’re asking doesn’t know everything about the location unless they go every year, or they might have travelled there years ago, in which case you should look online to research the location further.
The internet is an endless holiday brochure. You can find holiday company sites, holiday blogs, travelling blogs, place profiles, holiday tips – everything and anything you need to find your perfect holiday is online. If you don’t know where to start, try placing a list based search term into Google. So if you know you’re considering Europe and want to stay on the coast, and you’re going to be travelling with kids type in ‘top five European coastal holidays for families’. So rather than having to take a guess at different areas and whether or not they are right for you, the lists you get will have refined your search for you and point you in the right direction. You will also want to look on social media, which will provide you with comments from other users as well as photos and links to helpful articles. The internet is also useful when you’ve found a few places and holiday companies you’re interested in – it’s the place to go when you want to read useful reviews on well known review sites.
Don’t forget when you’re deal hunting that comparison websites could help you find the best deal on your holiday. This is especially true if you’re looking to go on holiday with a specific company or to a popular location. If anything, they can give you a good idea of how much your full holiday might cost.
Funnily enough, these days, the travel agents aren’t always the first place we go to when we are looking at booking a holiday. However, it is important to remember you don’t have to speak to anyone when you go in, nor do you have to book anything if you do make an enquiry! Simply go in and collect some brochures if you want to research your holiday the traditional way. Alternatively you could enquire about holidays with the agent who should print out some package prices for you. These print outs are useful because you can then approach another agency who will compete with the price you have been offered to win your business. Surprisingly, travel agencies are very open to negotiation and haggling because they know how much competition is out there.
Remember, take your time and enjoy yourself – this planning process will result in you booking an amazing experience for you and the people you’re travelling with.