In the run up to Christmas with all the business and chaos it entails,who would even be thinking of next year's holidays ! The answer to that,of course,is not many which is exactly why it is a good time to start looking....special deals and promotions are there for the taking ! I myself have just booked a flight for next year,long haul and not only was the price considerably less than usual but I had the choice of any seat on both flights out and both return flights !
BOOKING AND PLANNING YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY.
Don't be in too much of a rush to put a deposit down on a holiday, take your time and make a list of what everyone in your family or group wants from your trip. Are you after an activity break? Do you want to learn a new skill? Or is a week lazing on the beach just what you need? And, what about keeping your children entertained? Then decide what time of the year you all want to travel, how long you can go away for, how far you are prepared to travel and what type of accommodation suits you - for example do you want all-inclusive, self-catering or are you open to options? Then separate your list into priorities to focus your mind. Next step is to set your budget and remember that this should include everything from your accommodation and travel to your car hire, spending money, food and drink while you are away, plus any activities you want to take part in. Finally, make a list of possible destinations with the people you are travelling with - as well as those you wouldn't consider. HOMEWORK...IT'S IMPORTANT !
Having now created your list, the next step is to focus on the options. Ask friends and family for their views and thoughts as they know you and your circumstances the best and also consider using connections on social networks to generate thoughts and advice. Check out information about your potential destinations online using sources such as the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website as well as leading travel and advice sites Pay particular attention to the weather when you want to travel, if you are going to need visas and whether you will need any injections or medication. For inspiration on what to do while you are away, look at guidebooks, review sites, magazines and newspaper supplements. If you have any questions, go to travel forums or speak to your local travel agent. By now you should be ready to start narrowing down your list to a couple of choices. COMPARE PRICES TO FIND THE BEST DEALS AVAILABLE.
Now you have narrowed down the options on where you would like to go, compare the cost of both package holidays and booking separate flights and hotels side-by-side so you know which the cheapest option is. Making the mistake of booking the first thing you find can lead to paying more than you need for your holiday. To ensure that the price you have found is the cheapest available, use a price-comparison sites which bring together prices from all of the leading holiday companies in one place. This also holds true to find the best flight only deals...many of these companies book blocks of seats which are at a rate that nobody else offers. Make a list of your top holiday options and note down which can be booked with just a deposit and which require a full payment. When you have found a number of options which are in your budget, compare accommodation and board types to see which break is the best value for money for you. Be realistic and honest with yourself - don't opt for an all-inclusive holiday if you know you won't eat in the hotel and, if you'd rather have room service and meals at set times, self-catering might not be the best option for you.
LOOK AT ALL OF YOUR OPTIONS AGAIN !
You've almost found your ideal holiday but before you hit the book button, refer to your original list of priorities and preferences. Does your break tick all of the boxes? If yes, do a quick online check of review sites and, for peace of mind that the place you are staying is what you expect, read feedback on your accommodation from other holidaymakers.
TIME TO MAKE THE BOOKING !
Do a final price check before you book and remember the three golden rules when booking any holiday: Where possible, book an ATOL or ATOL-Flight Plus holiday. If you are unsure whether your break is ATOL-protected, ask your travel company before you book.If you can't book an ATOL-protected holiday, take out a travel insurance policy with end supplier failure to cover you should any element of your trip fail.To make sure your holiday money is protected, pay for your trip using a credit card to get protection under the Consumer Credit Act. Many companies do charge for using a card, however if you can pay for at least £100 of your trip on your plastic you can pay the balance by debit card, cheque or cash and still get full protection for the entire cost of your trip. Alternatively, use your Visa or MasterCard for chargeback protection. Never pay by cash, bank transfer or cheque only as you have no financial protection with this. INSURANCE !
You've nearly finished the first steps of your holiday. However, it's vital that you have travel insurance from the day that you book. This will cover you for cancellation should you be unable to travel due to medical, redundancy or other reasons, and protects the money you have paid as a deposit which is not normally refundable. So, now you've booked, time to start saving your spending money and let the holiday countdown begin!
Member since: 4th June 2013
An owner of Thebestof Portsmouth, I have lived in Portsmouth and Southsea all my life, so I like to think I have a good idea about what makes us tick. I am passionate about all things Portsmouth and Southsea,...