My top tips for booking a holiday
I love to travel, and I am lucky enough to have been to a lot of different places over the years. When I'm not travelling or I am having an unproductive day in the office I tend to drift off into travel planning. I’ve been placed in charge of planning holidays since I was about 16, helping my mum to find to villas and hotels for the family trips, I’ve always had a travel bug and from there it grew. My strong dislike of huge mega hotels and all inclusive made me have to get creative with my travel planning, after all i’ve not got the budget I’d like to have, just yet, when planning my holidays. So without further ado here are my top tips for planning a holiday.
Don’t be afraid to go out of season: I cannot stand it when a place is packed with tourists and I recently went against my better judgment and went to Marseille in the height of summer! Big mistake, trust me, out of season is best (if you can). You’ll be surprised at the difference in hotel prices and places that were previously out of your budget are suddenly much more reasonable. (of course don’t go somewhere in the middle of a hurricane… but you get the idea)
Browse flights in incognito mode: have you ever looked at a flight somewhere, gone away from your desk for a few minutes only to find when the page refreshes that they are suddenly more expensive. Yep, those cheeky airlines know you are looking and will adjust the price accordingly, so always look at flights in a private window. You can also set an alert on SkyScanner to let you know when a flight is cheaper!
Self catered or hotel?: This really comes down to what you want to do when you get to your destination. I like to imagine what i’ll be doing there, will I be checking into the spa, making use of the water sports, or am I really craving a bbq on the beach and some wine. If you want an adventure packed holiday a hotel may be the better option, you don’t have to cook and all of your activities are taken care off. But if you’re looking to laze around and do nothing, then i’d say self catered is the way to go!
If you’re booking a hotel: Make sure to check booking, trivago, and phone the hotel themselves, quite often I’ve found the best deals happen by going direct and that are hotels are happy to throw in extras when they aren’t paying fees to booking sites.
Car hire: book this asap, the sooner it’s locked in the cheaper it will be, or try and hire locally when you get there. Taking a car from the airport will be more expensive as you have to pay a surcharge for taking and returning the car to the airport parking. When we were in Mauritius our hotel found us a local car hire and we met the owner outside of airport departures when we left.
Google Map your accommodation: this sounds obvious, but so many people like the idea of a remote getaway only to find themselves paying a fortune to be able to do anything. Google map where you are staying (it may even show up some less desirable neighbours to a hotel or villa that may sway your idea to stay there) and figure out if anything really is within walking distance or not. If you truly want to be remote then thats great, but if the idea of strolling to a local bar/pub/restaurant is your idea of a perfect end to the day then make sure there is actually something around.
Never change your money at the airport! You will always be ripped off, I like to get mine in advanced online and don’t rely on your card being accepted when abroad.