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What to consider before booking a holiday

What to consider before booking a holiday

Going on holiday is an exciting adventure no matter how old you are, and deciding where in the world you want to visit can be one of the most exciting things about it. It is very easy to caught up in the exciting aspects of the planning and organisation of the more fun aspects and forget about the essential things that need to be considered prior to going away anywhere on holiday, whether it is abroad, or just a weekend break away somewhere in this country.

Family HolidayIn order to have an enjoyable holiday and not have to rush around at the last minute means that you have to be prepared and organised prior to leaving. It is incredibly easy to get into ‘holiday mode’ a little too quickly and forget essentials that you will need, resulting in you rushing around at the last minute, or even worse, when  you arrive at your destination.  Before you consider anything, you need to decide what type of holiday it is that you want to go on and for how long. You need to consider what you want to get out of the holiday, whether it is to travel around certain places to see as many sights as you can fit in; a city break; or a relaxing spa or beach holiday. Although this might seem like an obvious suggestion, but by deciding what you want to gain, you can pick the destination a lot easier, reducing the chances of disappointments on your holiday. Once you know the type of holiday that you want to go on, you can then start building your plans around this, starting with how long you want to go away for. You will need to consider a lot of different factors, such as work, school (if it’s a family holiday) any pets, budget and any other commitments that you may have at home. Also consider realistically how long you will need to fulfil what you want to whilst on holiday – for example, you would need longer than a weekend break if you wanted to travel; however, it would be perfect for a spa break away.

The time of year that you are planning on taking your holiday is also incredibly important. If you are travelling without children, you may want to go outside of term time to ensure that the resorts are quieter. Likewise, if you are travelling as a family, it is important to know when the school holidays are, and decide the best time for you all to go. Once you have decided what you want to achieve from your holiday, this will help you to consider a suitable time. If you want a beach holiday, you will need to have a look at when the weather is best suited to this type of holiday. Consider when it will become too hot as well; as you do not want to spend your time staying inside under the comfort of the air con as it is just too hot to do anything else. Also, think about the length of time between you booking it, and you going. If you are a bit more strapped for cash, consider not only how long it will take to pay the holiday off, but also how much time you will need to save up some spending money for your time away, particularly if you are looking for it to be an action packed holiday, where you will want to spend a little longer away. Also bear in mind if you have any restrictions that prevent you from taking time off work at any certain point throughout the year. Once you have decided all of this, it will be easier for you to then consider the best time of year for you to book your holiday.

Next comes the location. Once you know when you know when you want to go and what you want from it, you can decide where in the word you want to go. Consider the time of year that you have decided to go, as some countries and cities are amazing if you go at the right time of year – at the wrong time, your trip could be ruined. Your accommodation should be considered as well. Although this will ultimately be decided on the budget, but think about where you will want to stay during your trip. If you are travelling, will you need to book more than one hotel or hostel; will you be camping, or you do you want all out luxury? Your budget for your trip is so important. Consider the type of holiday you are going on and what you will be doing whilst you are away; who you are going with, for example, travelling with your children will be more costly than going somewhere with just one other person; where you are going and when the holiday needs to be completely paid for; any inoculations and insurance that you may need, your accommodation and your spending money. Your budget is everything and can determine whether you have an enjoyable, relaxing holiday or not. It will not be much fun for you, or anyone, if you spend the whole holiday worrying whether you have enough money or not. Budget for your means and not outside of that. Only book what you can afford.

PassportIf you are travelling abroad, make sure that you have checked that you know where your passport is and that it is in date a few months before you leave to go on holiday. Not only can passports take quite a long time to renew and you do not want the pressure of having to do this so close to your holiday, but also, some countries require your passport to be valid for a certain period of time from the date of your arrival. Kenya and Ghana for example both require a minimum period of six months to be left on your passport from your date of entry. Be sure to check this prior to booking, allowing you to get it sorted in enough time. Again, if you are travelling abroad make sure that you know if you are required to have any vaccinations prior to your travel and how long prior to leaving you have to have them. This is the same for any tablets you have to take during your holiday as well, such as anti-malaria tablets. Check which, if any, documents you will need for your stay and make sure you have these ready before the holiday, so you are not rushing around at the last minute – this includes holiday travel insurance and useful numbers that you may need during your stay. It is also worth making a note of your passport number, credit card number and mobile number should these items be stolen during your trip and you were to suddenly find yourself without them.

When it gets nearer to your departure time, be sure you know what the luggage allowance is, for the transport you will be taking, and weigh your cases before you leave. This will save you frantically trying to spread the weight between cases at the airport should you find your case is too heavy. Know how you are travelling to and from the airport at home and at your destination. If you are hiring a car be sure that this has been sorted and you have all of the relevant paperwork with you prior to leaving and pre-book a car parking space if you are driving yourself to the airport. Whilst these are all small things to worry about before your holiday, organising it before you leave, will ensure that your holiday can get off to a good start, and you can relax.

SuitcaseFinally, make sure that everything at home has been sorted and arranged before you go. If you have pets, make sure they are catered for – if you have to arrange for someone to have them, do this in good time so you know they are sorted. If anyone needs to access your home whilst you are away, be sure that they have a key to get in. If you are leaving your key with someone, make sure it is someone you trust and inform your neighbour that they will be coming in as they might see an unfamiliar person entering and leaving and raise an alarm. If you are not make sure you leave your home secure. Double and triple check all of your windows and doors before you leave to ensure that they are properly locked up. Again, let a neighbour know that you will be away so they can keep an eye on your home. The last thing you will want to deal with whilst you are away is a break in. Lastly, ensure that you have informed your bank that you will be withdrawing your money from your chosen destination, so they do not suspect fraudulent activity is happening on your account and freeze your account.

Although this may seem like a lot to do before you go on holiday, it really is worth it. Stay organised and do not get into the holiday spirit too soon, as this will be when you forget something. A couple of days before is ok, as this is when you can have your you time. You can have all of the beauty treatments you wanted to have, such as a mani-pedi, or a spray tan to ensure that you are looking your best on your holiday.

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