Steps to take to plan your own Holiday online
Once we enter into January we get sick of the cold weather, the dark evenings and having to wear lots of warm clothing to stay warm. You might think now is the time to start planning your summer holidays. Well if you are going to go on holidays this year, whey not to a big of background research first and do all the booking online yourself. Use the Internet and look at websites for airlines and hotels, investigate the comments posted on online forums and read other holiday makers reviews to see what it is you can do in location a, b or c if you decide to visit them.
Steps to take when planning your own holiday on-line?
Lots of research
Use price comparison websites
Tr to get the best deal ever
One advantage of planning your own holiday is that if you have a budget you can really test your limits and skills here and try to get your flight and accommodation for a set price.
When planning your holiday you are the one who will have to find the best deals out there. If there's a group of you going abroad then you should get your friends to also browse the Internet to look for deals.
The main advantage you gain from planning and booking your own holiday on line is that you avoid having to pay a commission to the Travel Agent but you can also find places of interest that you might otherwise have overlooked.
The World Is Your Map
It's always wise to research any company out there that you might be booking your holiday with.
This is just your own security check to ensure that they are legitimate.
Always book with a reputable companies who has a long honest history with consumers and who doesn't have any negative media attached to them and you shouldn't run into any problems.
Make sure that if you book with a third party website that they are bonded with the IATA (International Air Transport Association) and the Commission for Aviation Regulation
Is Planning A Holiday Difficult
Well it all depends on how much time you have. If you've got 6 month, then no, you'll be fine. If you've got 6 days, then it might be a little bit stressful.
To avoid adding to the stress of planning your holiday, start off by doing some research very early on.
This is to get some ideas of where you might like to visit. Also stick to some of the well know holiday websites. Look at blogs, watch videos on you tube from people or TV shows who have been to the location and reviewed it.
This helps you get an idea on the location and what is there for you to see or do.
Top 5 Things To Do Before Going On Holiday
1. Choose a location you want to visit in your own country or somewhere abroad.
Whether you decide to holiday locally or visit another country the same rules apply. One needs to look at getting the best deals possible.
Also it's wise to know that during the fixed holiday periods like school terms, the cost of most flights abroad go up. That's why it's always a good idea to go a few weeks prior to the end of school term.
This however won't work for parents of children but for couples or friends it would ensure a cheaper flight abroad.
Planning a holiday
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2. Plan out your holiday.
Now thanks to the Internet, no one has any excuse not to find out all the information they can about a place or a country. Most countries now have an official website on their country and will tell you everything you want to know about it.
3. Research every bit of information you can about an area.
It's always wise to know in advance things like the
- Type of weather to expect
- The custom of the people, i.e what do you tip
- The local currency
- The bus / rail timetables and the cost of using them
- The type of food served in the restaurants and can they deal with people with allergies or special needs
- The location of shops to your accommodation
- The location of the beaches
- The main tourist attractions and the cost of getting in and the best way to reach them. i.e can you walk or do you need to get a bus.
4. Find legitimate website.
Book everything like hotels and flights on legitimate websites. Make sure that they have a good reputation.
If you are booking flights either book them through the airline website or if you decide to use a third party website make sure that they are the real deal. If they aren't then they flight company aren't going to have any record of your booking.
When booking the accommodation many times the original website might be cheaper or dearer than a third party website. Signing up for a newsletter can keep you up to date on any offers or discounts that they are going to offer now or in the future.
United Kingdom Embassy
5. Always check the embassy website
If your visiting any country nowadays it's always a good idea to check out their embassy website to see if they have any vital information that you should know before travelling to abroad. There is so much happening nowadays that before you consider going on holiday to any country, you have an idea if it's safe to travel to.
Many times you will see in newspapers and hear on the news report that will tell you what is happening in certain countries, so always listen to them in case the area you're going on holiday to is mentioned.
The embassy in your own country will also post updates on situations that are happening in countries abroad, so always visit them before you decide to visit any country. The information they contain is very useful.
Planning the flight
So you've decided to arrange the holiday yourself, the next step is deciding which location you want to go to. Nowadays there is such a vast range of places to visit all over the world the choices are endless.
When you have decided on your location the next step is when to go.
You need to take into consideration that different months will cost more money than others. This is because these months are the busy season.
(Note: the prices of holidays go up a lot more around the months that children will get holidays, i.e. Christmas, Easter and Summer).
So you've picked the location and the time. The next step is booking online.
Look around different airlines to see who has the best prices at the moment.
Also you need to see which airport they are arriving in. Some countries have more than one airport and it's always good to know what part of the country you will be arriving in. You don't want to arrive on holidays and find out your hotel is a 100miles away from the airport.
This is where you will have planned out how to get to your hotel or holiday home whether by bus, taxi or car hire.
If you decide to stay in a hotel they usually serve breakfast at an early hour. You usually need to leave your room for a long period of time so housekeeping can come and tidy up.
This can also be the case with some apartments you rent. A few might have a cleaning service come in and tidy the place. But in most places you will have to do your own laundry.
Finding the right accommodation
When choosing a place to stay, you can choose a hotel or maybe you should consider a holiday home/apartment. Both of these will again have different prices for the busier season so you need to keep an eye out for good promotions. But apartments/houses usually work out cheaper if you have a group of people going.
Most hotels now allow you to book a reservation online and you pay a small booking fee and then you don’t pay again until you arrive to check-in or in most cases when you are leaving. When you book apartments or houses they also take a small deposit but in their case you are required to pay the outstanding balance before you arrive.
The plus side of houses/ apartments is that usually you don't need to spend all day gone from them like hotels. Since you don't know what time housekeeping will show up to your hotel room, you usually need to leave for a good few hours. But when you have apartment/house you can come and go as early or as late as you like.
The other thing to consider is if you stay in a hotel, you can get dinner in their restaurant, but most time you need to make a reservation before hand. But if you stay in a house/ apartment you can get a take-away if you are too tired to cook, go out to a restaurant or if you want your favourite meal you can go to the local store and buy the ingredients and make it yourself.
There are pros and cons to these three types of accommodation and you need to see which one will suit you for your holiday.
What to do on your Holiday?
No matter what type of holiday you are on you need to plan what you are going to do when you get there. You don't want to arrive and find out all that is in the town is a local shop and a school.
You need to have researched online and know what there is there so that when you do arrive you have an idea of what you want to do for the period you are there.
You want to get the most out of your holiday as possible.
Yes it is fine to spend time at the beach but it is also just as much fun to go in search of local attractions and find out some history on the place you are staying in and to also get some great photos of where you stayed.
So the next time you are thinking of going away for a few days, maybe research online and also get a few brochures from your travel agent and give it ago on planning you own break. The first time you could plan a getaway for a weekend, then the more confident you get, the better you will be at planning longer breaks.
A good website to get others opinions on is www.tripadvisor.com. People who have stayed in a variety of accommodations in different countries put up reviews on here. It is always good to make sure you read reviews on the different places offering accommodation out there before you actually book with them.
© 2011 Sp Greaney
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