Planning a holiday is one of the most exciting things you can do – but it can also lead to a huge headache and a lot of boxes to tick.
With so many variables involved in putting together a great trip, the logistics and limitless possibilities of where you can go and how to get there can cause stress in the months leading up to it. And that’s before you have considered budgeting!
Holidays are deeply personal, and vary hugely from person to person – even one family’s holiday will look entirely different to another family’s, and then even that will look entirely different to a couple who are travelling together, or a lone wolf adventurer.
With that in mind, there are a few common themes that everyone should consider whilst planning that emigration to sunnier climate or a more familiar staycation along the coast of the UK;
When a most people discuss travel, there seems to be a vagueness around their destination. They know they want to go somewhere (the prestigious “holiday” is, in itself, hollow without the details) but WHERE?
Are you opting for a staycation, or hot-tailing it out of the country (maybe even to a different continent?!) Both present a plethora of options in terms of what to do and accommodation types that you can go for whilst away.
You may choose to stay in the UK, and take a relaxed caravan holiday nearby some of the most beautiful beaches that England has to offer – alternatively you might consider heading abroad to a much warmer place (Spain? Greece?) to catch a tan and to experience different cultures and foods.
Understandably this can be restricted by money, or perhaps time that you are able to sneak away from work. It may also be affected by how much there is in the area that you are travelling to that you might want to do.
There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of your holiday and thinking “oh no, we didn’t get enough time to do X”.
What most people don’t account for is travel time – whether by car, plane or ferry, the chances on that you will have lost around a day of your holiday before you’ve even started. If you are able to account for this when booking accommodation, you will be thankful that you didn’t lose a day or so in getting there!
Typically, the cost of most holiday amenities (flights, accommodation etc) tend to increase during half term time in schools or during particularly hot weather, as those services are in higher demand.
For this reason, it might be worth considering whether you can change the dates of your holiday so that it doesn’t fall into this category so that you avoid paying more just by accidently picking the wrong week to go. It doesn’t make sense to pay more for the exact same thing just based on timing!
As with anything in life, money can make a huge difference to not only what we buy day to day, but also how we choose to spend any “spare cash”, including for holidays. As they require a considerable amount of planning before you actually go, there’s no reason that you can’t be a little more frugal in the lead up so that you have more money to fritter away to your heart’s content whilst away.
If money really is tight, but you know you deserve a week or two to rest (which let’s face it, everyone does!) you might consider selling some items around the home that you no longer have use for. Sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Amazon and Ebay are excellent places to flog your wares and save up a little extra for holiday treats.
Another key component of booking a holiday; what are you going to do whilst you are there? Not everybody wants to be active whilst on holiday. Instead, you might choose to just find a comfortable home for you and the family where you can all relax in each other’s company. Or you may want the total opposite and instead would prefer your days to be chock full of interesting local sites to visit.
If you do fall into to the latter, we’d recommend searching for places like these after you have chosen where you are going;
The other great thing about planning ahead is that this enables you to book tickets online. Quite often, you can get tickets discounted, and sometimes they’ll even throw in a queue jump for the really busy attractions! This is particularly handy for city breaks and other areas that are likely to be popular with other holiday goers.