9 Tips for Planning the Perfect Holiday

photo: Tom Barrett

Words by Rosana Beechum
July 22nd, 2019

With summer upon us, most of us can’t wait to get away from the dullness of 9 to 5 life and spend some time relaxing and enjoying ourselves. However, as we all know, planning is often the worst part about going away, and it can seem like there is so much to organise and sort out that planning the perfect getaway is impossible! While the norm used to be that you would visit a travel agent to assist with holiday planning, nowadays it’s just as easy, if not easier, to do it yourself online and with our handy tips below, there is no reason why you can’t plan the perfect holiday and potentially save yourself some extra cash along the way.

Set a Reasonable Budget

The perfect holiday doesn’t always mean spending lots of money, and so you should be sure to set a reasonable budget for each trip you go on. While it can be tempting to spend a considerable amount of money on that long-awaited trip away, it is important that you only spend what you can afford. You should work out how much money you can afford to spend before you start looking so that you have a guide price. Having fun and relaxing with those you love doesn’t have to cost you a penny, so there is no point in spending more money than necessary. Overspending on your holiday will only leave you worrying about the cost while you are supposed to be relaxing and enjoying your
time away.

Choose the Best Destination

You should spend some time looking into which destination is most suited to your needs. For example, if you are travelling as a family, then you should check that there are plenty of activities that all members can enjoy. However, if it’s just you and your partner going away, then you might want to avoid destinations that are popular with families and instead consider booking an adult-only accommodation or somewhere with great nightlife.

Once you have decided on your overall budget, you will be able to find the best destination that your budget allows for. You might decide that you want to go to a destination that is far away in distance, or you might prefer to cut down costs and your travel time by going to a destination closer to home. If you are strapped for cash, don’t forget that there are plenty of staycation options available; you don’t always have to fly somewhere to have a good time.

photo: Maximilien T'Scharner

Find the Best Deals

It’s always good to know that you’ve bagged yourself a good deal and found good value for money as this will make your time away even more enjoyable. One of the best ways to save money when planning your holiday is to try and book your flights as soon as possible. You can use sites like flyporter.com to book flights at a great price but with added benefits like extra legroom and free snacks and drinks, helping you to start your holiday in style.

You may also find that if you can be flexible with your dates, you can plan your holiday around the best deals. Some flights and accommodation will be cheaper on specific days, such as Wednesday, for example, so if you have more freedom, you should be able to find a date and price that is better for you.

Think About Flight Times

While you should be sure to look for the best deals when planning and booking your perfect vacation, you should also think carefully about flight times. Sometimes the best deals involve travelling in the middle of the night. While this might suit you fine, for some people this can be very disruptive. It may not be worth saving €70 on a flight if it means having to catch the red-eye and making your jetlag a lot worse. It’s also important to factor in your travel time and any time differences that might ultimately affect your holiday. Be sure to check that if you do land at your destination in the early hours, you will be able to check in to your hotel straight away. This is important as you don’t want to find yourself stranded with nowhere to sleep after a long through-the-night flight.

Read Reviews

Before you go ahead and book anything, whether it be excursions or accommodation, you should do your research and read any reviews you can find online. This is particularly important when booking your accommodation because you don’t want to arrive at your destination and find that your hotel is not as advertised. Online websites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp are great resources to use when looking for reviews. You can also look up any trip or activity on TripAdvisor so that you can be sure that it will live up to your expectations (and the price you have paid for it!).

Find the Perfect Amount of Time Away

It can sometimes be difficult to know how long you should go away for, and this can be the difference between a great and a not so great holiday. While many of us initially think about going away for as long as possible, in reality, many find that, once you get there, a week away is just enough to feel relaxed. Be careful not to go away for too long as you may find that you get tired or even fed up and are ready for home before you’re due to leave. It is important that you go away for enough time to enjoy yourself, but don’t linger around for too long that you start to feel bored — it is possible!

Have a Rough Itinerary

While you may not want to plan your holiday schedule from start to finish, you should still have a rough idea of how you plan to spend your time. As part of your planning, you should have a look at the popular attractions at your destination and have a list of the different places you really want to visit.

Keep a Copy of All Your Documents

Nothing will spoil a holiday quite like losing important travel documents. So, to avoid any disasters, you should make a copy of all your documents. While you are planning your holiday and booking your accommodation, flights, and reservations, be sure to keep receipts of money you have spent as well as printing off hard copies of your booking confirmation emails to take with you when you go away, just in case.

Be Selfish

If you want to enjoy the perfect holiday this summer, then you may have to be selfish with your time and be prepared to say no to other people. If you are going away as a large group, then you might find yourself trying to please everyone in the group. But if you feel like you don’t want to go somewhere, then you should speak up instead of forcing yourself to go. It is important to remember that this holiday is for you just as much as it is for anyone else, so you should spend your time away in any way that you want to.

By following these tips and advice, you will be able to plan your perfect holiday and make the most of your well-deserved break away from everyday life.

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