January is the year’s busiest holiday booking month. With the cold dark nights and Christmas, a distant memory, we can see why. But the question is “do you book a holiday package or make your own holiday? These days it is easier to plan and book a holiday than ever, with several helpful sites on the internet offering great deals.
Read a few pointers below to help you decide and plan a cheap holiday itinerary:
1. Decide on the destination
“Plan to fail, fail to plan” is the old saying, but it is still relevant even when planning a holiday. Before you commit to a destination, look at your holiday budget and time you can take off from work or study.
Key areas to check are:
- Seasonality (Outside the UK, some countries have a monsoon/wet periods, always check.) Check with the Met office and Accuweather
- Weather (If you are chasing the sun during the UK winter, you will need to travel 4+ hours on a plane to reach North Africa).
- Availability of hotels (Try booking.com to understand hotel prices for the area).
2. Research prices and availability
Once you’ve decided on the location. Now you can dig deeper into the costs to see if it is worth booking this independently or on via a package deal.
For flights, try Skyscanner.com (A flights comparison site) – Top tips: Travel experts say Tuesday around midnight is the cheapest time to book and be flexible with dates.
Renting a car to get around a country? Try rentacar.com – a good comparison site.
For hotel accommodations, try www.booking.com – Hotels almost always have a 24-hour reception who usually speaks good English and are there to supply local information, order taxis and other help. If your flight/boat home is in the evening, the hotel will usually allow baggage to be left while you enjoy your last day. Private accommodation can offer an insight into local life and sometimes offer more space. Try airbnb.co.uk to www.housetrip.com which offer private accommodation. A disadvantage can be if a fight leaves later in the evening you are usually required to check out along with all your luggage. Always find out about travel cost between your airport or train station and your chosen accommodation. This information is found on the two Wiki sites above.
Now write down all these costs on an Excel sheet.
3. Compare your total independent costs vs. a package deal site
Got all your locations, dates and cost? If yes, then it is time to visit a package deal website. A few below are recommended:
Trip Advisor has over 350 million reviews – it is a review site which provides helpful honest reviews about hotels you intend to stay in and also list different hotels on all the online sites –TravelSuperMarket is another site, for package holidays and car hire, allowing customers to find the best deals from over 50 of the country’s leading travel agents and car hire companies.
Is your trip covered? Remember that if you book a package deal with an agent you will have ATOL cover should any element of your trip break down or the tour operator goes bust. Your agent will also look after that hassle for you. Booking the holiday independently? Check insurance options in the article here https://www.greatdealsmadeeasy.com/top-10-money-saving-tips-booking-travel-insurance-policy/
Finally, note down a few package options before you decide.
4. Decide and book
Now is the time to mull over costs and make that decision. Once you’ve booked, you can sit back and have a holiday to look forward to. Enjoy your holiday and hopefully, these tips were useful. Please share and add any tips below.