With the temperature dropping we start thinking about planning holidays for next year to get us through the chilly winter months.
What’s your approach to holiday planning?
- Very Organised: I like to plan ahead, and do lots of research to find the perfect place to stay before booking.
- Some planning ahead: Plan the main holiday but decide on shorter breaks/weekend trips much close to the time
- Like to be spontaneous: Start looking for options very close to the time I have time to take a break.
Whatever your approach to planning and booking holidays, there are certainly fewer last minute deals available (especially if you are restricted to school holidays). So whether you’re single, planning a trip with a partner or friend or a family holiday it makes sense to plan ahead.
Benefits of booking ahead
- Availability: get exactly what you want
- Budgeting: spread out the costs
- Maximise your holiday time: look at bank holidays and commitments throughout the year.
- Relax: Look forward to your break knowing that you’ve done all the hard work.
Here are a few great tips to help you make holiday planning a blissful experience.
Yearly Holiday Plan
A useful starting point when planning holidays is to look at the entire year to identify when you will need breaks.
School holidays: If you’ve got school age children you’ll be restricted by school holiday dates. Most schools sent out the entire school holiday calendar at the end of the summer term for the following year. By planning ahead you can identify not only how you will spend time as a family but any additional childcare support that you may need throughout the year. That way you can ask friends/family or look at holiday club options early and book ahead.
Time away from work: If you do not have children then you can look at the best times to take holidays. You’ll be able to get cheaper rates for long-haul out of the main holiday periods and plan your breaks around your busy work schedule. Remember you’re more likely to get an approval for time off if you give plenty of notice as cover for your role can be set in place.
Special occasions (Christenings, weddings, family get together): Maybe you have been invited to a family event abroad or a long distance from your home in the UK. By planning ahead you can identify if it’s possible to build a longer holiday around it. If you’re already paying for flights to Rome it makes financial sense to build a week or 2 week holiday around it rather than paying top prices to fly for a weekend.
Budgets: Decide how much you want to spend
The great advantage of planning ahead is that you can identify how to allocate your holiday budget throughout the year. If you’re planning a long family holiday to Australia for 3 weeks at Easter you make want plan cheaper breaks throughout the year. Again if you’re planning a ski trip in France in February you may want to do a cheaper break in the summer.
Maybe you’re thinking of doing a house swap or renting out your property when you are away. If you want to earn money or keep costs down whilst you are away it makes sense to plan ahead.
Deposits: Often booking ahead enables you to spread the cost of the holiday over several months. Most hotels, cottages or packages will ask you to pay a small deposit of between 10-30% of the total holiday cost when booking. The remainder will then be paid 6-8 weeks before departure.
Maybe you have a special anniversary coming up and need help covering childcare/pet care or need someone to housesit. The longer you plan ahead the more likely that you’ll be able to find people to help out.
How far to go?
This is a very personal decision. Some people crave the adventure of a long-haul destination, whilst others prefer to minimise travel time and go back to a tried and tested destination each year. Whatever your holiday preference, by planning head you can identify if it’s possible to get everything that you need.
Don’t forget the extras that go with your holiday and again planning ahead gets you the best rates and availability.
Holiday insurance: look at an annual policy rather than individual policies per trip. If you need cover for breakdown, mobile phones etc it’s worth looking at a monthly cover with your bank.
Car Hire: look at online brokers to get the best deal.
Airport Parking: Better deals by booking ahead. Be realistic how close to the airport you should park. If you have a flight at 7.00am it would be better going for a medium stay which has more frequent shuttles and is closer rather than a long-stay car park.
If you need help or guidance with any aspect of your holiday planning Blissfully Organised is always happy to help.
Tel: 07818 423 376
For when you just don’t have the time…..