Latest posts by Tim Firmager (see all)
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With spring just around the corner, many of us will be starting to think about the next getaway for some early summer sun. We’ve teamed up with Bob Atkinson, the resident travel expert at TravelSupermarket, to share the secrets to planning the perfect holiday. The 10 tips below make up a formula that will ensure that you have an unforgettable holiday
Get in early
Getting organised and planning ahead can save you hundreds of pounds with minimum effort. Use a price comparison website like TravelSupermarket to widen your search and make sure you get the best deal for you.
Avoid rising travel costs and limited hotel availability. Typically, when planning, the earlier you book, the better the deal is. Many hotels have cheaper non-refundable early booking deals that are worth tapping up as well.
Timing is key
It might seem obvious but, if you want to save money and avoid peak tourist season and sunbathing next to excitable children, check the national school term dates and book around them if you can.
Be flexible, if you can
If you’re not tied to one specific date, destination or type of accommodation, TravelSupermarket has great tools like ‘price alerts’ that keep you up-to-date with changing prices so you can book at the best price for you.
Book your holiday extras as early as possible
Many of us are good at shopping around for the best deal on our holiday. However, don’t fall at the final hurdle when booking your holiday extras.
Planning ahead and comparing a wider range of products online at TravelSupermarket can save you up to 50 percent on extras such as airport parking or car hire excess.
You have the most fun with them at home, so why not plan a trip with your best pals? TravelSupermarket has a tool called My Suitcase to help you store and share your holiday plans with others so you can get their buy-in and book together. Why not go all out and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by hosting a themed meal of the country’s food and use the time to agree on the key things that you all want to do whilst you’re out there.
Why not go all out and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by hosting a themed meal of the country’s food and use the time to agree on the key things that you all want to do whilst you’re out there?
Consider lesser known but equally good value locations
If you feel popular destinations are becoming too saturated, then look at destinations further afield than the usual LGBT-friendly destinations. For example, instead of Amsterdam, what about exploring Rotterdam for a weekend break? It’s away from the crowds, cheaper and just as enjoyable.
Spain offers a lot of quieter lesser known gems: Galicia, nearby Asturias, or San Sebastian, further along the Northern coast, are all great options. And, if you’re looking for a change from the party scene in Ibiza, we’d recommend checking out the pristine northern beaches in Formentera.
Consider putting together the pieces yourself
If you know what you want to get out of your trip, don’t be afraid to piece together the holiday yourself rather than going directly for a package deal. Thoroughly research your destination, map out what you want to do and compare it to the relevant package deals – you might find a tailored trip works better for you.
Do as the locals do
Even if you’re travelling to a place you’ve visited before, when planning what to do, it’s always worthwhile looking at relevant sites, blogs and local city guides such as Time Out or Patroc to ensure you’re in the loop with what’s going on.
Don’t miss the opportunity to dine at a top restaurant or do something different; just make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Let people know if you’re celebrating
Most upgrades go to people travelling on their own rather than in groups. However, if it’s your birthday or another special occasion, there’s no harm in seeing if the tour operator or hotel is aware of the special occasion and can consider giving you first dibs on an upgrade. This can occasionally work with airlines too, but most usually prioritise potential upgrades to their frequent fliers.
This can occasionally work with airlines too, but most usually prioritise their frequent fliers when giving out the upgrades.
Work out how much you’ll be spending on meals, souvenirs and other activities. Set yourself a daily allowance and make sure you save enough as well as a bit extra for any splurges. Then, you can be sure that you have the best planned and most enjoyable holiday possible.