I am a planner. I always have been. It’s in my DNA to plan, plan and plan a little bit more. I love the feeling of being organised and that extends to when I travel. Before a trip I’ll always spend quite a bit of time researching what I want to see, do, eat and drink in a destination. So, I think I’m pretty well placed to share with you guys some tips on how to plan your dream holiday…
1. Know exactly what you (and your travel companions) want
It’s so important to know what it is you and whoever you’re travelling with want from your holiday. Maybe it’s a relaxing beach escape, a busy city break with lots of sightseeing, or something in between.
Have an open and honest conversation about exactly what type of holiday you want before looking at destinations. If you want a luxury, exotic beach break but your boyfriend is hankering after a hectic trip to Barcelona you’re going to have to compromise somewhere! By talking about what you want you’ll be more likely to end up in a destination that everyone will love and be happy with.
2. Decide where to splurge and where to save
Unless you’ve got a giant bank balance and money to burn (share, plz) you’re probably going to be sticking to a budget for your trip. That means it’s important to decide what’s most important to you from your holiday. Then you can spend money on those things and save in other areas.
If you’re jetting off to NYC and planning to spend all your time out sightseeing, there isn’t much point paying gazillions for your hotel. You’d be better booking something a little cheaper and using the cash saved to do cool things in the city instead. If you’re planning to spend a week by the pool, it’s worth splashing out a bit more on a hotel with a really great pool and surroundings since that’s where you’ll be spending all your time.
Think about your priorities and spend your money on the things that matter most to you.
3. Find the best area to stay
Don’t just book the first hotel you see that looks cute and is a good price. It might be a good price because it’s in a sketchy area, or because the facilities aren’t up to scratch.
Do your research on the best area to stay in for your needs and wishes. If you plan to spend your days on the beach it’s not a great idea to book an apartment that’s 20 minutes drive from the beach. Or if you want the hustle and bustle of a city, don’t check into a hotel that’s miles away from the centre.
If you’ve discussed what it is you want from a destination you’ll be better placed to pick the right area to stay in too.
Top tip: use blogs, social media and websites like TripAdvisor to get all the details on neighbourhoods, apartments and hotels before booking anything.
4. Plan what to do when
If you’ve got specific things you want to do plan when you’re going to do it. There’s nothing worse than rocking up to the museum you want to visit and finding out it’s closed that day and you’ve missed your chance.
Plan what days you’re going to do specific things and check in advance to be sure they’re open. If it’s a restaurant you’re dying to try out then be sure to book in advance so avoid missing out. If it’s an attraction and you can book in advance do that too. Sometimes you’ll save money booking in advance and often you’ll get to skip the queue if you’ve already purchased tickets.
5. Don’t forget to relax
This might seem like I’m stating the obvious, but don’t forget to relax and enjoy your time away. Put your phone away, be present, take in the sights around you and really enjoy being somewhere new and exciting.
Savour the feeling of sunshine on your face, eat that extra piece of cake and drink that glass of wine. Life is short, don’t forget to enjoy it!