Part 2: Planning a holiday
Welcome to part 2 of The Workshop Co.'s guide to planning a holiday!
You've painstakingly decided on a country or city to explore, you know what kind of comfort level you're after, and whether you'll be solo, with friends, or on a tour (see part 1 and part 3). Hooray! Now it's time to get even deeper into research mode, and book your holiday!
That's right, we're booking this week. To me, booking the flights is the hardest part of planning a trip. I like to really make sure I know what I need before I commit to the book. So I go deep into research mode and don't surface until I'm well educated. The reason I like to research before booking is, it helps me understand those important details you often overlook in the pure excitement of the trip.
If you're anything like me, you'll be eager to get planning! So, here's to the traveller who likes to be organised and well researched.
When to go –
I get it, often you don't have a choice. But when you do, have a look at the countries weather conditions and when it's recommended to go. You can find that kind of information on Lonely Planet or check out the Trip Advisor forums. Remember, Google is your best friend!
Okay, so now that you've decided on a location, comfort level and travel companion situation (see part 1), it's time to start thinking about where you want to go and what you want to see! This takes a bit of research. I find it easiest starting with your favourite travel blogs, Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor. I also suggest checking what your favourite tour groups offer itinerary-wise – I recommend Intrepid Travel. And most importantly, ask your friends who have been before! There's nothing better than reminiscing on past trips, so I bet they'd be more than happy to share what they recommend.
Cheap flights –
We all want to save money on flights! I couldn't recommend SkyScanner enough. Download the app, type in your destination and it'll find you every flight available sorted from cheapest to most expensive! Talk about ease. A good tip is to research the airline before you book. Sometimes, it's worth spending more money on a better airline or flights with a more direct path or shorter stop-overs for long-haul flights.
If you're under 26, check out STA Travel. They offer discounted 'student flights'. But get in quick, they're often limited and sell out quickly.
It depends on how much money you're willing to spend. I recommend AirBnB when searching for apartments, they've really reliable and if you ever have an issue they offer a full refund and help you with replacement accommodation. Expedia is reliable for hotels around the world, and HostelBookers when on the hunt for hostels. WotIf is also worth checking out! It offers heavily discounted hotels around the world, but it does depend what they have on offer at the time.
Finally, remember to use Trip Advisor to see real traveller's images of the accommodation, and reviews.
AND NOW, TIME TO BOOK!
Stay tuned for part 3 next week, where I'll be discussing tips before you leave.
Got any questions or tips for planning a holiday? Let me know in the comments!