Going on holiday for the first time. Need advice?

I'm planning to go on holiday sometime next year. This will be the first time I will have gone on holiday since I was too young to remember (I'm 20 now). What is the best way to organize a holiday. Best websites, cheapest sites. What do you people use? I am a complete novice to all this son any help at all is more than welcome.

(I'm in the UK)

2 Answers

  • Clive
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you want to go somewhere in the UK, you probably know how to get to places by train or coach. There are numerous hotel web sites to find somewhere to stay, so just google "[the place] hotels" and see what happens. So the rest is basically about going outside the UK.

    In my younger days (I'm 48) the big thing was package holidays, especially for going abroad. Go to a travel agent, pick up brochures, take them home, find what you like, and go back to the travel agent to book it, or book it by post. That gives you travel and somewhere to stay when you get there for one all-in price. That's still possible. Make sure everyone you deal with is a member of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) as they have a compensation scheme for if it all goes badly wrong.

    The Internet has rather devastated the package holiday industry now that you can find somewhere to stay and book tickets to get there all online, and so put together your own DIY package. It takes more work, though. And it's the only way if you want to go somewhere abroad that isn't in a brochure. Of course in the days before the Internet, you would go to a travel agent, have a consultation across the desk and see what they can do. You still can.

    Where do you fancy going? There are numerous hotel web sites so it's difficult to give advice - just google and see what there is. When you find a hotel you like, google its name to see if another site offers it cheaper. Book it. Then work out how to get there and book that. The best way if you need to fly there is use a site like Expedia or Travelocity to see how to get from A to B. But don't necessarily book it there: go on to the airline's own web site and go through the motions of booking without actually paying so you can get a price and see if it's cheaper that way.

    A point with airlines now that they all use the easyJet and Ryanair pricing model is that you generally get the cheapest fare 2-3 months before you go. So don't book too early.

    A package holiday will also provide a coach to get you from the airport to the hotel, and back again when you go home, so think about how you would do that if you've arranged it all yourself. If the two aren't too far apart, take a local taxi.

    It will also throw in travel insurance unless you opt out, so that's something else to think about. Your bank can sell you a policy and there are other companies such as Columbus. It doesn't cost much for a week or two away. The main point of this is what happens if you fall ill while you're away outside the UK? In most countries it isn't completely free like in the UK. For Europe, get a European Health Insurance Card as well - google that, it's free, and gets you treated as if you were local.

    For just one example, I've been to France several times and know that you have to pay the doctor, and the chemist if he or she gives a prescription. In the case of medicines, there is a "vignette" on the bottle or box and you stick that on the "feuille de soins" they give you. Send that in, plus the one you get from the doctor, to the local Caisse Primaire d‘Assurance Maladie and you get a partial refund.

    Going abroad you need a passport so apply for that in good time. You will need your full birth certificate and your mother's full birth certificate to prove you are British. It takes 6 weeks to get one for the first time as you have to be interviewed as a safeguard against identity theft, and you'll need someone professional who has known you for at least 2 years to sign off the photographs as a true likeness of you. Most people ask their doctor if they don't know anyone else with a professional qualification who can do it. If you have a friend who is a police officer, they can do it.

    Some countries also need a visa, which you apply for to their embassy in the UK. It's a way of checking you out first. Nowhere in the EU requires a visa from a British citizen, and the USA doesn't either but you have to register on ESTA first if you want to go there. Do that here https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ Even if you went for a package, all this is something you need to do yourself.

    Which reminds me of my mother's trip to Russia. Russia requires a visa, and you have to send in confirmation of the booking from the hotel written in Russian. First time it bounced back as she sent the wrong thing. Well, she can't read Russian! I can read the Russian alphabet but I still don't necessarily know what the words mean. Definitely don't go there unless it's a package holiday.

    There's a lot to think about! But you have months to think about it and get it all organised.

  • 8 years ago

    I recently came back off holiday and I organized all of it on my own well.

    The best things to look at is a leading travel company like First Choice or Thomas Cook, I went with Travel Republic but their not the most trusted. Go with one that says your ATOL protected. Check this out! - http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g1-i12290-k...

    Basically they put the holiday together for you but points you need to cover is- Flights ( Including baggage and how much weight you can take ), Hotel ( All Inclusive is a massive help! ), Transfer to and from your hotel and airport and probably the most important is Insurance!

    Keep organized! Have all your forms Including boarding passes, transfer vouchers, passports, insurance and guides on we're to go organized and on you in a bag pack and have copies of them all in an email sent to you. Because you can't loose the Internet!

    Read your forms their will be instructions on what you need to do and we're you need to go. Also stay ahead of the game. Be earlie to the airport, your boarding gate ( Know we're to be and wait their ), transfer. Know when you need to check out your hotel for. Make sure you have confirmed your return transfer as I ended up doing half way through my holiday after reading over and saying 'oh sh** I forgot something!'

    Look at her videos she can help- http://m.youtube.com/user/soniastravels

    I'm not trying to scare you but take all that I have said into consideration. Good luck!

    Source(s): Personal knowledge.
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