And here comes that wonderful moment of the year when all senses awaken and the consciousness begins to paint colorful pictures of the dream holiday. I love traveling and I do believe that of all the books in the world, the most exciting stories are sealed in between the pages of my passport.
Planning the holiday itself, however, is one of the most annoying things for me. I always aim at transfering all trip details to my husband, while with the dedication of a toddler to their new toy, I arrange our luggage. Despite my strategic attempts to delegate the planning responsibilities as per the interests of everyone at home, sometimes I still have to engage in the whole process. Driven by fantasies about our dream escape somewhere far away, I always start planning the process upside-down and finish with an approximate budget that we ultimately exceed at least twice. That is the reason this time I decided to make a difference. Therefore, in my amploa of a diligent student (which I became again few days ago), I decided to make a short and easy to follow TO DO list in order to account for all important planning milestones. Truth beaing said, in the process I came across a few quite handy websites that make planning your next vacation much easier and fun.
PLANNING HOLIDAYS IN SEVERAL EASY STEPS
- Get an inspiration for new destinations from travel bloggers, Pinterest photos and friends.
- Recall the best moments of your last vacation and transform them into requirements to the upcoming one, for example: the last vacation you dived among corals and sharks and you enjoyed a lot, so now you are looking for new similar high adrenaline experiences; or last time you enjoyed the deserted beach and you liked it, so now you are looking for remote houses near the beach away from the hussle of big resorts.
- Choose a couple destinations and search them for other travelers’ ratings and reviews.
- Decide whether you want to embark on a romantic trip / crazy holiday with kids / or even crazier one with children and friends.
- Confirm with your mate / friends / family the dates on which you will travel and the length of your vacation.
- Consider whether you would like to organize your long-awaited vacation yourself or you would use an agency. Would you go for a group package or you would like something for yourselves only with no need to follow a list of sightseeings you must visit with a group of people you do not know.
- After you finally decide on a particular destination, explore prices and look for the best deals.
- Make a budget and finish with the most sweetest thing – purchased tickets, reserved hotels and car.
- Check the expiry datesnof ID cards and passports.
- Check for visa and immunization requirements.
- Check the weather and choose the right clothes and cosmetics (sunscreen, sunglasses, comfortable shoes, etc.).
Throughout the planning process, in which I was vividly engaged this time, I came accross few splendid websites that could be of great help for planning the dream holiday.
Kayak is my favorite because it does everything for me without any special requirements – you enter your budget, the hours you are willing to spend on an airplane, the duration of the vacation and the dates, and the site offers you a wide choice of destinations to choose from. The easy-to-use map feature on the site is a great way to compare places and travel rates. In addition, in the “Deal of the Day” section you can look for something tempting and spontaneous that you have not even suspected is available now. The site seeks information on destinations, hotels, cruises and car rental opportunities across a number of travel sites and offers the most advantageous deals to date.
Secret Escapes is my other favorite. Expensive and fabulous holidays are offered up to 70% off. For the deals in this site, however, you must inject yourself a dose of adventurous mood and flexibility, as the deals are really irresistible but should be taken advantage of within the next few days. If the clock is not your enemy and you can coordinate the whole family in a short time, then you are a real planning guru and this website is for you.
Travel Republic offers a huge amount of A to Z offers – destinations, flights, all-inclusive opportunities, attraction tickets and group packages. The best of all is that the site has the lowest price guarantee in case you notice a better deal 😉
If you enjoy being mobile during your vacation and want to have the freedom to explore the attractions around in the comfort of a private car and agenda, Expedia is great for booking a car hire. You can explore and book airline tickets, hotels, cruises etc. on the site, but in my opinion it offers the beast deals for rental cars. For good flight deals I would recommend Skyscanner (for both mainstream and cheap airlines) and Hipmunk (for mainsream airlines only).
I hope I have given you some new ideas and options with these sites. Personally, they helped me a lot.
Enjoy planning your dream holiday 🙂