Happy Friday everyone! I am delighted to announce that The Money Principle, Skint and the City and SavvyScot have partnered up with My Voucher Codes to bring you a fantastic giveaway with a prize fund of £300! The giveaway will last until the end of the month and one lucky winner will receive £300 (over $450) via PayPal. While the winner will receive cash to spend on whatever they like, February is the month for HOLIDAY PLANNING!!
5 Tips to Plan a Successful Holiday
This one is an easy one… if you prepare financially, then you immediately remove the worry of overspending before you go, whilst you are there and when you return. As simple as it may sound, you need to work out exactly how much the trip is going to cost. Use TripAdvisor to research typical menu and drinks prices (some travelers upload pictures of the menus) and find links to enquire about activities / sight – seeing. Booking trips / expeditions in advance often saves a small fortune and you can get discounts at ebookers. Taking Disney theme parks as an example: The cost of a 5 day multi-park pass online (in advance) is not too dissimilar to a day pass for one park on the main gate. Use the time you have at home to negotiate with different dive operators / hotels / car rental companies etc. and get a deal. Often companies like to have guaranteed business (because they use a lot of freelance staff) and will reward advance bookings with a hefty discount!
Book with a Reputable Travel Company
In our recession deprived economy, lots of travel agencies have been going bankrupt. Ensure that you book with a respected and protected agency to ensure that your money is safe! Better still, book directly with airlines. ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s License) offer fantastic protection against unfulfilled trips. Comparison sites are great; ensure that you don’t book with a small intermediary firm which doesn’t book your flights / accommodation immediately. Consider alternate methods of transport that I previously discussed.
Take Travel Insurance
Many people have protection through current accounts / other policies. The bottom line is, ensure that you are covered. Medical bills (especially those that include specialist procedures or services like air lifting, re-compression etc.) can be astronomical! A few pounds investment now could save you paying 10s of thousands and bankrupting yourself!
Research Your Destination
Obvious right? Considering that most people don’t bother doing this and rely on a single guidebook… not so much! The internet is full of social (largely unbiased) reviews which you can take advantage of. Travel forums, review sites, Wikipedia, lonely planet …. the list of resources goes on! While I understand that you might want your holiday to be a break and stress-free, that is not an excuse not to do some research. You can always make a list of the top places to eat out or the top attractions - even if you only visit a couple. While more uncommon these days, you may not have internet access readily available at the destination – consider printing maps and directions.
Choose the Right Type of Holiday
What type of holiday are you after? If you are an adrenaline junkie like me, a fortnight long beach holiday on a remote desert island will cause you to get very bored. Equally, if you want a bit of peace and quiet, a party destination like Ibiza is not the best choice! What I guess I am saying is don’t book a holiday just because you are getting a deal. Last minute savings are only savings if you would have spent the money in the first place! Sometimes it is cheaper to book a holiday and arrange the ‘theme’ yourself. For example, it is often cheaper to make the arrangements for Ski holidays yourself (flights, hotel, lift pass, lessons etc.) rather than book a package through an agency – sometimes not. Take the time to do the maths and work it out!
If you won the £300, what holiday destination or activity would you put it towards?