So now that I know the destination and have chosen my dates. It is time to start spending money.
Important note: Try to get your holidays approved before booking anything you cannot cancel for free.
First of all I book the flights. At this point I have a rough idea of what flights are available as I used that information to pick the dates.
My airline of choice is Easyjet as I know their rules and never had any major issues with them. Also their hand luggage allowance is quite decent with no weight limit.
My preferred airport is Luton as it is not that far from home and by train is only about £13 each way. Gatwick is not too bad to get to either and even though it is a longer journey it is cheaper to get to than Luton as you can use an Oyster card.
Nowadays I use Skyscanner a lot to check prices from different airlines and book the cheapest as long as they don’t have any ridiculous hand luggage rules. It is important to always do your research before booking with an airline you are not familiar with in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. I also avoid booking through third-party websites as I prefer to book directly with the airline even if it is a bit more expensive. Again to avoid any nasty surprises.
All that said I choose the flights that suit me and pay for them. Then I take a deep breath and get ready for the next step.
Accommodation. This step usually takes many hours and can be quite stressful. Too many decisions to make and a lot of information to take into consideration.
I check the main places I want to visit wherever we are going. I draw the route in my head (with the help of Google maps). Check driving times roughly from point A to point B and get an idea of how long I need in each place to see everything.
If we are renting a car I filter by places with parking. Other filters I use are the price and the customer rating (usually set this to higher than 7 or 8).
Reading reviews can be tiring but it is a must! I do it all the time. Please try not to be put off by a slightly lower score if the reason for that is mainly because of something that you don’t really care about. In Menorca my favourite place has bad reviews because of ants but they don’t bother me so I still booked it the first time and two times after that.
If there is a chance you have to cancel the holidays or you are not sure about a certain place you can try to book places with free cancellation.
I have done it before and was happy I could just cancel it without paying a penny.
Always read the small print when booking to check if you are paying online straight away or if you pay when you get there. This is usually pretty easy to figure out on Booking.com so I tend to mostly book with them.
When booking accommodation I open a million tabs, go through the pictures first and close the ones I don’t like straight away. I check the location on the ones left open to close any that are no good. And finally I start reading reviews.
After all that hopefully I will make a decision and go ahead with booking the place.
Often I stay in different places throughout the same holiday so I repeat this process for the different locations.
On Airbnb I always pay attention to check in times and rules as those can be tricky as you don’t usually have a reception desk. It is likely you will have to communicate with your host in advance and sometimes on the day to arrange to pick up the keys and the times might not be very flexible.
I hope all this was useful and you got an idea on how to book flights and accommodation to plan your own “perfect” holiday.