It’s that time of year when I begin to start thinking about where I want to be this summer. After a hard year of work, there is nothing I would want more than chilling on a beach with a cocktail in hand. But, before you can be relaxing in paradise you need to consider a few things. The first thing you need to do is actually book a holiday, which sounds easy enough but when there are thousands of hotels to choose from, it can be hard to make a decision. So, I’ve decided to write a post containing all the things you need to look for in a summer holiday.
The first thing you need to consider is how far your budget will take you. There’s no point thinking of booking a holiday in Barbados for two weeks from England if the flight alone would steal half of your budget. Instead, perhaps looking at holidays within Europe would be a more realistic option. Fortunately, in this era you can get some really good deals, which is most probably why there are more people travelling the world than ever before!
You then need to consider how long your budget allows you to relax on the beach for. When you book a holiday through travel agents like Tui or Thomas Cook the standard holiday times tend to be either 7 days, 10 days or 14 days. That being said, you can go for longer so you just need to check how much money you have and how you’d like to spend it. Would you rather be abroad for longer and have to budget a bit when your on holiday or would you rather only go for 7 days but be able to splash on activities and drinks? It’s entirely up to you and what your preferences are.
Type of holiday
This sounds rather basic but it should be one of the first things you think about. What type of holiday do you want to go on? There are endless options here. Do you want to spend a whole week laying on a sunbed or do you want to have an action packed adventure where you are exploring every second of the day? Do you like water-sports? Are you a heavy drinker and would want to spend a week binge drinking on a strip somewhere. What about food? Do you want an all inclusive holiday or would you rather eat in a different restaurant every night?
I never stick to the same type of holiday. I’ve been on holidays where there’s been a beach full of water-sports. I’ve paraglided off a mountain in Turkey and I have also spent a week in Malia drinking way too many vodka cokes. That being said, I have never had a bad holiday and I love experiencing everything life has to offer. But, it all depends on what you want to do. Once you figure this out you can work out where exactly you want to travel to.
Once you’ve figured out your budget and the type of holiday you are after, you then need to pick a location. The best way to do this is to scroll through holidays on travel agents websites. But please do not just look at a pretty picture and be sold straight away. These hotels hire professional photographers so that they look appealing. Sure the bedrooms and the pools look like a 5* hotel but where is the hotel. If you had to get a taxi everywhere when you’re there, would you want to go? Personally, I like the beach and the strip to be within walking distance so that there is always something to do during the day.
Once you find a hotel that has a great location and great facilities then find out where in the country it is. Are there really cool day trips you can go on to a different part of the island? These day trips can become the best parts of a holiday and I wouldn’t ignore researching into them. Put some money aside if you can because when you first get on your holiday you can speak to your holiday rep and they will have recommendations of things to do. These people are paid to do activities so that they can tell you all about them, use these people to your advantage!
Things to consider once you’ve found a hotel
- Does the hotel have air conditioning? Believe it or not there are hotels in extremely hot countries that do not have air con. I’ve been there and it was extremely hard to get a good nights sleep in such extreme heats.
- Is there WiFi? For obvious reasons, it is very expensive to use your phone abroad – unless you have an amazing phone contract. (In which case, how did you get it? What is your secret?)
- Do you have to pay tourism tax? In some countries you may need to pay tourism tax for every night that you spend at the hotel. It can range in price, but is usually around 5-10 pounds a night. I’m not sure why this is a thing but it is something to look for when booking a holiday.
- Will there be a safe in the room to keep your passports in? Whenever I travel anywhere I am always security conscious. I have an irrational fear that when I’m abroad someone is going to want to steal my passport and then I’d be stranded. Most hotel rooms will have a safe you can pay to use in your room however some may not. If you want your belongings looked away safe then this is one thing to remember.
- Does the hotel have its own entertainment? A lot of hotels have their own entertainment at the pool and in the evening. If this is something you specifically want then make sure the hotel does this before booking.
- How far away is it from the airport? Are transfers included? Having transfers included in your holiday is a life-saver. Otherwise you would have to worry about a taxi bill as soon as you get of the plane.
This is probably the most important thing you should do when you’re looking for your summer holiday, or booking up anything in general. Reading reviews is probably the most accurate information you will get about the hotel. After all – these people have been to the place themselves. They will be more accurate then anything the hotel wrote themselves.
That being said, most people will only write a review when there is something bad to say. I’ve learnt this by working at places like a zoo. You’d find that upset customers are few and far between but then there would be so many bad reviews online and hardly any good ones. Not many people take the time to write nice things, which is a shame. However, the reviews could be accurate. That is a risk you would have to take for yourself.
Anyway, I have come to the end of my advice for looking for a summer holiday. Have I left anything out? Comment below any advice you would give when booking up for holiday through a travel agents.