January is the time when many people book their summer holiday, everyone’s a bit fed up with the thought of going back to work and the summer seems a long way off. However booking a holiday seems to bring it closer. But there are some things to watch out for to make your life easier and your holiday cheaper and better
- Manage your expectations. You get what you pay for, on the whole. Don’t expect the same level of service on a £199 holiday as you would expect on a £2500 holiday.
- Look at the reviews, but don’t just look at the star rating that reviewers give to hotels. Read their reasons – what may make a hotel excellent in someone’s eyes may not be good news for you and vice-versa. For example, someone might praise a hotel because it is a great place to party and no-one minds the noise – but if you’re a family with young children, this isn’t the kind of hotel that you’ll probably enjoy!
- Paying by credit card gives you some extra protection. However, if your holiday is ATOL protected, this isn’t quite as necessary as the ATOL protection is sufficient. Your travel agent will be able to advise what protection your holiday has and then you can decide on the best method of payment.
- Check your passports – preferably as soon as you book. Make sure you know where they are and if they are in good condition. If you need visas, your travel agent will advise you. They should also advise you the validity required on your passports. Some tour operators and cruise lines also have a policy of needing a certain minimum validity. If you’re travelling to a country in the European Union (and to many outside it), then the passport just has to be valid for the duration of your trip. It’s always a good idea to leave a minimum of 6 months on your passport. Saves panic on the day before you fly!
- Check your mobile phone – does your contract allow data roaming? Make sure you’re aware of the charges of using your phone overseas. The last thing you need is a high bill on your return.
…and finally – book with a travel agent for financial protection and support throughout. Book with Olein at Diamond Travel for a personal service!! Every holiday that I sell that includes a flight is protected under ATOL.