Everything you didn’t know you needed to know about planning and booking the perfect summer getaway with Snout Travel Guides.
Weather you are booking an action packed adventure for a young family, a romantic getaway for two or a head showering break for one, there are a few tips and tricks that will ensure your holiday runs like clockwork.
1. Do your homework
I cannot stress this enough! Although it may sound obvious, you would be surprised at the amount of people falling for ‘book now or miss the deal’. Don’t be coerced into a holiday through fear of missing out on a great deal. With so many companies competing for your business, there are always great deals to be had.
2. Going all in
When booking all-inclusive holidays, double check exactly what the all inclusive covers. There will often be restrictions on drinks and activities. And don’t forget to look up the tipping culture in the country you are visiting, as tips certainly won’t be included in the package.
3. Review sites, can they be trusted?
The jury is out, however it is important to note that in the UK at least, posting fake online reviews, (or astroturfing, as this practice is commonly referred to) is illegal.
Look at the total number of reviews, and if they are generally great, then you may be able to overlook the rare negative comment. Likewise, if on average the ratings are low with only a few glowing comments, these may well have been written by the owner’s over protective mother. The best advice here is to use common sense!
4. Getting about
The ever contentious issue of car hire deserves pause for thought. Beware of dealers that that advertise not having to leave the car back with a full tank of fuel, as they will charge your credit card for filling it up once you’re gone, and a hefty amount for the convenience of not having to do it yourself!
A word of warning, getting the cheapest price doesn’t always mean getting the best deal, going two or three companies above the rock bottom price could mean avoiding a three hour queue when picking up your car in a hot airport with irritable toddlers in tow – money well spent!
It is also worth reading the small print of the insurance that comes with hire cars. According to a recent report by consumer group Which?, Hire companies may offer add on insurance, costing up to £10 a day for a small or compact car, but even if you pay this, the windscreen, wheels, tyres, roof or undercarriage of the car may not be covered.
6. Villa retreat
The trick here is to think of everything the description doesn’t tell you. So there’s a great sun terrace, how many hours of sunshine does it get? Great location close to amenities could mean a 5 minute walk, or 5 mile drive away?
Don’t be afraid to ask these questions, or ask for references from previous guests who have stayed there
7. In for the long haul
Don’t believe the adverts. Unless you are in first class, turning up for a long haul flight with a blow dry and high heels is a mistake, take it from someone who’s learnt the hard way!
If upgrading is not an option, there are ways to ensure the experience isn’t unbearable. Although it’s tempting, don’t take too much advantage of the drinks service, try and stick to water! The lack of humidity in the cabin will have a dehydrating effect your skin. This is worsened by alcohol, leaving you less than glowing when you arrive at your destination.
8. Packing light
The illusive “capsule wardrobe” is something I’ve never really got to grips with when it comes to holiday packing. However, carefully planned and realistic outfits for your holiday can be the difference between checking in stress free, or £30 charge for the skyscraper stilettos and seven extra bikinis you’ll never wear.
9. Off Peak
This may seem obvious, but if you’re not bringing any kids on holiday, booking just out of peak season can make a significant difference to the price of flights, hotels, villas, packages, and even tours and activities when you get to your destination. Try late May or early September to get the best weather, and a great deal.
10. Make the most of cheap fuel
There are some incredible roads in Europe to make the journey part of the experience. Try Route 500 in Germany which takes you through the Black Forest and past some breath taking castles, or the Furka Pass in the Swiss Alps as imortalised by the Aston DB5 / Ford Mustang car chase in James Bond’s Goldfinger. Or if you prefer the coast, there is the stunning 1,500 miles of the Wild Atlantic Way right on our doorstep.
Now you’re all set the only decision left is where to go. Let Snout help you research, book and reminisce about your picture perfect trip!