The days are growing longer, clothes are becoming lighter, and the flowers are starting to bloom. Spring has sprung, and we’re drawing ever closer to that glorious summer season. The key to getting the most out of your summer holiday is to prepare early. We have some great ideas to help you to get a head start on planning your adventure.
Deciding where to go
Before throwing that dart at the world map, there are a few things to consider when deciding where to spend your summer holiday. Will you be ringing in the New Year in Paris? Counting down the seconds in Times Square? Or maybe enjoying a white Christmas in Chicago?
Before you start planning, remember that these destinations can be expensive during peak seasons. Here are some simple tips and tricks to getting the most value for your money on airfares:
- Search for the cheapest day to fly. Flying midweek will often save you hundreds of dollars, which could be better invested in a few cocktails by the pool.
- Fly on holidays. Flights departing on the holiday itself, like Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, can be less costly than those departing before and afterwards.
- Be open-minded. If you are able to fly at late notice, you might find great last-minute specials on airfares.
Staying up-to-date with changes to the value of global currencies might also help you to decide where to go on your next summer holiday.
Choosing what to bring
Once you’ve booked your flights, organised your travel insurance, and set your countdown timer, you can begin to craft your packing list.
Not only should you take into account the size of your luggage, but also ask yourself if the 20-inch laptop, cumbersome portable speaker, tablet device, digital camera, eReader and smartphone are all absolutely crucial to your two-week getaway.
Unnecessarily overloading your luggage with valuables can take away from the carefree experience you were looking for and add additional costs if your luggage is overweight. There are several products and applications today that can account for your technology needs without the bulk of multiple devices:
- Custom photographic lenses for iPhones – a space saving alternative to your bulky, and expensive, digital camera.
- The Kindle App – accessing your Kindle books through an iPhone or iPad means another screen can be cut from the crop.
- A Travel Jacket – complete with 15 features, including an eye mask, neck pillow and passport pocket.
- Packing techniques – if you find yourself struggling for space, try rolling, folding and bundling your clothing.
Tie up loose ends
You’re reclining on a beach lounger in Thailand, basking in the sun… and you realise you’ve not left any food out for the cat!
The key to a stress-free summer holiday can be as simple as making sure all is well on the home front. Nothing kills the romance of an evening in Prague like fretting over whether or not you accidently left the iron on! So make sure you’ve tied up all loose ends before jetting off:
- Recruit neighbours to handle administrative duties, whether it’s picking up your post or feeding the pets.
- Make a present of your puppy to relatives, or treat it to a holiday of its own at a boarding service.
- You may also consider cancelling costly subscriptions if your two-week getaway becomes a two-month odyssey.
But what about the kids?
We have you covered. Dependent kids under 18 are insured for free when listed on their parent or guardian’s insurance policy.
Getting your children involved in the planning of your summer adventure is a great way to ensure everybody has a great time.
If Europe is your flavour, introduce them to the rich cultural heritage it boasts before you visit. Resources like Horrible Histories introduce kids to history in a fun and engaging way
Enrolling in some language classes together is another way you can get the most out of your holiday as a family.
Finding a home away from home
Amidst the countless other duties you’ve taken on as travel coordinator, it can be easy to commit a hotel booking blunder.
Accommodation services such as Airbnb have exploded with popularity, however we always advise that you take necessary precautions when staying with strangers.
Travellers should also be aware that if they are staying in this type of accommodation, they may not be able to claim for any stolen baggage or personal items under their travel insurance policy. Travel insurance provides cover for unexpected events and, unfortunately, having your property stolen when sleeping in a strangers’ house wouldn’t qualify as unexpected.
If you want to book your accommodation through sites such as Airbnb, choose the option to book an ‘entire home.’ That way, if your stuff is stolen or lost, you’ll still be covered. If there isn’t a safe at the accommodation, it’s better to keep any valuables on you when you’re travelling.
If you are staying in shared accommodation, take the same precautions as you would in a hostel. Ensure your valuables are locked securely away and kept out of sight. If there isn’t a suitable option for securing your valuables, always keep them on you.
When booking accommodation online, make sure that you get what you pay for by following our handy hints on avoiding accommodation scams.
Although preparation can be key to making or breaking your summer holiday, with our travel insurance cover, you can relax knowing that we’ll be here if the unexpected does happen.