At some point you have to take a holiday, switch your brain off, recharge the batteries, and let all that built-up stress of the daily grind float away.
Though unfortunately, even the planning of your holiday can be just as stressful, to the point of opting for the easy option of spending your holiday at home. We’ve all done it, and then regretted not doing something more exciting with our valuable time off. There are a number of stress saving options out there which can make planning your holiday practically idiot proof, so all you need to do is get excited. They’re also great for picking-up ideas of where to go and what to do, often advertising the latest deal (to a destination you might never have thought of) staring you in the face, right on the home page.
What are the best holiday planning tools?
While there are sites which serve a general purpose – selecting different airlines most appropriate for the time you want to leave – this spring British Airways launched its Holiday Finder centred on its main London hubs. It’s dead easy, using a series of sliders to determine certain criteria: How much you want to spend per person; up to how long you want your journey time to be (anywhere from half-an-hour to 30 hours); and the temperature of your destination. It has all of the obvious things such as: when and where you want to go and for how long; the star rating; the type of holiday i.e. city break or beach and so on. The great thing about it is it keeps you on one page and amends the list of available destinations as you change the criteria. Simple.
There is a certain romanticism about travelling by train, watching the world go by as you hurtle across the country. If you’re travelling within the UK by rail this could be the perfect site for you. On average with these guys you’ll save around 51% on the cost of your train ticket, and if you book far enough in advance you can save a colossal 80%. Like all of these sites they make it nice and easy to organise your hotel, car hire and so on. You can even find great deal’s on the increasingly popular option to travel through Europe by train.
This is one of the leading sites for planning, well, pretty much everything you could want to do with your break. According to the website 750,000 airline tickets were sold in the last year, and that London Heathrow to John F Kennedy airport in New York is still its most popular route. Given that it’s “Lastminute” you can get some cracking discounts such as 50% off theatre tickets, cheap deals on spas and pampering, and they even have an offer of up to 45% off their Top Secret hotel rooms – what’s the secret? You choose your destination city but you don’t know which hotel you’ll be staying at until you’ve completed your booking, but it is guaranteed to be at least four-star. Exciting.
Expedia is a global phenomenon which has grown into a multi-billion dollar business. Here you can book everything you need to get you smoothly from A-to-B, and then C if needs be. The site is nicely broken down into whether you want flights, hotels, car hire, or all of the above and whether you’re looking for a short city break or a package holiday to somewhere exotic.
What if you don’t need to fly, take a train or book a hotel because you tow your accommodation behind your transport? On any bank holiday Britain’s roads will be teaming with thousands of caravaners and campers taking advantage of the fact that they are not necessarily restricted to set locations. The site makes it easy to pick which region of the country you fancy visiting i.e. Scotland, and then breaks it down into counties within that region, listing all of the available camp sites.
What are your favourite tools for planning a holiday? Tell us in the comments below!