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Planning a holiday: things to think about Watch

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    You've been wanting to go on holiday for a while or have already started thinking (daydreaming) about being anywhere else but here but what do you need to be doing about it?!? I thought it would be good to give you some ideas about what you should be thinking about and a timeline for when you should be thinking about/planning them.

    Make sure your passport is valid before you do any of this if you want to travel abroad!

    In the UK about 3 months in advance abroad I'd say about 6.

    The first thing to establish is budget. How much can you afford to spend? Remember that you have to think about getting there and back, accommodation, food (and drink!), travel while you're there and spending money for some fun stuff.

    Think about where you'd like to go and what time of year. Are you looking for a beach holiday/somewhere warm? Do you want a city break? How about an adventure or activity holiday? Or maybe you like more cultural stuff? What time of year is best for where you want to do weather (temperature, likelihood of rain?) and price wise (peak/off peak times?)? Will you feel safe there and are there any travel advisories?

    In the UK about 1-2 months in advance, abroad 4-6 months.

    Book your travel and accommodation: are you travelling by car, bus, train or plane? Are you travelling long haul (national carrier) or short haul (national carrier or budget airline)? Do you prefer to stop over (cheaper, change of flights, possibly change of airlines) or fly direct (expensive, less hassle)? How much luggage do you plan to take (allow room for shopping!)?

    What kind of accommodation would you like to stay in: cheap and cheerful hostel, good hotel (2-3*), luxurious hotel (4* and above), all expenses paid resort, B&B, holiday letting. Consider how far away the accommodation is from the city center or the activities you're interested in and what the transport links are. Do you need to think about getting public transport (tickets and a map), hire a car (expensive and you need a sat nav or a map) or will you get taxis or walk everywhere (expense, physical fitness)?

    Do you need a visa and what is the process for getting one? How long is it valid for? What does it cost? Are there restrictions in terms of how many times you can exit and enter the country or from which ports (air, sea, land)? How far in advance can you apply? What documents do you need?

    In the UK about a month in advance, abroad about 2-3 months in advance.

    What do you want to do on holiday? Are you the sort of person who plans or do you want to take it as it comes (I plan most of my trips and leave a few days free to do my own thing)? Do you need to book stuff (tours, activities, tickets)? How will you get to and from these places, is there food and drink there, do the times suit?

    Do you need any travel vaccines? Book appointments to make sure you get them on time.

    In the last month.

    Order your travel currency (I buy mine from my bank but that may not be the best deal).

    Go shopping! Make sure you have appropriate clothing and gear for the weather. This can be a bit difficult (we tried shopping for shorts for India in December and struggled) but keep at it.

    Look for info about plug sockets and voltage so that you buy and carry the appropriate converters.

    I like to also buy 'small toiletries' if I'm flying long haul. These are under 100ml and can be used on the plane to freshen up. I buy toothpaste, deodorant, face wash and perfume.

    In the last week.

    Pack (I like to make a list) and weigh your bags. Make sure you have all your travel documents to hand (including stuff to get you from arrival port to destination) and anything you've booked and printed off (tickets for activities etc). If you're flying check that you have no liquids over 100ml in your hand luggage and have your 'small toiletries' to hand.

    Make sure your parents/family/friends/partner/dog know how to reach you in case of emergency. If you're not going to be using your phone take it along anyway and use it in wi-fi hot spots even to just check in on facebook or something and let everyone know you're ok. I'm in my late twenties and my mum still worries-it's what mummies do!

    And most importantly, enjoy your holiday!
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    my mum promised me a trip if i got 7 A* at GCSE or more. I currently have two. In maths and further maths. Maths (A) Further (A*) I don't know how i failed maths.
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    I like to book and plan really far in advance to have plenty to look forward to! Also because I had leaving things last minute and finding out I need to sort something and not having enough time
 
 
 
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