If you want to enjoy a fantastic holiday and get the most of it it here are some good travel tips for 2012
Relax in comfort – If you are flying Long-haul its often worth evaluating Premium Economy and Business Class fares as many airlines have sales on them, and can in fact discount last minute, which is the opposite of what they do with Economy fares which tend to start off low and then increase the nearer you get to the date of departure. British Airways often has a special deal on World Traveller Plus and Club World products, especially to destinations like the Caribbean, in low seasons such as September, November early December and January. The Middle and Far Eastern Carriers often have special rates on Premium and Business Classes especially through large retailers like Thomas Cook and Trailfinders. If you are buying a package with airlines, then you can sometimes get the whole package with premium class cabins for not much more than the published airfare!
Hotel deals – Its worth always looking at hotel prices on the main booking engines like hotels.com and expedia.co.uk plus other sites with such as laterooms.com. Its also worth phoning or emailing hotels directly, especially smaller family owned ones who will often give special rates when booking this way.
DIY – With both airlines and hotels, nowadays, you can often “build your own” package cheaper than you could if you purchased a package from a travel agent. There is so much information online that there has been an explosive growth of travellers doing this in the past ten years, especially using low cost airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet. The only downside is that you are not ATOL protected if there are issues with your holiday. Having said that, apart from main family beach holidays, the amount of short breaks being purchased now which are tailor-made is far greater than pre-packaged deals.
Advisors! – Most of us take advice from friends and relatives about our holidays and trips. Websites like Tripadvisor also give a flavour of what to expect, although they have had some bad press recently with some hoteliers especially being caught giving their own positive reviews! Having said that, its always worth going online and googling an airline, hotel or destination to see what type of feedback it has received from other customers. This is also invaluable if you are an activity based holiday. We have had some amazing trips such as sand buggying in Dubai and trekking in the Himalayas all found on small websites online that had amazing feedback from previous customers. Needless to say we also added our own positive comments for other travelers!
Timing – If you are not constrained by time, and many of us over 50 (especially over 60 and retired are not!) wait till the last minute for special offers which can be incredible value outside of school term time such as half terms, Christmas, Easter and Summer peaks. Lastminute.com was set up to allow travel companies to promote their surplus stock at special prices. Cruise lines even P&O, Cunard and RCCL often have amazing packages that could cost less than staying at home for a couple of weeks. See pocruises.com and cruiedeals.co.uk for the latest best offers.
Enjoy holidays in 2012. We will be interested in your feedback on our travel tips….