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10 Questions To Ask Before Booking A Holiday This Year, According To Travel Advisors

Grazia logo Grazia 23/01/2019 Georgia Aspinall
a hand holding a cellphone: woman on holiday © Credits: Getty Images woman on holiday

In this cold, sad month of January, having a holiday to look forward to is imperative. Whether it's getting away for some winter sun, or booking the Summer trip you've been day-dreaming out since that first 4pm sunset, now is very much the time to start holiday researching. In fact, research announced today by market experts GFK revealed that bookings for holidays from May to October are already up 5% on last year, with bookings to non-EU destinations up 19% on last year.

But with the current political climate, or should we say chaos, caused by Brexit, booking a holiday just became so much more confusing than whether or not the beach is insta-friendly, or where the best wellness spas are these days. That's why we spoke to the travel experts over at Thomas Cook and LastMinute.Com to find out exactly what we should be asking ourselves before booking a holiday in 2019...

1. What will Brexit mean for my holiday?

‘If you’re travelling after 29 March this year, you’re bound to have questions about how Brexit might impact your holiday,’ says Pauline Morning, head of customer experience at Thomas Cook, ‘Packages booked with Thomas Cook will remain unchanged and making sure you have a great holiday this summer remains our number one priority. Even if the government reaches a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said flights to and from the UK will operate as normal so we’re confident that we’ll be able to offer all our package holidays as planned.’

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2. Have I done my research?

From visas to vaccinations, time zones and local customs – there’s a few things you should check out when you pick your 2019 holiday – and of course your local travel agent can provide advice too. It’s also worthwhile looking at the Foreign Office for any travel advice on your chosen destination, checking your passport validity, and if there’s anything you need to prep before you depart.

3. How much can I actually afford to spend?

‘Holidaying can soon add up. From airport parking to an extra gin with dinner, it can be expensive if you don’t plan ahead,’ says Pauline, ‘Opting for a half board or an all-inclusive package is one way to help make costs more manageable as you don’t have to worry about restaurant prices, especially with constantly hungry children. Some hotels, like Sunwing family hotels, also offer free Kids Clubs and activities to entertain the whole family, helping to keep your budget down without compromising on fun.’

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You may also like:

Tourist numbers to the UK down while global figures continue to rise [The Guardian]

8 wellness adventures guaranteed to lead to a better you [Wanderlust]

Why You Should Never Post a Photo of Your Boarding Pass on Social Media [Travel + Leisure]

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4. Should I be using my social media stalking skills?

‘Using social media, and sites like TripAdvisor, to see what other holidaymakers are saying about your hotel or destination is a great way to get real opinions from real people,’ says Pauline, ‘Plus, you can scout out the best Instagram shots ready for Golden Hour too...’

5. Should i avoid public holidays to get the best deals?

'If you have school-aged children, you are restricted to the period of holidays you want to make with your family,' a spokesperson for LastMinute.com told us, 'So if you’re searching for good prices on your booking for Easter, summer or half-term breaks in May or October, we recommend you to book early.'

'If you are free to decide when you want to make a break for your holidays, you may find better prices when people are travelling less, hotels and airlines are more likely to slash prices.'

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6. How can I save money and still travel in 2019?

'You don’t have to break the bank to travel to some really cool places this year,' says LastMinute.com , 'We pulled together some research into some of the cheapest places to visit in the world. Mexico City is very affordable if you’re looking for a long-haul city break, while Antalya in Turkey is a great beach resort option with new hotels popping up all the time. Save money while you’re away by using a pre-paid card - so you don’t get hit with cashpoint fees or changing bank rates.

7. Can I still live sustainably on holiday?

‘Are you rarely seen without a reusable coffee cup, and do you turn down straws and plastic packaging?’ asks Pauline, ’Don’t worry, there are plenty of resorts and holiday companies following suit with the changing attitudes in the UK to plastics and increased sustainability. For example, this year Thomas Cook has pledged to remove 70 million single use plastic items from its hotels and airline.’

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8. Do I need to fly from a big airport?

‘Did you know there are over 40 commercial airports in the UK? You don’t just have to fly from the bigger airports,’ says Pauline, ‘there are plenty of regional airports across the UK with hundreds of routes across the globe to suit your budget and wishlist. Plus, less time in the car on the way to the airport.’

9. How can I get the maximum time off without using up all my annual leave

'You want to make the most of your days and be clever around the bank holidays,' says LastMinute.com, 'For Easter, take 8 days off and enjoy a 16-day holiday. Booking off the 15th-19th and the 23rd-26th of April you will get 16 days holiday.

'For May, take 4 days off and enjoy a 9-day holiday. Booking off 7th-10th May you will get 9 days of holidays.'

10. Should I stay at one place for the whole time?

‘You don’t have to pick just one hotel, or resort,’ says Pauline, ‘With tour operators such as Thomas Cook, you can book “multi-centre” holidays, letting you book more than one hotel, across a resort, during your break. Perfect for peace-keeping among the whole group, and it means you get to make the most of your precious holiday days away.

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