Most of us won’t ever plan our own holidays until we’re late teens, early twenties. Chances are; the majority of vacations have been with your family. So, you’ve never had to do anything other than turn up! What happens when it’s your turn to organise everything, though? If you’ve never done it before, it can seem like a bit of a minefield. In this guide, I’m going to show you everything you need to do when organising your first ever holiday. That way you definitely won’t forget anything.
Pick a Place
Where is it you want to go? Perhaps you wish to explore rural Australia or relax on a Greek island? The first thing you’re going to want to do is pick a destination. In fact, you’re going to want to pick a couple of destinations. Sometimes you may not be able to book the first place on your list. Perhaps the weather isn’t great, or the flights are too expensive. Write up a list of all the place you’d love to go. This will make it so much easier when it comes to the next couple of steps.
Work Out a Budget
How much have you got to spend? This should include absolutely everything, from the flights through to spending money. There’s no point blowing all of your money on getting there if you don’t have any spare cash to spend when you’re away. Work out exactly how much you have to spend on the whole experience. I’ll help you figure some of the costs out a bit later on in this guide.
Flights and Accommodation
You’re going to want to book both of these around the same time. That way you can be sure that the dates you need are available. If you book a flight somewhere without checking hotels, you may end up with nowhere to stay. Or blowing your budget on overpriced accommodation. Do your research during this part! Read reviews and find out exactly what is on offer. When it comes to flights, find out what is included in the price. Some budget airlines will charge you for luggage and tax on top. The same applies to booking hotels. Do you get any meals included in the price? Are there taxes to pay when you get there? If you can’t find anything within your budget, then pick another place from your original list.
It’s not just the flight you want to think about. How are you going to get to and from the airport? How far is the hotel from where you land? Do you need to get a bus, train or boat? Make sure you book any other transport right away. You can get airport transfer services that will take you to and from the hotel. This might be easier than trying to navigate public transport in an unfamiliar place. Don’t forget to include this other transport in your overall budget!
You must have travel insurance before you set off! If you don’t, then some airlines may not let you fly. You can find a whole range of insurance companies out there, that specialise in holidays. Alternatively, your bank may offer packages for existing customers. Do some research and find out how much it’s going to cost to be covered while you’re away. This is super important so don’t forget to do it!
Another important document you really cannot forget about. Is your passport up to date? Most countries will ask that you have at least three months remaining on your current passport, before letting you in the country. If it’s getting too close to the expiry date, apply for another one. If you don’t have a passport, then make sure you apply for one right away. During busy times, it can take a couple of months to get a new one delivered.
Some countries you visit will require a visa before you’re allowed in. It’s a good idea to check whether this may be the case for your chosen destination. Again, this is something that can take a bit of time to come through. Make sure you’ve applied with enough time to spare. You don’t want to miss out, just because you forgot to apply for a visa!
Health and Vaccines
Depending on where you’re travelling to, it may be mandatory to get some kind of health treatment or vaccines. Your doctor will be able to advise you whether this is the case if you let them know where you’re going. Find out how long it takes for the vaccine to kick in, so you can schedule an appointment with enough time to spare.
Packing Your Bag
It’s probably about time to pack your suitcase now! It’s a good idea to do some holiday shopping before you set off on your big adventure. You’re going to need some crucial things; other than clothes, of course! There are tonnes of suitcase checklists available online. To help ensure you haven’t forgotten anything. Make sure you stock up on sunscreen!
One of the last things to do is get your currency. You don’t want to do this at the airport, as the companies there can charge a fortune. Do some research and find out who is offering the best interest rate for your chosen currency. You may have to have it delivered, in order to get the best deal. However, most companies will ship for next day delivery.
You’re almost ready! A couple more tips before you set off. Make sure you photocopy all of your relevant documents. Including flight details, insurance and passport. If you lose anything, at least you’ll have a copy to prove who you are. Don’t forget to let your family and friends know where you’re going, so that they don’t worry about you. You should also give them the hotel details, just in case. You’re all ready for your very first holiday. Have an incredible time, wherever you’re going.