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Overseas Advisory Issues

How to choose the best holiday destination

Whether you're booking your annual summer holiday or taking a quick winter getaway, it can be hard to know where to start. You want to make sure you're choosing somewhere that's really worth it as there are so many places to see, and not enough time to visit them all. During the planning stage, ask yourself the following questions.

What do I want from this holiday?

Everyone's interested in different things, so it's no surprise that people's holiday styles vary wildly. If you get seasick then a cruise probably isn't for you and if you love sipping fruit juice on the beach then a city break might not be the best way to spend your precious time off work. Think about what you want, and how best to achieve it. For example:

  • If you want to relax, would you prefer a wellness retreat in the French countryside or a lively beach holiday in the Algarve?
  • If you want to be active, would you prefer a fast-paced cycling holiday across the vineyards of Italy or a meandering walking holiday through the highlands of Scotland?
  • If you travel for food, do your tastes run towards Michelin-starred restaurants or do you prefer discovering cheap and cheerful street food?

Once you know what you want, you should be able to narrow down your list of destinations.

Who am I travelling with?

If you're bringing your partner, friends or children then you'll need to try and meet everyone's needs. You might love lounging on the beach but your other half may prefer visiting museums. A city like Barcelona, which has its own beach, could be the perfect compromise. If you're travelling with little ones you'll need to make sure there's enough to keep them entertained and that the itinerary isn't too jam-packed, as this could really tire them out.

Is the price right?

Next, think about your holiday budget and how far it's going to stretch. There's no point blowing all your money on flights and accommodation if it means you won't have any left over to enjoy the holiday itself. Websites like Skyscanner make it easy to find cheap flights and hotel rooms, as do last minute deal websites like Laterooms and Holiday Pirates.

Don't just think about the cost of getting there, also think about the prices at your destination. While flights to Thailand and Vietnam can be very expensive, you'll recoup some of your money once you arrive as the cost of living is so low compared to, for example, the south of France.

What's been written about it?

There are so many travel blogs out there that there's a good chance someone has already written a review of your holiday destination. Spending a bit of time away from the official tourism websites and on unofficial travel blogs will give you a better idea of whether or not the destination will suit you. Bloggers can afford to be a bit more upfront about a destination, and don't always provide glossy reviews.

Do I need paperwork?

If you don't have a passport, you'll be limited to holidays in Britain unless you send away your paperwork early enough. You often need a visa to visit long-haul destinations (you can find more information on this using the Government's travel advice hub). And of course, wherever you go, you should always take out a travel insurance policy just in case.

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