Unfortunately for the DIY traveller, in most cases, planning a holiday online is not as simple as choosing a book from Amazon.
They soon realise that a deal isn’t as great as the website promised. In a lot of cases, there are hidden costs that aren’t included in the advertised prices. Such as fuel surcharges, baggage fees, resorts fees, change fees, cancellation fees, the list goes on.
The holiday might not match the pictures on the website. Have you ever stayed at a hotel that didn’t match the promises on their website, maybe you’ve had a nightclub next door when you were looking for peace and quiet? This holiday planning guide can help you to make the most on travel websites.
Eight hours next to the toilet
Perhaps you found a bargain flight and ended up spending a 10 hour flight sitting next to the toilet.
Maybe you’ve spent hours planning your travel and have been overwhelmed by the seemingly unlimited choice.
You could even be thinking about booking online for the first time.
Whatever your experience, and wherever you’re planning to go, this is the guide for you.
The Ultimate Holiday Planning Guide
John Guinn, the Travel Researcher, has put together the ultimate guide to travel planning so you can find the perfect holiday, helping you to avoid the pitfalls.
These pages present practical advice (and insider secrets) on the most useful websites, how to find the best deals, and how to help you decide where, and when, to go. Everything the best way to use the internet for travel planning.
It also provides tips to ensure that your trip doesn’t frustrate, disappoint or break the bank, including
- How to find the best available seat on your flight
- How to keep up-to-date on your destination
- How to find the best deals
- How to avoid the common scams.
It doesn’t matter what type of trip you’re planning, it could be business or pleasure, budget or exotic getaway, family visit or a romantic celebration, The Travel Researcher’s Guide is an indispensable travel resource for your travel planning.
If you prefer to read a book you can purchase a printed version here.
The wrong name and other mishaps
Now it is very easy to book and pay for something online. Unfortunately, it is also very easy to make an expensive mistake. He made the following mistakes:
- He booked his girlfriend’s flight tickets in the wrong name. He used the name he called her, and not her name as recorded in her passport. This cost him £150 to correct at the airport. As Advance Passenger Information is now required by some countries, this may no longer be possible at the airport
- He knew that there was a coach service from the airport to the hotel. He didn’t check to see if it was running at the time of his arrival. It wasn’t, so he had to get a cab. So was an extra expense
- He had worked out that he was going to arrive at the hotel after midnight, so he booked the hotel for the day after he landed. When he got to the hotel, he either had to wait 14 hours to check-in or to book a room. More expense
Before you hand over any money to book travel, you really need to ensure that you know exactly what you are doing and what you are getting for your money.
These guides have been written to help you to get the most from your travel by explaining how to use the Internet to find the best travel matches to your requirements. It’ll also save you money.
CHAPTER ONE – PLAN YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY WITH THE HELP OF THE INTERNET
In the old days, you just went to your local travel agent and booked their recommended trip. With the rise in Internet use, more and more people are now staying at home and booking their holidays on a website. Unfortunately, too many people get to their computers and just type in prices and dates. If you speak to these Internet bookers, they nearly all go on about the bargain that they have found, but the Internet offers much more than cut price holidays.
CHAPTER TWO – USING THE INTERNET
This guide does assume that you know how to access the World-Wide-Web and can use email. The following is a brief introduction to Internet use.
CHAPTER THREE – THE RIGHT DESTINATION
Since travel companies moved onto the Internet, travellers have taken advantage of the savings that they have found by shopping around on these travel websites.
However, not all of them have used the Internet to research their chosen destinations or have taken advantage of the wealth of travel resources that are available online.
Although there is so much information out there, it can be time consuming to find what you need. The trick is taking the time to plan where and how to look. It is important to take time in doing this, after all, despite what some airlines might tell you, the destination, and not the journey, is the main part of the trip.
There’s no point being somewhere just because it’s cheap if it doesn’t meet your needs.
CHAPTER FOUR – ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
There’s more to finding somewhere to sleep than hotels, camper vans and tents.
There are websites which can help you to find alternative places to lay your head, from swapping homes to sleeping on a spare bed, and from house sitting to a working holiday.
CHAPTER FIVE – RESEARCHING AND BOOKING FLIGHTS
Booking flights online can be as easy as filling in your name and payment card details, but you may be missing out on better flights, deals or maybe you may be booking the wrong airport altogether.
This part of the guide will show you how to get the most from your flight booking and how to prevent the mistakes that many people make when booking a flight online.
It also contains information of compensation for cancelled flights, frequent flyer clubs, lost luggage and more.
CHAPTER 6 – CRUISES
Cruises are now one of the most popular types of holiday. Once thought of as just holidays for pensioners, the average age of the passengers is dropping all the time.
CHAPTER SEVEN – TRAVEL BASICS AND TOOLS
This chapter describes websites that you may need to help you to research your trip. As well as the web address, I have also given a brief description of the functions of the website. I have grouped the websites according to their type or use.
Chapter Eight – Travel insurance
There’s no legal requirement for you to have insurance when you travel abroad, but for most tour operators, you having suitable travel insurance is part of the terms of the sale for the booking.
However, it really is essential to have travel insurance, as each year holidays are ruined by illness, robbery or natural disaster, and these can be expensive to resolve.
Chapter Nine – Car Hire
The traveller knows what type of car they want or how much that they want to spend and as long as they get it from the cheapest source, they don’t care who supplies it. Combined with price comparison websites, it couldn’t get any easier.
Chapter 10 – Disabled Travel
Using the research techniques I have mentioned throughout this online guide, you can ensure that you get the right holiday for anyone, no matter what their specific needs.
Chapter Eleven – Single Travellers
Single travellers can feel that they are being penalised just because they decide to travel on their own. The ‘single supplement’ is regarded as unfair as the price increases during the school holidays.
Chapter Twelve – Trains
Murder on the Orient Express might be a little too much excitement for you, but trains are an overlooked method of transport. Seen as slow and old fashioned by many, this mode of transport is making a comeback as more are concerned about the ecological impact of their travels.
Trains are also a great way to see the countryside, and to get immersed into local culture. It can be cheaper too.
Chapter Thirteen – General Travel Tips
I have grouped together useful travel tips on one section.
Annex A – Travel Jargon Explained
This page is a list of common travel jargon used by the travel industry.
Annex B – Common IATA Airport Codes
This page is a list of airport codes for UK airports and the more popular destinations. As mentioned in the ‘First Things First’ chapter, correct use of these codes can ensure that you travel to and from your intended route.
Annex C – 108 Travel Tips
I share 108 travel tips
Annex D – Travel Checklist
How many times have you set off only to find that you have left something behind? Have you checked everything carefully before booking? This handy travel checklist will help you to remember what you need and what to check.