Find the right location
The location is the most important choice to make. Unless you are looking for a ‘fly and flop’ holiday, this is probably the hardest choice to make as so many factors are involved in finding the perfect location.
The location can be an easy choice. If you are looking to take part in a particular activity then the location will choose itself. For example, if you want to see Humpback whales, then you need to find the best place in the world to do this within the restriction of your dates. If you want to see or take part in a particular festival this also makes the choice of location easy. It is also fairly easy if you are limiting your trip to nonstop destinations served by your local airport.
Fly and Flop
For a fly and flop holiday, tour operator websites can be useful as they will list the positive features of a particular resort. Thomas Cook and Thomson are good places to start. Do remember that only the positive features of the hotel/resort would be listed by tour operators. The best use of a tour operator website is just to find out what you will be getting for your money if you book with them. Resort and hotel information should always be backed up with your own research.
So you need to check out your favoured location for the ‘truth’. The common way is to use review websites. There are plenty to choose from, some are more comprehensive than others.
If you are researching an unusual trip, you may find that you will come across multiple websites where exactly the same words are used to describe the trip. Plagiarism is alive and well on the Internet. This does make life a little harder sometimes.
Forums or discussion boards can help you to choose your location. These are special websites where people ask questions and hopefully more knowledgeable people post the answers.
When you have found the right location, you now need to check for travel advice for that country. This includes visa requirements, vaccinations, and safety. The websites mentioned earlier may list this information, but there is a strong possibility of it being out of date.
It’s Down to You
The site to visit is the one from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, www.gov.uk/fco. The purpose of this website is to help ensure that British travellers are well prepared before departure by issuing Travel Advice Notices. These can put you off though!
You should always check for health requirements, such as jabs before you book. Some medication can only be obtained through a private prescription, and can be expensive. Always check with your GP for up-to-date advice.
It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure that they meet the country’s entry requirements. You need to check with the local consulate or embassy. Please be aware that requirements can change overnight or after you book, so always keep an eye out for changes.