Working in the travel industry gives you valuable insight into how to book the best holiday.
Here Are My Top 6 Ways to Book a Better Holiday...
1.) Book your flights through a trusted agent or directly through an airline:
Find an agent that you like and trust. A good agent is a huge source of information and helps to take the stress out of coordinating complicated itineraries. Try to avoid using third party websites. They are often only internet-based and have no real customer service. Ask yourself the questions: Who will you contact in an emergency? Who will be there to assist you if your flight is delayed or if you need to make changes to your booking? If the answer is "noone" or "I have to send an email" then you need to rethink your approach. Having someone who is able to reroute or reaccommodate you when you are stranded at an overseas airport is invaluable.
2.) Book in advance to get the best deals:
Everyone loves sales. But waiting around all year for the perfect sale doesn't generally pan out the way you want it to. Airlines and hotels go on sale when they are trying to get rid of seats or rooms. It is definitely good to keep in the loop and sign up to your favourite airlines to hear about the best specials. But by booking in advance you really will get access to the best earlybird deals, have the widest range of options, and the time to budget for holiday costs. Flights get released 10 months in advance. If you are going during peak season or the christmas holidays do yourself a favour and get in early. This will give you the best selection of flights at the best prices.
3.) Book all your flights on one ticket:
Flights get delayed or canceled all the time. If you are booking multiple legs make sure that they are all booked on the one ticket. If you do book them separately and your first flight is delayed, you will miss all of the subsequent flights. You may also find that booking all of your flights together can save on luggage costs eg. domestic US flights do not include checkin bags unless booked as part of an international ticket.
4.) Always take travel insurance:
Ash clouds, earthquakes, lost luggage, illness, dropped iphone... there are so many elements outside our control that can make or break a holiday. The reality is that these things do happen and I can't stress enough the importance of being prepared. I have heard so many horror stories- my friends, family, customers... have all been affected by some way or the other. I personally travel knowing that I have comprehensive travel insurance which helps me to have peace of mind. I know there is a lot of information out there but take the time to educate yourself and make the best decision.
5.) Always check the fine print:
Before you make any purchase online always double check if there are any hidden fees. Budget airlines won't always include checked luggage and hotels will sometimes charge a local tax. These fees quickly add up and you may end up spending a lot more than you budgeted for so be careful. If you are likely to make changes to your flights, make sure that you read the rules and choose a flexible fare that will best meet your needs.
6.) Don't forget to relax:
Travel is not meant to be stressful. Most strangers are kind and wherever you go you will be able to find and connect with other travellers. So be open.... to the people, the language and the culture. Try not to be too sensitive or to get offended by cultural differences. Make the most of your time and learn from all of your experiences. The world is an amazing place full of wondrous things to learn. If you are receptive and open to it you will learn and grow as an individual.