Do start planning your travel early

If you want to have the trip that you’ve always dreamed of, you must start researching early. Last minute bookings may save you cash, but what if you or your travel partner really wanted to stay at a particular hotel or do a special activity? Procrastinating may mean not getting your fifth choice, let alone your second or third.

Do have a flexible budget

You should also have some flexibility in your budget. I’m not saying that you should go crazy, but you never know what your research may turn up.

Do get advice

You wouldn’t buy a second hand car without doing some checks first, so why would your holidays be any different? Professional advice may be expensive, but there is loads of free advice on the internet if you know where to look.

Always check your passports

Not only should you check passports to ensure that they meet the requirements of the country or countries that you are travelling to, but always book with the passports close to hand so that you don’t book tickets in the wrong name.

Don’t pack too much

When flying, always ensure that you know the luggage allowances. Excess charges can take a massive chunk of your budget.

Don’t ignore the fine print

Always, always, always read the terms and conditions of the sale before handing over your money. Ensure that you know how your money will be protected. Is it a package holiday or a trip made of numerous separate contracts? Pay special attention to asterisks and other advisory signs. These will indicate disclaimers and other conditions. Pay extra special attention to expressions such as ‘other restrictions may apply’, ‘subject to availability’ and ‘subject to change’

Plan for trouble

Things can go wrong and delays can happen. If you have a backup plan then you will be an oasis of calm while all those around you panic.

Don’t forget to enjoy both the research and your trip!