• Carol Oconnor

    You’ve finally decided to make that holiday happen — the idyllic Greek island retreat, the adventure holiday in Jamaica, the beach break on the Balearic Islands. Wherever it is and whatever you’re doing, careful planning will make a world of difference to your trip. But just how good are your travel planning skills? See how you size up with this travel checklist.


    Close up of money and credit card while travel planning

    Have you worked out how much you’re going to spend?

    Budgeting is a vital part of any trip. Before you book a single thing, you need to find out how much your destination will cost and decide what you’re willing to spend. Break your trip down into cost categories —flights, accommodation, food, activities — and check out these useful budgeting tips to help you get started.

    If you don’t want to worry about money while you’re away, consider packages that give you extra value for money. You’ll save on costs such as food and drink, and it’s a good option for stress-free family holidays.

    Have you double checked your flight route and times before booking?

    Booking flights isn’t always as simple as it should be. When you’re shopping for deals, comparing destinations and deciding which airports to fly between, it’s easy to get confused by the options on offer. Review everything closely, from dates and departure times to passenger information. Always check airport codes, not just names, so you don’t mix up destinations with similar names.


    Aeroplane jetting off into the sunset

    Have you picked the most suitable accommodation option?

    Before you choose a hotel, think about your priorities. Will you be spending the days just lying by the pool? In that case, a luxury resort would be a better fit. When you’re have excursions lined up every day, though, you may opt for a comfortable but less exclusive hotel to lay your head at night.

    Look into the finer details as well. Does your hotel have free Wi-Fi, a mini fridge or even a Jacuzzi in your room? Small things like this aren’t make-or-break factors, but they can make your stay all the more pleasant.

    Do you know what you want to do?

    You’ve got to get the balance right when you’re planning an itinerary. An over-packed, rigid plan will prove impossible to stick to, but if you try to wing it, you’re not going to get the most out of your stay. The best travel planners strike a balance between the two.

    Decide what main sights and activities are on your to-do list, and find out basic information like where they are and how long they take. This will be enough for you to loosely structure your holiday at the same time as staying open to any spontaneous opportunities that might pop up.

    Do you know how you’re going to get around?

    Getting from A to B is one of the more difficult aspects of travelling in a foreign country. Do your research before you go — find out what public transport options are available and where they can take you. Check a map of the area you’re staying in so you know what you can visit on foot.


    Image of tram

    Answering yes to all these questions? Good news, your travel planning skills are looking good! If you want some more tips, take a look at these six things you should do before you go on holiday. By the time you’re done, you’ll be the best holiday planner around.