Today I wanted to try my best and answer a question from a very nice reader, Florence, who sent me the following email:
I’m contacting you to see if you could possibly share your thoughts on the process of booking a holiday. It doesn’t’ matter if it’s a city trip, jungle trek or beach holiday. You’re obviously good at researching and finding the best spots thus I’d like to have insights about what your cues are for finding a great restaurant, the best neighbourhood to stay at, the most wonderful hotel, the best room in the hotel or even how to find a great destination. There is so many information on the net these days that I find myself a little bit overwhelmed.
I am very happy to share my thoughts on how I book a trip – from the very beginning – though I am far from an expert in this arena. What I am, is somebody who enjoys travel, and tries to do it quite often. And that itself is my first tip for booking a holiday efficiently and effectively – the more you do it, the better you will be at it! After a while, you will be a pro, for sure.
All right – now let’s start walking through my process of booking a holiday!
1. The destination. This is where I always start. Others might start with a particular restaurant, or sight, or hotel, but I start with the place. Somewhere old, or somewhere new? I am fortunate to have a good number of friends with more travel experience (and much healthier travel budgets) than me, and I usually can find lots of inspiration from them – I hear about an awesome new holiday and add it to the list in my head. Or I read something from a book, or see a place on TV – anywhere. Believe me, once you start keeping your eyes and ears open for great destiatnions, you’ll see they are all around you!
If you’re still having trouble thinking of a cool place, go to your local bookshop! Head to the travel shelf and pick up some books. Here are a few that I suggest leafing through:
National Geographic: World’s Best Travel Experiences – my favorite!
Lonely Planet Best In Travel 2014 – found this one while bored at Urban Outfitters (I feel too old and crochety for 99% of the apparel section now).
2. The accommodation/neighborhood. Have you ever had a friend visit and taken them around to show them your area? Or had a friend take you around? Then you should know how important the neighborhood and accommodation are. They can make a great destination seem dreadful (unfortunately I’ve had a few experiences like this), and a so-so place charming and lovely. Continue Reading