Before you go
Planning a trip is really exciting: where to go? What will it be like? What’s the food like? What is there to see? Where will I stay? Will it be full of other travellers or will I have the place to myself? Where do I start?
The first thing to do is plan where you’re going, we have ‘Highlights’ sections for all the destinations that we cover which give you a feel for each destination, then if you like the sound of somewhere then the next question is when. For example trekking in the Himalaya in October/November or March / April is great but going in January is very cold and icy and going in May through to August is cloudy and rainy, so you get a very different experience.
Book a flight
Once you have decided where you want to go and when to go the next thing is book a flight, we always use sky scanner to find the cheapest flights, it scans all the airlines, comes up with the various options including direct flights and two stage flights. When we go to Asia we generally take a two stage flight stopping in the Gulf as the Gulf airlines are very good and pretty cheap. However do watch out for the length of the stop over. We recently spent the night in the airport coming back from Bangkok, and in hindsight we should probably have paid a bit more for a flight with a shorter stopover. Saying that on the way out we had a two hour stopover, our flight was delayed and we were put up in a hotel in Doha, which was very nice but we would rather have arrived in Bangkok earlier where we had a hotel booked. So maybe a 2 – 3 hour stopover is best.
Book your trains, ferries and buses
These days life is easy, you can book all your connections before you leave home or if you have left home you can book them on the road. Don’t just turn up at the bus station / train station or port, use our clever search box and find out times, prices and book your tickets online.
Travel Insurance is really important, it’s not really your possessions that need insuring, it’s you. In particular your health, bombing around Ko Phan Ngan on a hired scooter is great fun, until you come off and end up in the local hospital and find out that hospital on remote islands are not like the ones at home. What you need is a policy that will cover your medical treatment in a state of the art private hospital or evacuating home if it’s really serious. We find that World Nomads is a great company to use, they were created by travellers for travellers and they have very comprehensive policies. Click here to get a quote.or fill in the quote box below. And remember on travel insurance it is not a good policy to always buy the cheapest, you need to read the policy carefully and check what is covered.
And get insurance as soon as you book your flights, otherwise say you break a leg, you go down with something contagious or your airline goes bust ( it does happen) then if you are insured you get your money back, If you get your insurance a few days before you fly you’ll pay the same but you haven’t benefited from the cancellation cover.
Hiring a car before you get to your destination is usually a very good idea as it is generally considerably cheaper than waiting until you arrive. For example in Gran Canaria you can book a car for around £90 a week whereas if you book one there it costs around €50 per day for a smaller car and generally it is harder to get availability. We find that holiday autos is generally the cheapest, click here to get a quote.
Obviously not every destination is suitable for car hire, we would not recommend car hire in say India, but in other far flung destinations such as Bali it is a great thing to do. Always remember that you will need an international drivers license in many locations, although a UK license does suffice in other destinations