Monday, 11 February 2019

Things I Consider When Booking Flights & Accommodation

Things I Consider When Booking Flights & Accommodation | ItsHollieAnn
Booking a trip generally goes one of two ways; Everything is plain sailing and quick or it's a long and stressful process with what seems like no solution. The majority of the time, I sit right in the middle. 

In my house, I do all of the planning and booking. My fiance and I will of course choose a destination together but then I step in to select hotels, flights, dates and visas, insurance and transport - You name it, I do it. In all honestly, it's something I've come to love. I tend to know what to research, where to find it and how to plan. Sometimes, I manage to lean to the 'plain sailing' end of the scale. 

Since we have our wedding trip coming up and because I've just finished planning our honeymoons, I wanted to touch upon the things I consider when booking flights and accommodation, no matter where the destination. 

FLIGHTS

Weather A big factor that comes into play, before even booking flights and accommodation, is the weather. I don't tend to hope for any weather in particular but I like to be prepared. I like to know whether it will be hot or cold, in season or out because that will also depend on whether the destination will busy or not - Think Santorini in high season vs out. 

Time of Day When booking flights, I generally try to arrive at my destination earlier and leave later. If I'm travelling short haul, I start by searching for flights that will get me to my destination before midday local time - This way, I can still have the afternoon and evening to explore. Similarly, I'll look for flights home taking off in the early evening so I can make the most of the morning and afternoon. If I'm travelling long haul, I like to arrive at my destination in mid-afternoon local time so that I can shower, grab a bite to eat and then head to bed - This helps me to adjust to the timezone a little easier. When selecting flights home, I opt for a flight that will get me back to the UK early in the morning so I can treat my flight home like my night sleep, waking up fresh on GMT. 

Connections Something I consider, especially when travelling long haul, is whether making a connection is beneficial. Sometimes, it can bring the cost of a plane ticket down dramatically but on the other hand, it can also increase travel time and add extra stress to your journey. If I do choose to make a connection, I always check how long that connection takes. The average time from terminal 3 to 5 in Heathrow is an hour and a half - Something to consider when booking an onward flight. On top of this, I consider whether I have to wait at passport control before making a connection, something I spent almost two hours doing in Philadelphia last year. 

Airline Think of this what you will but I always research a new airline before flying with them. It goes without saying that the likes of British Airways and Virgin are well known but I recently looked into a Spanish airline that had over 10 incidents in 2018. It's not about 'accident factor' and you might be surprised to learn that I don't have a fear of flying. Aviation is just something that interests me greatly so its something I tend to take a look at, just out of my own interest. 

ACCOMMODATION 

Location First and foremost I consider where I want to stay. Depending on the destination, I like to pick accommodation relatively close to things I want to see and do but also somewhere that's well connected so we have the flexibility to explore further afield with ease. I consider things like public transport links, whether Uber/Lyft is available and also the cost of using these options to go where we want to without incurring significantly extra costs if we're not able to travel on foot.

Reviews To be honest, I rarely read reviews. I look at the overall star rating but I tend to skip the individual reviews because people don't tend to leave good ones - It's a bad review or nothing at all. 

Amenities I don't base my choice on the amenities available but it's always handy to know whether there is a pool, tea and coffee in your room and whether there is an additional resort charge for these. I also like to find out when I can check in depending on the flights I've chosen  and if I can't check in when I arrive, I always check whether you can store luggage which, for the most part, is standard. 
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Booking trips isn't for everyone and of course, going to a Travel Agent can make the whole process a hell of a lot easier. These days, I prefer to do most of the work myself so I hope this helped if you're looking to do the same. I'd love to know what things you consider when booking flights, accommodation, trips, transport - Anything. Let me know!

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