Timeline Guide to Help You Plan a Holiday Abroad

 Planning your first holiday abroad? Here is a travel planning timeline that will let you know what travel planning tasks you should be doing and at what time prior to your holiday.

Following a timeline will give you peace of mind that you have covered all the basics that go with planning an overseas trip.

Travel Planning

1 Year to 6 Months before Your Holiday

  • Choose Your Destination

Make a list of all the countries you like the look of and have always wanted to visit. You will probably have a lot of countries on that list so you will need to thin it out a bit. Try to consider the distances between places/flight times to pane the list, especially if you are a bit weary of being so far away from home for the first time.

You can buy a guidebook to help you choose where you would like to go and what you would like to see and do.

  • How Long Are You Going For?

If you are going for 3 weeks, for example, will you be able to pack enough clothing to last that long without washing?

Staying in a hotel will cost an arm and a leg for them to do your laundry and you will not want to spend valuable holiday time stuck in a laundrette.

Either go for a shorter time or consider booking self-catering accommodation, such as a holiday home. Here you can wash your clothes, go to the local supermarkets and outdoor markets to purchase products to take back and prepare yourselves. This is also a cheaper option than using a hotel, especially if you are travelling with family.

  • Make Reservations

Once you have decided where you are going to stay, look now, especially if you are travelling in high season as the best accommodation is reserved far in advance.

  • Learn The Language

You should consider learning a bit of the language of the country you are going to. Even if you only learn just a few ‘polite’ words, it will get noticed by the locals and make you holiday a more memorable one. You could learn online or book onto a language course at a local college.

3 Months before Your Holiday

  • Look For Airfares

This is a good time to start checking airfares to your chosen destination. The airlines are starting to discount fares this close to your travel date and there is still time to wait if prices are still too high. Airline companies are constantly revising the pricing based on demand so you never know when that bargain is going to come up, just don’t wait too long.

  • Apply For A Passport

This is the time to get your passport if you don’t already have one. A passport application can take a few weeks to process. The last thing you want to do is leave it until the last minute then have the stress of waiting to see if it arrives in time for you travel.

  • Think About Shoes!

A lot of European countries have historic cities that are pedestrian only so chances are you will be doing a lot of walking while you are away.

Shoes are heavy so you don’t want to end up with your suitcase being overweight because you have packed too many pears. Find shoes that are comfortable, can be worn anywhere and are in a colour to go with the clothes you will be packing.

2 Months before Your Holiday

  • Accommodation

If you didn’t book accommodation when suggested to before then you need to do this now. The last things you want to do are travel all that way and then have to search for somewhere that has a vacancy. Secure your place to stay in advance and that will be a weight lifted off your shoulders.

Also consider your flight times and how far you are from the airport to ensure you get there on time. Do you need to travel to the airport the night before, will you need overnight accommodation? There are plenty of hotels in London near airports, including a number of four star hotels Heathrow bound.

There is an express train that runs at regular intervals from London Paddington Station to Heathrow airport so if this is an easier option for you, especially if you don’t want to take the car, then the Hotel Park Grand  London Paddington is near the station. This hotel provides easy access to the station and hassle free travel.

  • Vehicle Hire

If you are planning to explore your holiday destination by car then you can book ahead to secure the car you want. This way it will be ready for you arrive and you won’t have to waste time trying to find something that is suitable.

You can save money while renting a car by renting a diesel as the fuel is cheaper, you get more miles on a full tank and diesel is readily available. Also ensure your driving license is valid and allows you to drive abroad.

1 Month before Your Holiday

  • Travel insurance

Is the stuff you’ll be carrying valuable? May you need healthcare while you are away? Ensure you have an insurance policy to suit your needs as costs for losses or medical treatment are extremely high.

  • Luggage

Make sure your bags are easily manoeuvrable, you don’t want to struggle when they are loaded. Get a brightly coloured tag to easily identify your bag and make sure any labels are correctly filled in.

  • Stay Connected

Ensure your mobile network will work abroad and inform your provider of your plans so they can fix any issues before you travel. Don’t forget to take electrical adapters to ensure you can charge your mobile devices while away.

  • Money

These days ATM machines make money exchange easy but it is a good idea to exchange some money for your destination currency before you travel. It’s always good to have the right money on you when you arrive just in case you need anything.

  • Keep Your Stuff Secure

Many travellers wear a money belt or pouch under their clothes to keep cash, credit cards and passports safe.

Final Check

The Basic stuff you need to carry is: passport, tickets, car rental agreements, accommodation receipts, credit cards, medications, something clothing and an open mind. Check you have all that then go and enjoy your holiday!



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