The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Perfect 2020 holiday

Martin Ross on 26 December 2019

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Searching for your perfect holiday can seem like a complete nightmare. There are hundreds of thousands of hotels, cruises and experiences all around the world, so how do you know which one is right for you? My job is to find the very best holiday tailor-made just for you.

But before you start searching, you need to make sure that you’ve covered all your bases and carefully considered what it is that you really need and want. (that’s what this guide is for!). Here are my top 7 tips to finding your perfect 2020 holiday.

#1 Work out a rough budget for your holiday

A massive misconception is I only ask for your budget to maximise my commission and over charge you My job is to find that sweet spot that balances everything you love from a holiday along with your budget. Without knowing what you can realistically afford, I have no way of being able to balance this for you. I also ask you to be realistic too. If you’re looking for a holiday that you ultimately can’t afford, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

The same way you would set a budget for buying a car or a house, sit down and workout what you can comfortably afford to spend on your 2020 holiday.

#2 Why asking for a "cheap as possible" holiday is the worst thing you can do when searching for your 2020 trip

When you're in a restaurant and the waiter comes to take your order, you don't ask for the cheapest meal on the menu. You order what you actually want to eat. It's exactly the same with your holiday. Some people will want a healthy salad, some a juicy steak and others an exotic spicy dish. If you're served a bowl of plain rice whilst the people at the table next to you are tucking into a delicious meal, it's going to make your choice seem very unwise and boring.

Sometimes the difference between a fantastic hotel with brilliant facilities and friendly staff is just a few pounds more per night compared to the "cheapest" hotel. Would you rather spend that little bit more to have a much better holiday or is "the cheaper the better" what you're really looking for?

#3 Take reviews with a pinch of salt

Have you read so many TripAdvisor reviews you feel like you’ve already been there? And even if there are hundreds of amazing reviews, do you always focus on the one negative review? I generally find that the majority of negative reviews are from people who were unaware of the hotel they were actually booking. I’ve seen reviews of people complaining about too much fresh fish being on the menu at hotels in fishing ports, noisy rooms when they’ve booked a hotel next to a nightclub and even someone complaining that other people were in the restaurant at lunch with them.

More and more people now as using TripAdvisor reviews to try and get unwarranted compensation from hotels which skews all the positive reviews. Likewise, some hotels offer an in-resort reward for leaving a good review. Even worse, rival hotels and restaurants are known to leave bad reviews for good hotels to try and persuade customers to book with them instead. How do you know which are the real reviews?

Another point to remember is the best reviewed hotels on TripAdvisor tend to be middle-of-the-road chains where people have booked with low expectations, but have been pleasantly surprised.

I do the research for you to find the best hotel that’s right for you, regardless of what uninformed previous guests have written.

#4 Never, ever say "We’re not fussed", "Anything will do" or "It just has to be cheap"

Think of Travel Counsellors as your travel problem solvers so, unfortunately, this kind of vague statement gives me almost nothing to go on. The more I know about what you like to do, the types of restaurants you love and your general expectations, the better holiday experience I can create for you. Just a little bit more information from yourself can have a massive impact on your annual holiday. The more time and effort you put in, the better your holiday will be.

#5 The more I know about what you love, the better your holiday is going to be

When I've asked people about their previous holidays booked elsewhere, the most common word has been "fine". Fine is good enough for your lunch break. Fine is good enough your drive to work. Fine is not good enough for your 2 weeks of holiday after saving a year or maybe more for it. By putting in a little bit of extra effort when requesting a quote or speaking with me, I can transform your holiday from "fine" to "amazing". Isn't that worth a little bit of extra effort?

#6 Be flexible

Sometimes by changing your dates by a few days or flying from another airport, you can save a fortune. If you can only fly from a certain local airport on exact dates and times, it will severely limit your choice of holidays and destinations.

#7 Make sure whatever you book, you're protected

If you book your flights and accommodation separately, you have very little financial protection. For example, if your flight is cancelled or delayed, the hotel you’ve booked separately are not obliged to move, change or even refund your booking. It's the same for transfers and experiences. Your airline is quite limited on what they have to offer by law. Compensation is available, but in most cases, only if it’s the airlines fault. The majority of the time, flights are cancelled due to weather and strikes which are both out of the control of the airline and they can simply offer you a full refund. Last minute replacement flights will cost you a fortune and generally your refund would not cover these. Many travel insurance policies have very strict and low limits on what they'll cover in these circumstances.

We've been awarded an ATOL license which means if your airline was to collapse (such as with Thomas Cook or Monarch for example), you'll be repatriated back to the UK. Every penny of your holiday is safe and secure in our Travel Trust fund independently managed by Barclays Bank.

Our 24/7 Duty Office monitors events world-wide and are there just in case you should need them whilst you’re away. In the past year alone, they’ve helped our clients who have been affected by strikes, hurricanes, medical emergencies, freak weather, volcanoes, drones and the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Now you've ready my top 7 tips, get in touch to start planning your ulitmate 2020 holiday. Email martin.ross@travelcounsellors.com or call 01452 855 433.

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